Mozilla previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem, before the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Mozilla, is a not-for-profit organization, and Firefox OS will be both free, and open, paving the way to cheaper smartphones. However, the first wave of Firefox OS devices, scheduled to hit the shelves middle of this year, will not be available in the US, even though Sprint is working with Mozilla.
Mozilla is working with Alcatel (TCL), LG and ZTE to build the first Firefox OS devices, with Huawei to follow later in the year, all powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors. The company has also signed agreements with several content and service partners.
Gary Kovacs (CEO, Mozilla): Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere.
17 operators globally have committed to the open web device initiative, America Movil , China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. Telstra is using the Mozilla initiative to deliver a mobile Web experience.
Initial ‘first wave’ launch plans were announced by America Movil , Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Telenor, most seeing starts mid-year. Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela will see the initial devices based on Firefox OS.
Firefox OS smartphones are built entirely to open Web standards, enabling features to be developed as an HTML5 application.