I’ve written before about my interest in Boot2Geck, the mobile OS being developed by Firefox maintainers Mozilla, which focuses on an HTML5 ecosystem rather than platform-dependent apps. The Mozilla Blog made a post a few days ago, though, announcing a few of their partners for what they now seem to be calling Firefox OS. It’s clear from the post that Mozilla realizes just how difficult the mobile market is right now, with Android and iOS completely dominating. With that understanding, Mozilla is shooting for developing markets first to get a solid user base. This is why the first Firefox OS devices are expected to launch early next year in Brazil.
I was surprised, though, to see that Sprint was also listed as a partner, and the only one from the U.S. at that. According to the blog, Sprint’s Product Chief said:
“Sprint continues to support an open mobile ecosystem that enables choice for Sprint customers and a healthy competitive ecosystem for the technical community. Firefox Mobile OS can help us drive an HTML 5-based platform for creating lower cost smartphone options for prepaid, postpaid and wholesale customers.”
This is great news to me, as I figured Sprint would be the last U.S. carrier to jump aboard the Firefox OS wagon (well, maybe just before Verizon depending on the availability of LTE Firefox OS handsets…) Sprint took a horrible approach with Windows Phone 7, essentially saying they would only focus on carrying the device after it became popular. In my mind, this is basically the same as telling Microsoft to screw off since there is no way for a mobile platform to become popular in the first place if carriers won’t sell the handsets.
If Sprint really is going to give support to Firefox OS, then Q1 of 2013 could be an exciting time for me since my contract is due to expire at the end of this year. If RIM isn’t able to release a semi-usable handset, Firefox OS could be a great alternative for me if I’m going to be forced to go with a full-touchscreen device.