As someone outside of the mobile phone industry (Just a simple consumer) I don't see the advantage of having a mobile phone service provider "committing" to your OS. Surely hardware manufacturers are vastly more important as they are the people who are actually going to create devices that can run your OS?
This is a consequence of commitments to a country's spectrum management organizations.
If an operator expresses commitment, I would take this is a very important initial step, but not necessarily an indicator of full blown embracement of a platform. Operators will schedule time for a device to go through their certification labs. This means that a device can get approval from the regional spectrum bodies for qualifications that ensure the device doesn't interfere with authorized spectrum devices. Lab certification is not free- the operators are eating a cost. But certainly it's not the same thing as buying pallets of devices and trying to sell them to consumers.
Last time, a year ago if memory serves, he also hinted that they were going to create an app store that will revolutionize Internet.
I'm not sure that those declarations had anything to do with FFOS. I don't care anyway. If Telefónica uses their huge physical stores chain and their terminals subside practices to promote FFOS, I'd be happy.
* América Móvil
* China Unicom
* Deutsche Telekom
* Hutchison Three Group
* Telecom Italia Group
Not to argue with anything you're saying, just pointing out that that particular decision was more technical than anything.
The "unusual" frequency is also known as AWS bands, and are also used by other carriers and in other countries (only 4 at the moment so not pervasive), although there are now LTE deployments happening in the AWS bands.
The frequency retasking that allows a regular GSM iPhone to work is in full swing - http://www.tmonews.com/2013/01/t-mobiles-network-modernizati... - there is even a Twitter account tracking sightings https://twitter.com/UMTS1900 and a map http://airportal.de
When tmobile does start selling the iPhone (rumoured to be a few months out) it will be interesting to see if they piggyback off the parent company or deal with Apple directly. In order to deal with Apple you have comply with minimum order quantities (remember the Sprint $20bn numbers) http://www.asymco.com/2013/01/17/the-iphone-moq/
(I actually went the opposite direction for a little while. I had a Nexus One made for T-Mobile which I used on my AT&T account. It had the same problem in reverse, since it only had T-Mobile's 3G frequencies. The phone itself was decent, but the data speeds were a killer.)
Anyway, good to hear that it's happening, and thanks for the links. More competition is good, and I'm sure that a T-Mobile iPhone will help.
While that doesn't necessarily mean a commitment to carrying devices running it, it'd an awful lot of effort to go to if that weren't likely at all.
This will mean that US consumers will be seeing the true hardware price for the first time, and be able to make value judgements. Of course everyone expects the whole thing will fail because Americans are used to cell phones being really cheap, and tmobile has to try to convince people by doing arithmetic on lifetime costs, which is a far harder (and more complicated) sell.
I'm extremely sceptical that consumers will pay more for Firefox phones than iPhone and top end Android. And I have no doubt they'd pick Firefox (or anyone else for that matter) for phones that are "free", $50 or similar amounts, but those phones won't exist on tmobile except for feature phones around the $150 mark. Given a choice between a $350 Firefox or Android phone it will be interesting to see what happens, and the consumer will have to strongly consider if they are getting that much value from their purchase.
ZTE and Huawei are just the beginning of the wave of cheap smart phone providers that I expect to destroy the feature phone as a widely used device in the rich world in the coming years.
Granted, the two phones I bought weren't very fast and had smaller screens, but they did have GPS, mobile data and ran all the apps that I tried from the Play store.
* The vast majority of phones are sold by carriers due to the subsidy model. This leaves a considerably smaller market for the rest. Note the carriers chose which phones to carry - they will not provide arbitrary phones. Note this also applies even when someone like Amazon or Costco sell phones as they act as an agent for the carrier and the prices shown are the subsidised ones, and the phones are the carrier ones.
* Because of that most consumers think phones already cost free/$100 or $200 for high end ones, and there is no incentive to buy a non-carrier phone since plans aren't any cheaper for a non-subsidised phone (with the exception of one type of plan on Tmobile and some of the pre-paid MVNOs).
* Of the big 4 carriers (~85% of all mobile users) half have a CDMA legacy and half GSM, so those phones you bought could only work on 2 of the 4 carriers anyway
* And even that wouldn't be enough. Many cheap GSM phones are tri-band. To work with voice in the US they need to be quad band (also support 850MHz). There are various issues with the data frequencies too (eg Tmobile's AWS band) and even differing LTE bands for newer/more expensive phones
* If you care about coverage then you generally have to go with one of the big 3 (tmobile has notoriously poor coverage except in the most populated areas). If you use an MVNO then you are typically limited to the hosting carrier's network only. As an example I'm a tmobile subscriber, but in various areas a lot of their coverage is actually provided as a transparent roaming arrangement by AT&T - you don't see roaming on your phone. Similarly Verizon and Sprint have roaming in various places. But when using an MVNO you would using the native underlying carrier coverage only which will be a lot smaller footprint.
* All phones have to pass the FCC certification which is added expense and time especially if your sales aren't going to be that high
* People don't visit other countries as much (proportionally). You could fit the UK (including NI, Shetland, Jersey etc) in 2/3rds of California. Montana is the same size as Germany. This means a huge internal market with virtually no external influence or need for interoperability. That said the Canadian market is even more messed up than the US one. I don't know about Mexico.
