Mozilla previews Firefox OS with four phone makers and 18 operators onboard
The first phones will come from Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE
IDG News Service - Mozilla previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox operating system and announced several operator and smartphone rollout plans on Sunday at Mobile World Congress.
The OS is being pitched as a better alternative for low-end smartphones in developing markets and is built around applications written using HTML5.
The first phones using the OS are all powered by Qualcomm processors and will be offered by Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE starting this summer, according to Mozilla. Huawei Technologies will also come out with products later this year, it said.
ZTE will officially announce its first phone in Barcelona on Monday.
In addition to the phone makers, 18 operators are also lining up behind Firefox OS, including America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Japan's KDDI, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Telenor. The operators will first launch phones in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, they said.
Mozilla expects more phone makers and more markets to added going forward. The U.S. market will have to wait until 2014, it said.
For any operating system, the availability of apps and support from developers are both very important.
Mozilla said it doesn't need to build a new ecosystem for Firefox OS because it can take advantage of all the HTML5 developers already writing software. At Mobile World Congress, it demonstrated integration with Facebook and mapping based on Nokia's Here platform. Applications for the OS will for example be available on Firefox Market.
Considerable operator support underlines the desire for an HTML5-based alternative to iOS and Android, but the depth of commitment is unclear, according to CCS Insight. Success hinges on apps, attractive devices and operator subsidies, it said.
The real acid test for Firefox OS and its long-term prospects is the quality of the software itself and the user and developer experiences that it fosters, according to Ovum. However, it will be difficult to say whether it meets those needs sufficiently until we have seen retail devices.
"What is clear from the Firefox OS demonstration handsets that we have seen was that they are still some way from being market ready, being both slow and buggy," it said in a statement.
At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla has also joined forces with Ericsson and AT&T to show WebRTC, a framework that allows browsers to perform functions usually confined to mobile phones such as voice and video calls and messaging.
The joint demonstration builds on Mozilla's Social API and WebRTC support in Firefox, Ericsson's Web Communication Gateway and the AT&T API platform to enable the browser to sync with a user's existing phone number and provide calling services without any plugins to download.
WebRTC (real-time communications) is being standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The demonstration is taking place at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which opens its doors on Monday.
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com
- MWC: Dropbox CEO criticises Apple cloud lock-in
- Apple, Samsung and Google under fire at Mobile World Congress
- Five smartphone and tablet trends from Mobile World Congress
- TD-LTE goes mainstream with a new performance promise
- ARM's battery-saving technology debuts in tablet, smartphone prototypes
- Second wave of Windows 8 client promotions coming soon
- Firefox OS adds to pressure on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 OS
- Industrial sapphire might be your next smartphone display
- ARM still drives design for smartphones -- 1 billion in 2013
- German engineers deconstruct smartphones to find new uses
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts