At the end of last year, KDDI, a Japanese mobile communications operator launched the sales of “Fx0”, a high-end smart phone running on Firefox OS.
In the smart phone market, Android phones and iPhones are the two prominent players. Why, in such a dominated market, did KDDI launch the smart phone running on Firefox, an entirely new operating system? Takashi Tanaka, its CEO, explained that, upon his instruction “to find something new”, Katsuhiro Kozuki in charge of the development project went all around the world in search of the new OS and finally chose Firefox OS.
Then, what decisive factors in the OS have made Mr.Kozuki do so? Kozuki explains, “Many people are feeling the future growth potentials of Firefox OS and the person whom I particularly trust strongly recommended the OS.” As a matter of fact, Kozukii made his research into the capabilities of Firefox OS by meeting the people from Qualcomm and other manufacturers who recommended the OS. Among what he gathered, endorsing comments from the people who had launched Android saying, “Firefox OS is something you can trust.” were most convincing. “To tell the truth, I had a discussion with people working on Tizen. They were from Intel but I was not impressed as much.” he commented.
It seems what he thought as the decisive reason for choosing Firefox OS was the fact that “It was an entirely new platform.” Tizen was organized through gathering such various platforms as Linux Foundation and Bada under one roof. Because the development environment was already available, it seemed possible to launch a service quite soon. On the flipside, however, he viewed that the platform had its disadvantage of being bound by its past, making it difficult to start something new on it. One could argue that Apple and Google are equally “bound by its past”.
In particular, the two companies have made such a huge global success that their experience has put them into the situation that restricts them from making innovative movements. In this regard, Firefox OS is a newly born platform that allows developers to try out new things. And because it has just been born, very little has been developed so far around it, making it inevitable to spare no time and effort in order to rise up to the challenge against other platforms. KDDI has made its stakes on Firefox at such costs and its future movements will continue to attract our attention.