Mozilla to shutter Firefox OS on smartphones: Report

The not-for-profit organisation has announced its intention to discontinue Firefox OS smartphones, with Mozilla saying that it will continue to focus on connected devices.

Mozilla has said it will stop developing and selling Firefox-operated smartphones, according to TechCrunch.

The online publication reported that Mozilla made the announcement at Mozlando, the company's developer event in Orlando, with Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla SVP of Connected Devices, later confirming the reports.

"Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs," Jaaksi said. "However, we weren't able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels."

Mozilla first launched its Firefox OS smartphone in early 2013. At the time, it was questioned why Mozilla was taking a plunge into a space that was already crowded with the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian.

At the time, Mozilla said Firefox OS smartphones were the first that were built entirely to open web standards, which it said enabled every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application.

"Firefox OS includes all the things people need from a smartphone out of the box -- calls, messaging, email, camera, and more -- as well as the things you wish a smartphone offered, like built-in cost controls, social features with Facebook and Twitter, location-based services, much-loved features like the Firefox web browser, new ability to discover one-time use and downloadable apps, Firefox Marketplace, and much more," Mozilla said.

Initially, the Firefox-operated devices were sold by Alcatel, LG, ZTE, and Huawei and were aimed at consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and Venezuela.

"We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices," Jaaksi said on Tuesday. "We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow."

Also unveiled at Mozlando was the company's latest open source offering, Focus, an iOS content blocker.

The free app blocks mobile websites from tracking user data as well as displaying web fonts, which can help speed up the mobile browsing experience and also maintain user privacy.

"We made Focus by Firefox because we believe content blockers need to be transparent with publishers and other content providers about how lists are created and maintained, rather than placing certain content in a permanent penalty box," Mozilla said in a blog post.

"For many content blockers, the standards used to determine what gets blocked aren't clear. They aren't transparent about their choices. They don't provide ways for blocked content providers to improve and become unblocked. And some content blockers remove companies from a list in exchange for payment."

Last month, Mozilla launched Firefox for iOS. At the time it was said the reason Mozilla took so long to launch a browser on Apple's operating system was that the iPhone maker gave the Safari browser all of its attention, even restricting users from the ability to choose their desired default browser.

Focus, however, cannot be used with Firefox on iOS as Apple does not currently allow third party iOS browsers to support content blocking apps.

Mozilla said it will explore how to add such support in the future for Apple's mobile devices.

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