Telefónica will launch the first smartphone carrying the new operating system by the company behind the Firefox web browser next year.
Mozilla's Firefox OS, which was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year under its former name of Boot to Gecko, will launch in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica's commercial brand Vivo. The OS will target the lower end of the price spectrum and developing markets, as it is optimised for entry-level smartphones. Firefox OS will allow manufacturers to develop capabilities through web-based applications, rather than conventional apps.
While Telefónica Digital joined with Mozilla earlier this year to develop the project, more companies have backed the new ecosystem. Alcatel One Touch and ZTE will both make devices running the OS and operators including Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Telenor also praised the new entrant.
Telefónica Digital chairman and CEO Matthew Key said: 'Firefox OS will deliver a higher performance than current low-cost smartphones can achieve, enabling more people to benefit from a better experience. This is crucial for us to accelerate the adoption of smartphones in developing markets. The breadth of support for this initiative across the industry makes it clear that there is an opportunity in the market for a new, open mobile ecosystem.'
Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said: '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.'
Editor: Graeme Neill