Firefox: We're not trying to replace Android or iOS


BARCELONA, Spain--While Mozilla's Mitchell Baker blasted the dominating platforms--Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS--earlier this week during an evening keynote, the company has stated it isn't trying to replace them.

In a presentation here at Mobile World Congress, Mozilla's Christian Heilmann stated, "We're not trying to replace Android or iOS." Instead, Heilmann explained that Firefox OS serves more as a replacement for the OS running on old Nokia phones, etc. Millions of people want to get phones and to get on the Web, he said.

In this vein, he echoed the sentiments of Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs at an earlier panel this week titled, "Reaching the Next Billion," which explored increasing mobile broadband access in developing nations.

"The next two billion are coming online in the next five plus years," said Kovacs, adding that "these next two billion are not going to be anything like the first two."

For one, many of these new mobile adopters could be experiencing the Internet for the first time via mobile rather than via the desktop. Secondly, if Firefox and other HTML5-based operating systems catch on, more developers may be working with HTML5 rather than coding native apps.

Heilmann said, "As a developer I hate writing code for each platform out there." Interestingly, Heilmann noted "a lot of apps in App Store and Google Play are [built with] HTML5; they've just been converted with PhoneGap [an open source mobile development framework]."

Heilmann did not have any information on when any Firefox devices would be coming out.

"The good thing about HTML5 is that our end-users are consuming it in the same thing our developers are developing in," said Heilmann.

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