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Spreadtrum Smartphone Selected to Showcase Firefox OS at Mobile Asia Congress 2012

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July 19, 2012

Spreadtrum Smartphone Selected to Showcase Firefox OS at Mobile Asia Congress 2012

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The world may have to wait until sometime next year until Mozilla's (News - Alert) Firefox OS hits store shelves throughout the world but, in the meantime, manufacturers like Spreadtrum Communications (News - Alert) will afford us with a look at the HTML5-driven platform. In fact, the Chinese fabless semiconductor provider was recently selected by Mozilla to showcase Firefox OS at its booth during Mobile Asia Congress 2012 in Shanghai, China.

The handset is based on Spreadtrum's 1GHz SC8810 smartphone chip and is therefore well-suited for demonstrating Firefox OS' ability to run well on lower-end hardware. Mozilla's first foray into the mobile market will initially be aimed at the value-oriented market as well as emerging markets in order to gain a foothold and as such, the OS is capable of running efficiently on devices running on single-core processors and limited amounts of RAM (News - Alert).

"Firefox OS is another major step at Mozilla to bring its core values — openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web — to users and developers on smartphone platforms," said Dr. Li Gong, CEO of Mozilla Online Ltd and Mozilla Taiwan, in a press release. "Our collaboration with Spreadtrum will help enable the power of this truly-open operating system to reach the billions of consumers in emerging markets who will be coming online as first-time smartphone users as well as existing smartphone users who are looking for greater value at lower cost."

The other major talking point for Firefox OS is its reliance on HTML5; the entire OS is built on the markup language, including all apps and games — even the dialer and SMS messaging app. This allows for a great deal of openness as all apps are capable of accessing the underlying capabilities of a phone, something that is typically reserved for native applications.

"This type of solution has generated a lot of interest from operators, as the open-source HTML5 platform can provide them with complete control over the handset experience. We expect that the appeal of this platform to our customers will grow as the HTML5 application ecosystem expands," said Yi Kang, vice president of marketing at Spreadtrum Communications. 

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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