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Will Firefox OS beat Ubuntu in smartphone sales?

Jim Lynch | Sept. 3, 2013
Today in Open Source: Firefox OS may be the Ubuntu slayer in smartphones. Plus: Four non-killing Linux games, and Tor usage increases over privacy concerns has a look at Firefox OS versus Ubuntu in the smartphone arena. While Ubuntu seems to be dragging its feet, the first batch of Firefox OS (around 2,000 phones) has already sold out.

The Ubuntu Edge smartphone today failed by about $19 million to make its $30 million Indiegogo funding goals, and the roughly 20,000 investors will receive refunds. Earlier this week, the first Firefox OS phone available in the U.S. and U.K. — the unlocked version of the low-end, 3.5-inch ZTE Open handset - sold out on eBay in three days.

Firefox OS Phone
Image Courtesy of

I can't say I'm surprised the first shipment of Firefox phones sold out. At just $80 the price is certainly right. Mozilla is not aiming at the high end of the market at all, they are making the Firefox OS phones affordable for just about everyone.

Ubuntu's phones apparently will not arrive until next spring or summer, thus giving Firefox OS a huge first mover advantage. A lot of the Linux folks I know said that they were more than willing to give a Firefox OS phone a shot, even though they already had other mobile phones. This bodes well for Firefox OS, it has a chance to steal away a certain number of Android users in particular.

Firefox OS is off to a very promising start, indeed. I suspect that the Firefox OS phones are probably already giving the folks at Canonical a bit of a headache since they probably counted on having to compete only against Android and iOS phones. But there's a new platform in town, and it's cheap enough that it's drawing a lot of attention from potential customers.

Four Linux Games That Don't Require Killing Anything also has an excellent article by Carla Schroder that covers four games for Linux that don't involve killing anything. These games are a refreshing change of pace from the usual shooters and blow em' ups that are so prevalent in gaming today.

I'm pretty much with Carla on this one, I got tired of shoot em' ups and that sort of thing a long time ago. It's not that they are bad, it's just that they've gotten very boring. I played a lot of them in my younger days, but I don't seem to have the attention span these days to run around and shoot things or blow things up.

It's nice to see non-shooter type games getting some attention on Linux.

We are blessed to finally see a lot of game development happening for Linux, so let's hope that we get a wide range of games offered that go beyond the usual stuff that's popular among some gamers.


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