Mozilla Is Moving Quickly Ahead with Firefox OS Phones

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 03, 2012

The Mozilla Foundation is moving ahead with its plans to become a big player in the smartphone business, and is retaining its focus on emerging markets, according to a new post. We've previously covered the company's Boot to Gecko platform -- an open, web-centric operating environment centered on the Gecko rendering engine -- and we covered Mozilla's alliance with Telefonica and Qualcomm to develop smartphones based on Boot to Gecko. In the latest post, Mozilla stresses that its smartphones will be based on open standards, and there are new details about how they will be positioned.

According to the Mozilla post:

"Industry support is growing behind Mozilla’s plans to launch a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5. The operating system, which Mozilla today confirmed will use its Firefox brand, will power the launch of smartphones built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the device’s capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications."

"Mapping to key Firefox footprints around the globe, leading operators Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor  are backing the open Firefox OS as an exciting new entrant to the smartphone marketplace. They have also identified the potential of the technology to deliver compelling smartphone experiences at attainable prices."

What really jumps out of this missive is the impressive list of telecom partners that will be backing Mozilla. If Mozilla can become entrenched in Latin America with Telefonica alone--one of the biggest telecom giants--it will have momentum as it launches its smartphone strategy.

There are also important new hardware details:

"Device manufacturers TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE today announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon™ processors from Qualcomm Incorporated, the leader in smartphone platforms. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo."

If you doubted Mozilla's seriousness about smartphones before, it's time to change your stance. Judging from the post, Mozilla means to heavily emphasize the Firefox brand with its smartphones, and HTML 5. And, the company has also made clear that new smartphones will come in at very low prices. This should be something to watch.