While ZTE mentioned they wanted to bring bigger, badder Firefox OS-powered phones to the United States next year, Mozilla seems reluctant. It goes back on what the company’s CEO said at Mobile World Congress just this past winter. According to a CNET interview with Mozilla’s Executive Chair Mitchell Baker, the web browser-turned-smartphone company will still offer developer phones (likely via eBay, where over 1,300 units have already been sold), but has no plans for a commercial release.
Baker also questioned Firefox OS’ relevance in the U.S. market. The company has been targeted extremely low cost phones, but those phones make less of an impact in North America than they do in many parts of the world. Here, carrier partnerships let end users buy advanced, $700 smartphones for just $99 – sometimes less.
Around the world, however, that low cost becomes the central factor in choosing a new phone. We question how much Mozilla will be able to accomplish, however, given that companies such as Motorola, with the new Moto G, and Nokia/Microsoft, with the Lumia 521, have been able to put out extremely compelling low-cost offerings.