Firefox mobile Launch for Nokia N900 May be Near: Does Anyone Care?

Firefox may not be on more computers that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. But, there is no doubt that it is probably the most used browsers by technies on various desktop/notebook platforms. So, you might think that a headline like this one from the BBC might generate tremendous interest and anticipation…

Firefox for mobile ‘days away’ from launch

But, instead, I think it is generating a collective yawn. Here’s why…

1. Firefox mobile’s first support platform is the Nokia N900. Nokia’s first Maemo (Linux) based smartphone is strictly a choice of techie’s looking for a high-end unique device at the moment. It doesn’t even have a carrier to work with in the U.S. And, as ZDNet’s Matt Miller noted in a tweet yesterday, its price actually went up back to list price on Amazon just days before Christmas. This is not a device with wide adoption. So, very few people will be able to play with Firefox mobile.

2. The N900’s built-in browser is reportedly pretty good as is. So, I’m guessing the need to replace it is not very high.

3. Firefox is not fast on a reasonably fast desktop (I’m using it right now on a Core 2 Duo iMac). So, how fast will it be on a mobile device? And, FYI, don’t blame add-ons for my speed comment. I have exactly two add-ons installed in Firefox: Delicious Bookmarks and McAfee SiteAdvisor.

The Fennec project would have been much better off focusing on a platform like Windows Mobile which still has a reasonably large user population and a horrible built-in web browser. Even Android might have been a better platform choice despite the fact that it, like the N900, has a pretty good built-in browser. It has, at least, a larger user base.