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Manufacturers, Carriers Supporting Mozilla's Firefox OS

By - Source: Mozilla | B 14 comments

Mozilla's HTML5-based mobile OS is now officially Firefox OS. Surprised? Umm no.

Mozilla on Monday announced that the first devices to feature its Firefox OS mobile platform will be manufactured by TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel) and ZTE. The mobile OS will also initially be supported by global network operators including Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and Telenor.

"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."

As the name indicates, Mozilla has chosen "Firefox OS" as the official name of its HTML5-based mobile OS. Devices based on this full open mobile ecosystem will be built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the device's capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications. As an example, Telefonica’s Digital unit teamed up with Mozilla earlier this year to showcase how calling, messaging, games and more are performed as HTML5 applications on mobile devices.

"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," Mozilla said.

So what does this mean to the end-user? Mozilla expects this new platform to drive entry-level smartphones to the masses -- especially developing markets -- as manufacturers will be able to offer a "richer" experience for the low-end buck. Of course, the mobile OS will be ideal for mid-range and high-end devices as well, serving as a fierce competitor to Google's (also open-source) Android OS.

The big factor here, and this is just speculation, is that Firefox OS will be big with manufacturers and developers because fragmentation shouldn't be an issue. There will be some fragmentation to a degree, but not as seen with Android because the HTML5 framework should work on most smartphone hardware sets. That means developers will be able to crank out one app, and not have to worry about tweaking it for multiple OS versions and innumerable hardware platforms.

"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," the company said.

Just recently Mozilla brought Firefox for Android out of beta, a move that seemingly signals the upcoming launch of Mozilla Marketplace, its HTML5-based app storefront. Prior to that, the company launched a closed preview of Mozilla Marketplace which allows customers to download and install HTML5-based apps directly into the Windows desktop like any other piece of software.

With these three factors lining into place, it looks as if Mozilla is gearing up to launch a full-scale attack on the Android and iOS platforms. So far the only thing missing is actual consumable multimedia -- maybe that will come in time as the platform grows.

The first Firefox OS devices will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC and are expected to launch in Brazil in early 2013 via Telefónica's Vivo service, Mozilla said.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    olaf , July 2, 2012 4:16 PM
    its going to a long while till it will catch up to iOS and Android. Android is just now begining to become a polished clean OS.

    PS: If you ave a custom rom from some shitty carrier don't whine that it fucks up, my carrier free stock one never gave me any gripes.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    olaf , July 2, 2012 4:16 PM
    its going to a long while till it will catch up to iOS and Android. Android is just now begining to become a polished clean OS.

    PS: If you ave a custom rom from some shitty carrier don't whine that it fucks up, my carrier free stock one never gave me any gripes.
  • 2 Hide
    Marco925 , July 2, 2012 4:32 PM
    I think they shoulda shortened it to FOS, in a tribute to FOSS (Free open source software)
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    house70 , July 2, 2012 4:42 PM
    This should be the beginning of a true BYOD OS (bring your own device). If this can be installed on any platform out there (with the help of the manufacturers that provide drivers), then I see no reason why this won't catch up.
    Unless, of course, some patent troll tries to shoot them down with some "square with round corners"-style patent suits.
  • 1 Hide
    amdfangirl , July 2, 2012 4:57 PM
    This is brilliant news! I can't wait for it to release. I've been holding out with my dumb phone for a while because of Android's fragmentation and Google tracking.

    Gaia looks very pretty. Ran it in a VM.

    If you are interested in trying Firefox OS, instructions are here for VM and bare metal. https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Mozilla/Boot_to_Gecko
  • 1 Hide
    southernshark , July 2, 2012 5:11 PM
    I'd love to have a phone set up for this.

    Maybe RIM could use this for a version of the BB. I like the BB torch but hate the BB OS, if that makes sense.
  • 2 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 2, 2012 5:49 PM
    I have ones question:

    Are there any phones or tablets that allow dual or triple boot?...
  • 0 Hide
    koga73 , July 2, 2012 5:57 PM
    I hope it renders the same as Firefox for desktop because as a developer I can tell you that when we build a mobile site we only test its rendering on the device browser not third party mobile browsers.
  • 2 Hide
    clivene09 , July 2, 2012 5:58 PM
    A Bad DayI have ones question:Are there any phones or tablets that allow dual or triple boot?...


    HP Touchpad comes to mind. Theoretically I would imagine CWM would make it possible on any phone that has 2 different OS that will run on it.
  • 1 Hide
    lathe26 , July 2, 2012 6:29 PM
    Fragmentation still -could- happen. For example, Java, in spite of all the hype in its day, suffered from "write once, debug everywhere". Not predicting fragmentation, just saying it could happen.
  • -4 Hide
    belardo , July 2, 2012 8:31 PM
    Mozilla: can't come up with anything original. Copies Opera, copies Chrome. Changes a font which means ff6 is released.

    And yeah.. who knows... RIM is already a stupid company, maybe they will stick on ffOS on their devices rather than Android or MS.

    So how is ffos any better than ChromeOS?
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , July 2, 2012 9:26 PM
    belardoMozilla: can't come up with anything original. Copies Opera, copies Chrome. Changes a font which means ff6 is released.And yeah.. who knows... RIM is already a stupid company, maybe they will stick on ffOS on their devices rather than Android or MS.So how is ffos any better than ChromeOS?

    Mozilla copies Opera? Might want to look at history.... Opera copied Mozilla by creating a web browser. Mozilla is the same group that created Netscape long before Opera ever existed.
  • -2 Hide
    ta152h , July 2, 2012 10:12 PM
    sykozisMozilla copies Opera? Might want to look at history.... Opera copied Mozilla by creating a web browser. Mozilla is the same group that created Netscape long before Opera ever existed.


    Firefox has been copying Opera ever since. And so has everyone else for that matter. That's not necessarily bad though. I personally prefer Opera to Firefox, like most people that have used both, but I like Firefox too, and if Opera gets eaten by Facebook, Firefox will be my browser of choice.

    I think this is a great idea for them, and I hope it works well. Firefox might not be anyone's favorite browser, but it doesn't seem to be anyone's least favorite browser either. It's a good solid product that does what it's supposed to do, and if their OS does the same, they'll have a winner.
  • -3 Hide
    heresiarch , July 2, 2012 11:43 PM
    house70Unless, of course, some patent troll tries to shoot them down with some "square with round corners"-style patent suits.


    Unless, of course, Apple tries to shoot them down with some "square with round corners"-style patent suits.

    There, fixed it for ya!
  • 0 Hide
    jaksun5 , July 3, 2012 9:56 AM
    Sounds like webOS but open source...
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