The Firefox smartphone operating system is being shut down, three years after a launch aimed at challenging the dominant platforms powered by Apple and Google, developers said today.
The operating system created by the Mozilla developer community as an open-source system failed to gain traction in mobile devices, according to a statement from Mozilla developer George Roter.
“Through the work of hundreds of contributors we made an awesome push and created an impressive platform in Firefox OS,” he said in a blog post.
“However, as we announced in December, the circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones.”
Roter said Mozilla has set “our plan to end-of-life support for smartphones after the Firefox OS 2.6 release” which means that “Firefox OS for smartphones will no longer have staff involvement beyond May.”
In 2013, Mozilla announced a tie-up with Spanish-based GeeksPhone to introduce two low-cost devices powered by Firefox.
Firefox devices made by China’s ZTE and TCL were announced in 2014 at a cost as low as USD 25.
Roter said Mozilla made the decision as part of a push “to pivot from ‘Firefox OS’ to ‘connected devices’” and would be focusing on developing open-source software for the Internet of Things—a category which includes everything from connected cars to lightbulbs.
“As of today, we have three projects that have passed the first gate including (a) smart TV and about a dozen more projects are prepping for review,” he said.