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Five reasons #FirefoxOS would do well in developed markets

September 20, 2012

So we’ve made a lot of noise that FirefoxOS will be perfect for Emerging Markets like Brazil and other parts of LatAm. The logic is simple, smartphone capability at feature phone price.Image

Because FirefoxOS is a web device, it requires less hardware.

Less hardware means less price.

But less hardware doesn’t mean less performance because all the phone has to do is run the web and not do all sorts of other crazy computations.

OK, the case for Emerging Markers is then clear. People are price sensitive but they also want high performance. FirefoxOS delivers.


But what about more developed markets, what is the play there? I’m in a fortunately position that I get to deal with developers all day long and they’re a lot smarter than me. You sit and talk to them about FirefoxOS and tidal waves of good ideas and new perspectives just come flowing. (Did I hold that metaphor OK?)

So based on those conversations, here are some ideas around the application of FirefoxOS in developed markets:

Price sensitive consumers: In case nobody noticed, we’re in a bit of an economic slump here and people are watching their spending. But communications is viewed as an essential of daily life so as consumers in North America and Europe seek to upgrade their feature phones, a FirefoxOS phone will be very attractive

Starter phones: This is especially aimed at teenagers who are getting their first smartphone from Mom and Dad. Maybe the parents don’t want to spend a several hundred dollars on a phone that will undoubtedly get lost, smashed, dropped, thrown, submerged or anything else. Kids are happy because they get all the cool features, Mom and Dad are happy that they aren’t blowing huge cash. Hurray for FirefoxOS

Branding: OK, I said that people care mainly about price and performance. Well, I lied. Branding is pretty important too and some people want branded stuff. So as easy as it is to roll out a new webpage, my phone can be totally branded to my favorite car, baseball team, heavy metal band, hair gel, whatever.

Vertical market: Kinda related to branding but instead of having my phone branded in a unique way, I may want my phone to be all about the topics and issues I care about. For example, I’m a political junkie and I love me some political polls (especially recent ones… very promising!) If my phone could just spit out poll numbers constantly at me about what is happening in battleground states, and House and Senate numbers, I’d be thrilled. Other people may want their phone to be all about football or Bollywood or anything else. That’s all cool. That’s all super easy because again, you’re just pushing a website out to the phone (Just get me the poll numbers, OK?)

Travelers: Basically the concept of getting a new SIM card taken to the next logical step. When you travel and you want to avoid extortionary roaming fees, why get a SIM card and a crappy feature phone when you can get a reasonably priced FirefoxOS phone with full web capabilities. All your life is on the web right? Email, Box, Evernote, music… I could go on. So you arrive in a new place, you grab a FirefoxOS on a pre-paid plan, you turn it on, log on to the web and there is your entire life. No roaming charges.

I’d love to say I came up with all these use-cases, but I’m just documenting them. The nice thing about constantly talking to smart people about innovative new technologies, it gives you a lot to write about.

So what do you think? Any ideas on your side on how you would use FirefoxOS phone?

From → Apps, Technology

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