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ZTE is one of the first major OEMs to plug Mozilla's fledgling OS

We've heard about the upcoming Ubuntu OS, a would-be Linux competitor to Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android, which is set to launch in 2014.  While it's faded off the radar of some, the Mozilla Foundation is crafting a Linux OS of their own, dubbed Firefox OS.

First announced in summer of 2011, it sounds like the Mozilla operating system will finally be landing on commercial devices this year or early next year, with the help of Chinese smartphone and telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. (SHE:000063).

As we wind up towards Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC), ZTE teased at two new smartphones -- one of which the teaser suggests will be running the Mozilla OS. Mozilla launched developer handsets of its upcoming OS, manufactured by small up-and-coming OEM "Geeksphone".  ZTE phones have already been spotted running test builds of the upcoming OS.

The new Mozilla OS makes heavy use of HTML5 in its user interface and core apps; more so than in Android.  Like Android there's a fair amount of Javascript to go around, too, though and other web-centric languages.

Additionally, ZTE teased at and then showed off (to Engadget and others), a "phablet" (a phone-cum-tablet) dubbed "Grand Memo".  The 5.7-inch device is "only" 1280x720 pixels, but it does pack a 13 megapixel camera, quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro by Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), and Android Jelly Bean (4.1.2).  Despite being a slender 8 mm thin, it's able to squeeze in a microSD slot for expandable memory, as well.

ZTE Grand Memo
ZTE Grand Memo [Image Source: Engadget]

ZTE is also reportedly cooking up one of the first Windows Phone 8 phablets, a 5.9-inch monster dubbed "Blade 8".  Sporting stylus support, Blade 8 may not land until after MWC, though, and was not in the teaser.

Sources: NeoWin, Engadget





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