Firefox OS smartphones in development

2 Jul 2012

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TCL Communication Technology and ZTE are to manufacture devices carrying a new Firefox mobile operating system from Mozilla in an initiative backed by seven global mobile phone operators.

Mozilla plans to launch a fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML 5 to power smartphones built entirely to open web standards.

Building on Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project, a drive to enable the open web as a platform for mobile devices, Firefox OS will allow HTML 5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a smartphone, something that was previously only available on native applications.

Earlier this year, Telefónica’s digital unit joined forces with Mozilla to showcase a new phone architecture where every feature (calling, messaging, games, etc.) is a HTML 5 application.

Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are now backing the open Firefox OS, identifying its potential to create entry-level devices at accessible price points, which could help to drive adoption across developing markets.

Mozilla, advocate of the open web, is committed to ensuring the project is kept fully open and reference implementation of the required web APIs is being submitted to W3C for standardisation.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com