Mozilla’s plans for a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5 is gathering steam, with backing from several global operators. The operating system, which Mozilla confirmed will use its Firefox brand, 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.
Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are backing the open Firefox OS, says Mozilla. TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE have announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica’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, allowing HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, previously only available to native applications. Telefónica’s Digital unit joined forces with Mozilla earlier this year to take this work and showcase a new phone architecture where every phone feature (calling, messaging, games, etc.) is an HTML5 application.
Due to the 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.
Mozilla and all other participants are committed to ensuring the project is fully open and the reference implementation of the required Web APIs is being submitted to W3C for standardization.
[Image Courtesy: Mozilla]