According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Firefox OS will capture 1 percent (1%) share of global smartphone shipments in 2013. Firefox OS will target entry-level smartphone users, a segment currently dominated by Android.

Firefox OS is an emerging operating system for smartphones being developed by Mozilla. The platform is designed to be open-source, licensable, and relatively low-cost. Firefox OS supports HTML5 Web apps and it is gaining interest from several hardware vendors and operators, such as ZTE and Telefonica. We expect the first Firefox smartphones to launch commercially in Latin America or Western Europe in the first half of next year. We forecast Firefox OS to capture a niche 1 percent (1%) share of global smartphone shipments in 2013.

Firefox OS will initially target entry-level smartphone users, which is a segment currently dominated by the Android platform in almost all regions worldwide. Overcoming Android will not be an easy task. To expand beyond niche status, Firefox OS will need to address at least three main challenges; they are low brand awareness among smartphone consumers worldwide, a limited retail presence in the influential United States market, and a relatively modest ecosystem of supporting apps and services.

Our full Firefox OS smartphone forecast -- for an extensive 88 countries worldwide from 2013 to 2017 -- can be viewed by clients here.