Mozilla Is Talking Firefox OS, and the First Five Countries to Get It
As I noted yesterday, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs (who will be leaving his CEO post this year) made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that Mozilla has very ambitious plans for its new Firefox OS mobile operating system. Specifically, he sees it as an innovation-centric platform. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, "We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience."
Some of the best reporting on Kovacs' thoughts at the conference have come from All Things D. In particular, this post notes the first five countries that Firefox OS will debut in in June: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. That's right, Firefox OS won't even hit U.S. shores until 2014.
Mozilla was clear early on that its Firefox OS phones would be targeted at emerging markets, but the company has also been adamant the low-priced phones would also be focused on innovation. There have been many reports that China might be a big market for the phones, but it's not even on Kovacs' list of the first five global regions targeted.
Although Kovacs made comments about mobile innovation at the All Things D conference, consider this comment from him quoted here:
"In Silicon Valley we tend to see the world through high-end devices. But that’s not true in the rest of the world. So in the short term, we’re launching in emerging markets where Firefox is particularly strong. … It didn’t make sense for us to launch a version-one device around the world."
Hmm. It's starting to seem like Mozilla wants to be on both sides of the fence. Does it have a focus on low cost phones for emerging markets that will also somehow include bold technology innovation? In today's mobile market, companies have to be focused to succeed. As Mozilla rolls out its Firefox OS playbook this year, it should concentrate on succinct, clear messages.
This may be among the reasons why Mozilla is making sweeping changes to its executive management, positioning the company for what it hopes will be much mobile success.