Smartphone world to get two new OSes in 2013
Firefox and Sailfish to debut on separate smartphones
Computerworld - Smartphones running Mozilla Firefox and Jolla Sailfish will launch separately in 2013 amid a crowded smartphone market.
Their impact will be small but important initially, as the smartphone community seeks alternatives to the frontrunner mobile operating systems, Apple's iOS and Android, analysts said.
Smartphone maker ZTE last week said it will work with a European wireless carrier to introduce a smartphone based on Mozilla's Firefox mobile OS. ZTE might also offer a device on the same OS in the U.S., ZTE's U.S. unit CEO Cheng Lixen told the Bloomberg news service.
Jolla means "dinghy" in Finnish, and the company is made up of former Nokia employees who had worked on the MeeGo OS before Nokia dumped MeeGo in favor of Windows Phone in February 2011.
Some early reviewers have compared the Sailfish interface to the live tiles in Windows Phone 8, since users can interact with icons directly on the home screen. Jolla has posted a glimpse of the interface on YouTube.
Engadget also posted an eight-minute video demo by a Jolla developer of Sailfish on a prototype device.
The Firefox OS smartphone
Mozilla workers also showed a "mystery" Firefox OS smartphone device before the International CES trade show, but visitors could not run it well over the show's Wi-Fi network. The device was not branded by any particular manufacturer.
Mozilla has said Firefox will be powered by HTML5, and that it will be manufactured by Hong Kong's TCL Communication Technology, under its Alcatel One Touch nameplate, as well as ZTE. The phone will first appear in South America later this year, according to Mozilla representatives at CES.
Mobile carriers that have committed to supporting Firefox OS, include Sprint in the U.S., Germany's Deutsche Telekom, Abu Dhabi's Etisalat, Smart Communications in the Philippines, Italy's Telecom Italia, Spain's Telefonica and Norway's Telenor.
Both mobile OS's appear to be headed for low- or mid-priced smartphones, according to several analysts. Strategy Analytics has predicted that Firefox will capture 1% of the global smartphone market in 2013.
IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said that both Firefox and Sailfish will catch on "very slowly." The new Oses will be competing in a market dominated by Android and iOS, while the market for phones using the Windows Phone OS gains steam and BlackBerry 10 smartphones are due to launch Jan. 30.
"For now, it seems like a lot of talk but not much to show," said Carolina Milanesi, a Gartner analyst. "I think 2013 will see vendors and carriers looking at these OS alternatives primarily driven by a need not to put all their future in Google's hands."
- Samsung's S5 mini: Slimmer and slower than S5, but still scans fingerprints
- Privacy-focused Blackphone starts shipping to early adopters
- Why you shouldn't buy the Amazon Fire phone
- A closer look at the new technologies in Amazon's Fire smartphone
- Amazon's Fire phone is 'Prime' example of customer first
- Amazon's expected smartphone already faces skeptics
- Update: Tizen OS declared 'dead in the water'
- LG's new G3 smartphone: Simpler is better
- LG G3 sports quad-HD screen and laser autofocus
- With big growth in 5-in.-plus smartphones, where's Apple?
- Stop Guessing, Start Measuring: How to Use Mobile Analytics to Deliver the Best App ROI This interactive e-book investigates how mobile is driving the need for app and portfolio measures unlike any we saw in the days of...
- APIs & MBaaS: How to Extend Your Enterprise Architecture for a Mobile World "Mobile," as Forrester Research observes, "is pushing aging web architectures to the brink." Download this whitepaper and learn how each of these requirements...
- Three Principles of the Mobile Era or Mastering the Mobile Shift: Three Keys to the New Enterprise In this whitepaper, you will learn the tools, technologies and strategies that are necessary for a mobile-ready IT to master the 3 keys...
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts