UK left out of Mozilla launch plans

UK left out of Mozilla launch plans
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UK consumers will have to wait to get their hands on smartphones running Mozilla's next Firefox OS after the region was left off the list of launch countries.

The phones, which will be built by Alcatel, LG and ZTE, will go on sale in nine countries by the summer, supported by 17 operators. Huawei will bring its first Firefox OS handsets later in the year.

A UK launch is expected, with both Carphone Warehouse and O2 among those calling for greater access to sub-£100 smartphones to help grow the market.The devices are based on the popular web browser and run web based HTML5 apps, which Mozilla said drives down the cost of the handset.

Operators supporting the device said it would lead to the end of 'walled gardens ecosystems' and provide greater competition in a market dominated by Apple and Android.

While consumers will be able to buy apps from a Firefox marketplace,they can also buy the apps direct from developers themselves. Because the apps are web-based, users will be able to search apps that they have not installed. For example, movie information could be discovered through searching the IMDB app, even if it is not downloaded.

Gary Kovacs,CEO of Mozilla, said: 'Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open web to mobile USA everywhere with the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online.'

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