Mozilla's brief courtship with the smartphone industry is no more. The Mozilla Foundation on Tuesday confirmed it is ceasing development and sales of Firefox OS smartphones but didn't rule out the possibility of retooling the operating system for use in other areas.
Ari Jaaksi, SVP of Connected Devices at Mozilla, said they were proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. Anything they build will be done so as a genuine open source project, Jaaksi added, that focuses on the user experience first.
Jaaksi continued, noting that Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the web as it scaled from low-end smartphones all the way up to HDTVs. The problem (and the ultimate reason for backing out of the smartphone market), he said, was that they weren't able to offer the best user experience possible.
Mozilla unveiled Firefox OS and its plan to tackle the entry-level smartphone industry in emerging nations in February 2013. Nearly 20 operators initially pledged support for the initiative yet as The Verge correctly points out, Mozilla was ultimately stymied by Android's rapid growth in the entry-level segment.
It also didn't help that Mozilla had unrealistic expectations of building a budget smartphone. The $25 Firefox OS smartphone it planned to sell in India and Indonesia was ultimately called off earlier this year.
Firefox OS isn't a total wash, however, as Jaaksi announced on Twitter earlier today that Mozilla will enter the Internet of Things space using technology from its mobile operating system. Jaaksi said Mozilla sees Firefox OS as the beginning, not an end.