Dev

Step back, haters: Firefox phone now has ‘thousands of apps’ and global growth

Above: Home screen on Firefox OS

Image Credit: Jolie O'Dell / VentureBeat

Firefox OS, the web-based mobile operating system from Mozilla, is making progress toward getting a robust app ecosystem up and running.

In a blog post today, team members revealed an interesting tidbit about the platform’s momentum.

“In just a few months since the Firefox Marketplace opened with the first Firefox OS launch, we’ve seen significant momentum with thousands of apps submitted and available today, including some that are currently exclusive to the Firefox Marketplace,” a Mozilla rep writes.

“Firefox OS shows the promise and potential of the Web without the need for proprietary apps and closed platforms,” said Rick Fant, Mozilla Vice President of Firefox Marketplace, in a statement on the news.

“We are excited by the developer interest in the short time since we’ve opened the Firefox Marketplace and are impressed by the creativity and innovation inspired by Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs.”

One major partner for Firefox OS’s expansion around the world has been international carrier Telefonica.

In a statement on the news, Telefonica’s biz dev lead for open web development, Simon Callen, said, “Telefonica has launched Firefox OS devices in seven countries, and we are already seeing strong sales growth, including Firefox OS accounting for 12 percent of our smartphone sales in Venezuela, and 9 percent in Colombia.

“It’s clear that key local and global brands recognize this opportunity and the power of open web devices powered by HTML5.”

App distribution for a free-for-all, web-based OS has been a main concern for Firefox OS critics; Firefox Marketplace is the answer to that question.

Another concern has been getting those apps onto the new platform in the first place. However this criticism has been largely shrugged off by Mozilla because, as many a Mozillan will attest, making a Firefox OS app is the exact same thing as making a web app that’s mobile optimized — something every developer should be doing already.

“In essence, with Firefox OS, we made app discovery as easy as browsing the web, and we give you a very good reason to brush up the mobile optimized web sites you already have on the web,” wrote Mozillan Chris Heilmann in a previous statement.

Another important note: With Firefox OS’s expansion into new markets around the globe, Firefox Marketplace apps give developers new reach, especially for geographies and cultures they understand well.


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