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Mozilla's Mobile Firefox OS Platform to Launch in 2013

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July 10, 2012

Mozilla's Mobile Firefox OS Platform to Launch in 2013

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor

Mozilla (News - Alert) plans to launch a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5 that will power the launch of smartphones built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the device’s capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications. Mozilla’s software platform, which is based on Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko (B2G) project, will be called Firefox OS when it launches on handsets in 2013.

The operating system will use Mozilla’s Firefox brand, and TCL Communication Technology and ZTE (News - Alert) will manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm Incorporated, a provider of smartphone platforms.

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 B2G project platform is built to run on entry-level devices, primarily for the developing world. The idea is to give feature phone users an affordable new device that will offer a more complete Web experience.

“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,” said 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.”

Unlike Android (News - Alert), Mozilla’s mobile operating system has been developed in the open since it was first announced. The code is published in a public repository as it is written, so there are no privileged parties who have more access or control than others. Mozilla’s platform also has a low barrier to entry for participation, making it more inclusive to independent contributors.

Third-party applications will be built largely with HTML and JavaScript, using open standards and the new Web APIs that Mozilla is working to turn into standards. Users will be able to install applications from Mozilla’s application marketplace and run them offline when connectivity isn’t available.

Mapping to key Firefox footprints around the globe, operators Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are backing the open Firefox OS as an exciting new entrant to the smartphone marketplace.

“Firefox OS will bring a better smartphone experience to a higher proportion of the population at a lower cost,” said Matthew Key, chairman and CEO of Telefónica Digital. “This is crucial for us to accelerate the adoption of smartphones in developing markets. The breadth of support for this initiative across the industry makes it clear that there is an opportunity in the market for a new, open mobile ecosystem.”

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC (News - Alert) Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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