Mobile phone operating systems
An increasing amount of internet browsing occurs on smartphones. Choosing a mobile phone also involves choosing the operating system which will control it and through which the internet is accessed. Choices are limited. The table below shows which mobiles are compatible with the different operating systems. It only lists phones covered in our mobile phone guide.
In that guide, Fairphone was our Best Buy which unfortunately uses Android. Check the guide to see how the Firefox compatible brands compare.
Firefox OS - Alcatel, LG, Huawei, ZTE
Apple iOS - iPhone
BlackBerry 10 - BlackBerry
Windows - Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Huawei, LG
Android - Fairphone, Doro, Acer, Alcatel, Huawei, HTC, Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorola
Most of the companies that produce mobile phone operating systems are also involved in manufacturing, hence the scores of most of the companies on the table are poor in comparison to the other internet Product Guides. The exception is Firefox, which brought out an operating system in 2013. As of July 2014, that platform is available in 15 different countries and on eight different smartphone devices.
The Firefox OS is primarily designed for the low-cost end of the market and lower-income countries. The operating system has not been particularly well received, with commentators confused as to why customers would choose such a device when the price is currently not much different to well-established Android and Windows phones ($100). Of course, when considerations other than price are taken into account ...
Mozilla hopes to start selling its own smartphone for £15 later this year. But this begs the question as to how ethical such a cheap device could be.
This product guide is part of a Special Report on the Internet. See what's in the rest of the report.