There has been a great deal of talk about building an ecosystem around the very latest mobile OS – Firefox from Mozilla. However, from a developer or end user’s perspective, a good deal of questions were unanswered. Until now. GoMobile News has just spent a day with key Telefónica Digital executives and unearthed some key facts. For example, it is very obvious that initially the body which will offer an app store for Firefox/HTML5 compatible apps will be the Mozilla Foundation itself. But, how are you going to pay for them? That’s where Telefónica steps in neatly with is ‘Direct to bill’ payment system.Probably one of the most important statements made by Mathew Key, CEO with Telefónica Digital was, “We don’t want to enter the hardware space.” No Firefox version of the Nexus, then.
He also announced that the first Firefox handset Telefónica will offer will be sub $100 and made available in Q1 2013 in Brazil. He admited that another operator might well pip Telefónica to the post, though.
It is also obvious that Telefónica doesn’t intend to spend big bucks on the advertising and marketing of such handsets. Instead it will rely on word of mouth and the fact that the handsets will be available through the stores.
Another ket fact provided by Carlos Domingo, director for product development & innovation with Telefónica Digital, is that it hasn’t yet decided on revenue share with app developers.
He would only say that Telefónica won’t be asking for a larger slice of the pie than say Apple or Google. Mozilla will host the app store but consumers will pay for them via payment mechanism operated by the likes of Telefónica.
Another interesting statistice mentioned by Domingo was that it has been estimated that around 75 per cent of existing apps sold on iTunes and Play are HTML5 based anyway.
So converting an HTML5 based iOS app to Firefox shouldn’t require too much development effort. He also pointed out that web based applications developers – with HTML5 – greatly outnumber native mobile app developers, anyway.
Domingo argued that Firefox is not aimed at competing with iOS head-on. Unlike Windows Phone 7 (W7 Mango), for example.
It aims to provide fast but cheap handsets that offer a good user experience. He claims that one reason why there are more Android handsets but less Android apps is thanks to a poor user experience.