That said you can buy some cheap phones including below $100 - eg see Walmart http://goo.gl/yoABV but note they are usually locked to a prepaid carrier! This http://goo.gl/KiUje is what consumers usually see - the subsidised prices which get you better phones at "cheaper" prices.
Mozilla probably doesn't want to agree to those terms either, so I would be surprised if Verizon ever had one.
Just my experience with being a long time Verizon user and Android OS hobbyist modder.
In this list are Megafon and VimpelCom (AKA Beeline), two of the three leading operators in Russia. But their commitment means nearly nothing in this case. Mobile operators in Russia have little control over their customers' devices. Very few people buy phones and mobile contracts together.
That doesn't means operators aren't trying to sell devices tied to mobile contract. But it's still far from common.
No idea why Telstra got their own little sentence, but they're australias traditional monopoly carrier who own all the phone lines.. so them being on board doesn't really give me a positive impression of what this commitment will entail.
- They charge like a wounded bull
- They have let the copper network fall into ruin 
- I have only ever had bad experiences with their customer service
- I have contempt for their service technicians
This is the area that Microsoft with WinPhone 7+ and Apple with iOS have got right.
What I don't get is why they don't allow me to put a vanilla Android on the device. Oh, wait: they want me to buy a new phone when a major Android update comes out. Nope, guys, I'm gonna stick with iPhone or Nexus. Too sad the majority of customers likes to be fooled.
Not really fooled, just ignorant. Google is partially to blame for not marketing and cultivating Android as a brand more and leaving it up to OEMs (who mostly ignore it as a brand to differentiate once again).
I think with Android, carriers are slow to upgrade because each update can create hardware incompatibility. With FF OS, they can hopefully upgrade Gecko (thus exposing new functionality to web apps) without messing with the device drivers etc. For whatever reasons, that doesn't seem possible with Android updates.
They can also upgrade the UI really easily (it's just HTML), but I assume that wouldn't be able to expose new APIS/functionality to apps.
WebOS tried the same thing around 3.xx when they moved the App catalog out of ROM. How will you handle overriding user changes to the apps? Will you overwrite them automatically?
Part of this simply has to do with Android's fledgling early versions and their rapid development. There were a lot of things that required core updates and driver updates that OEMs drug their feet on. Now, that's pretty well smoothed out with 4.0 and 4.x and hasn't been an issue and should be much less of one going forward.
The great irony here of course is that Firefox OS uses SurfaceFlinger and relies on the Android stack. They can add new Gecko functionality, but if Android improves the graphics stack again -- guess what? If Firefox OS wants to leverage those (and they should) then they have to make the same core difficult-for-OEMS changes.
The analog of "add APIs through Gecko" is "Android Compatibility Library" that adds new functionality to older versions of Android to allow targeting of older devices.
[Edited for tone. Frustration got better of me]
Apart from the Kernel, 7.5 and 8 are pretty much identical and 99.9% of all apps work fine on both. I have both devices sitting in front of me.
The same cannot be said between say Android 2.3 which is still in circulation and 4.whatever-is-current.
Pfft. Says who?
Says Google, with 45% still using 2.3. Also, all my apps outside of ones for root users are still a majority of 2.3 users.
It's just a silly excuse to try to slander Android and I'm tired of people like meaty using "fragmented" to try to make some sort of "point".
I just misinterpreted your context to mean you were calling in question how many users were on which OS. Android fragmentation is much overblown by those that have probably never even tried to build an Android app. Especially if one is targeting 2.3+. I generally target 2.2 and above without any issue.
If I do run into issues, it's really because I'm playing around with things that were never intended to be messed with (reflection or things that require root). Neither of those two examples are fair to blame on Android though.
Sadly that will just cause horrible fragmentation and bad design as it has for Android.
I think this will be a miserable experience for consumers - think about it - why else would carriers be so excited?
Good luck with that. :)
They sure would love to. Their last move was to call out for mobile operators and constructors.
If anything, this move will lower their chances (a mobile operator already committed to an endeavor might not risk another). They may get a niche market if their tech is good, however.
They will announce a market release, but really it depends on partnerships with mobile operators.
(It's already true, but since Ubuntu phones aren't there yet, the comparison is unfair.)
Android and FFOS perform similarly on the same hardware platform for what it's worth - each have their own advantages in some cases.
Looks like the operators have just realised that Android is commoditizing their services and turning them into just dumb substitutable commodity data providers.
If you're worried about connectors, it probably has a MicroUSB-b port, and you don't have to get it.
It's also important to note that the $1B they pay Apple isn't insignificant either:
If it wasn't google paying, it would be microsoft, with bing.
It would be a huge loss for Google currently. Don't doubt for a second that if Firefox marketshare falls under 5% Google will stop paying anything.
Opera makes about $15M per quarter in revenue from its desktop browser:
Even Opera's marketshare is significant.
But just imagine, for a second, that 20% of the internet just gets to use bing instead of google.com because it became the default overnight. Outch.
some day Mozilla may pull the plug and switch to some other SE i.e. Bing or DDG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Usage_share_of_web_browser... (same marketshare now as in 2009.)