Firefox OS gets performance boost, wider distribution

Phones running Firefox OS will soon also be available in Germany, Brazil and other countries

Running Firefox OS on the ZTE Open handset

Running Firefox OS on the ZTE Open handset

Mozilla Foundation is improving the performance of its Firefox OS software for smartphones, and devices running it will soon go on sale in more European and Latin American countries.

Firefox OS is built around applications written in HTML5. Mozilla Foundation is pitching it as a better option for low-end smartphones, and devices running it will compete head-to-head with cheap Android smartphones and other platforms such as Nokia's Asha.

However, the operating system has yet to live up to that promise, with the first round of phones suffering from performance issues. "And boy, is the device slow, even for simple tasks like opening emails. Don't expect to finish every action; trying again is part of the experience," Infoworld said when reviewing the ZTE Open in August.

Mozilla Foundation, which leads the development, is looking to address that with version 1.1 of Firefox OS. The organization promises "faster application load times and smoother scrolling," it said in a blog post on Wednesday. The upgrade also includes new features such as MMS messaging and enhancements to email, contact management and calendar. Existing devices will be upgraded to the new version soon.

The Firefox OS-based Open and the Alcatel One Touch Fire are also about to get a wider distribution. Telefónica will sell the devices in Brazil and three other Latin American markets this quarter, and in other countries where it operates networks next year, it said.

Deutsche Telekom will sell Firefox OS phones in Germany, Greece and Hungary, while Norwegian operator Telenor is also planning to sell the phones in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro before the end of the year.

The Open and the Fire are already available in Spain, Colombia, Venezuela and Poland.

Last month, ZTE said that it had sold about 100,000 Open phones since the smartphone went on sale in July.

To put that number in perspective, it's only a little more than the 82,000 Windows Phone devices sold to end users each day during the second quarter, according to Gartner. Windows Phone was the third biggest-selling smartphone OS in that quarter, ahead of BlackBerry OS and behind Android and iOS. End users bought an average of 2 million Android smartphones each day from April to June.

However, both ZTE and Telefónica, which didn't want to comment on sales number, said they are happy with sales at this early stage.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilesmartphonestelecommunicationconsumer electronicsdeutsche telekomCarriersMobile OSesTelefónica

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?