Tech

Firefox OS Phones Will Launch In Nine Countries This Year

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs announced on Sunday, Feb. 24 that the first Foxfire OS phones will launch in nine countries later this year, with more countries soon to follow.

The first countries to receive Firefox OS are: Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, with Huawei following.

Firefox OS phones will come to the U.S. in 2014, Kovacs said.

The announcement was made both on Mozilla's company blog and through its presence at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. 

"Mozilla is excited to share that today 18 operators at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona announced their commitment to Firefox OS, which will power the world's first Open Web Devices," says Mozilla's blog.

The operators included in this list are:

  • América Móvil
  • China Unicom
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Etisalat
  • Hutchison Three Group
  • KDDI
  • KT
  • MegaFon
  • Qtel
  • SingTel
  • Smart
  • Sprint
  • Telecom Italia Group
  • Telefónica
  • Telenor
  • TMN
  • VimpelCom.

"The breadth of operators now backing Mozilla's Firefox OS demonstrates significant industry support for a fully-adaptable, unconstrained mobile platform," continues Mozilla's blog.

The manufacturers that Mozilla will be partnering with on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Firefox OS phones are: Alcatel (TCL), Huawei, LG and ZTE.

According to Mozilla, the Firefox OS phones will include "all the things people need from a smart phone out of the box." This includes such essentials as:

  • Calls, messaging, email
  • Camera
  • Built-in cost control
  • Social features with Facebook and Twitter
  • Location-based services
  • Firefox Web browser
  • New ability to discover one-time use and downloadable apps
  • Firefox Marketplace

Firefox Marketplace is a way for Mozilla to offer apps in the categories of games, news and media and business and productivity. Acquired apps are tied to the user and the user's online identity, allowing the apps to be taken across devices and platforms.

Two of the Firefox OS phones were put on display at the MWC, but as PC Magazine notes, of the two (Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Fire), only the ZTE Fire was used for demos, and it "wasn't entirely functional."

PC Magazine suggests there will be "an in-depth, eyes-on preview of Firefox OS on the ZTE Fire shortly."

"Firefox OS is an extension of the Firefox experience you know and love so you can expect all the security, privacy, customization and user control Firefox has always delivered," says Mozilla in its blog.

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