Mozilla Gets Hardware Makers, Mobile Carriers Onboard for Firefox OS Smartphones
February 25, 2013 4:34 PM
Devices likely won't come to the U.S. until 2014
Mozilla is looking to take Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems head-on with
its own Firefox OS
-- and a number of hardware makers and carriers are onboard to help make it happen.
Mozilla announced that hardware makers Alcatel, LG, ZTE and Huawei have agreed to make devices for Firefox OS. In addition 17 international carriers have committed to the new operating system as well, including América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN, and VimpelCom.
As you can see, Sprint and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile's owner) are the only two U.S. carriers that have agreed to join Mozilla on its new OS venture. AT&T and Verizon, the U.S.' top carriers, are not onboard.
Another issue Mozilla may face in the smartphone OS market is the fact that Samsung has declined to make hardware for Firefox OS. Samsung is the leader in Android-based hardware.
However, Firefox OS has a pretty good chance of competing with the likes of iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry with its current team of hardware makers and carriers. It also helps that Firefox is already a popular Web browser that people are familiar with.
"Firefox OS smartphones are the first built entirely to open Web standards, enabling every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application Web apps access every underlying capability of the device, bypassing the typical hindrances of HTML5 on mobile to deliver substantial performance," said Mozilla. "The platform’s flexibility allows carriers to easily tailor the interface and develop localized services that match the unique needs of their customer base."
The first wave of Firefox OS-based devices will be released in Brazil, Columbia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela starting this year. Other markets, including the U.S., will come later (likely in 2014).
The first commercial build of the OS will be available at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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