Mozilla informed its employees Thursday (2 February) that it was closing its connected devices division, which was responsible for bringing the Firefox OS to connected devices like routers, streaming boxes and smart TVs.

According to reports, the layoff will affect as many as 50 employees. The non-profit organisation had about 1000 employees at the end of 2016.

In a statement issued to CNET, Mozilla confirmed the lay-off saying; "We have shifted our internal approach to the internet-of-things opportunity to step back from a focus on launching and scaling commercial products to one focused on research and advanced development, dissolving our connected devices initiative and incorporating our internet-of-things explorations into an increased focus on emerging technologies."

Ari Jaaksi, the senior vice-president of connected devices at Mozilla, is also leaving the team. He was responsible for exploring opportunities to advance Mozilla's mission across the increasing range of connection points on the modern internet. Last week Bertrand Neveux, director of the group's software, informed his co-workers about his departure.

Out of the 50 people, some might stay at Mozilla since they can apply for the new positions.

"People are the reason why we can get anything done -- this isn't lost on us -- and we did not make this decision lightly," said Mozilla.

Firefox was almost absent from phones and tablets, which accounts more web activity worldwide. According to web analytical firm StatCounter, Firefox's market share in January dropped to 14.9% on PC and 6.8% on all devices.