A Mozilla.org blog claims that industry support is growing behind Mozilla’s plans to launch a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML 5. The operating system, which Mozilla has now confirmed will use its Firefox brand, will power the launch of smartphones built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the devices’ capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications.
Mapping to key Firefox footprints around the globe, the report says that leading operators Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefnica and Telenor are all backing the open Firefox OS as an exciting new entrant in the smartphone marketplace, and have also identified the technology’s potential to deliver compelling smartphone experiences at attainable prices.
Device manufacturers TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE this week reportedly announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm Incorporated, a leader in smartphone platforms. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefnica’s commercial brand, Vivo.
The Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project which unlocks many of the current limitations of web development on mobile devices, allowing HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, previously only available to native applications. The blog says that thanks to optimization of the platform for entry-level smartphones and the removal of unnecessary middleware layers, mobile operators will have the ability to offer richer experiences at a range of price points including at the low end of the smartphone price range, helping to drive adoption across developing markets.
The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. “As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use,” says Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. “The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings.”
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