Mozilla previewed at the Mobile World Congress its Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem and announced that 17 operators worldwide have committed to its open web device initiative. Mozilla said it's working with manufacturers Alcatel, LG and ZTE to build the initial wave of Firefox OS devices, with Huawei to follow later in the year. Just after the announcement, Sony said it will be releasing a Firefox OS phone by 2014. Mozilla demoed at the Barcelona, Spain trade show small, low-end devices from ZTE and Alcatel. The first wave of Firefox OS phones will arrive mid-year.
What Else You Need To Know
- Firefox OS smartphones will be first built entirely to open Web standards and use HTML5-based applications that run on technology shared with the Firefox browser.
- Mozilla has all the bases covered, also confirming that strategic relationships have been signed with key content and service providers in order to provide a dynamic and rich smartphone experience to Firefox OS users.
- Mozilla claims to have 500 million users of its free and open source web browser.
- The ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire showcased at the MWC both feature 3.5-inch HVGA displays, 3.2MP rear cameras and 1GHz single-core Qualcomm CPUs.
- Carriers that have committed to Firefox OS include Europe's Deutsche Telekom and Telenor, Latin America's Telefonica, and Sprint.
The fact that the carriers are lapping this up represents a moment of supreme irony: these are the same companies – largely former monopolies – that were all about walled gardens, the companies that wanted to replicate the portal-first, AOL model in the wireless world. And what happened to break up that scenario? Apple happened.- David Meyer, GigaOM
Somewhat reminiscent of WebOS, Firefox OS is all about using open web standards, making it easy for web developers to program apps for the OS.- Andrew Grush, Mobile Magazine
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