Mozilla to launch Firefox for phones

July 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 2 (UPI) -- Mozilla says it will launch Firefox OS as a standalone operating system for mobile phones in Brazil next year.

The first devices will be manufactured by TCL Communication Technology and ZTE, the California company said Monday. Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Telenor are backing the initiative, Mozilla said.

"Industry support is growing behind Mozilla's plans to launch a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5," a blog post on Mozilla's Web site said. The operating system "will power the launch of smartphones built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the device's capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications."

The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefonica's commercial brand, Vivo.

"The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers," Mozilla Chief Executive Officer Gary Kovacs said in a statement. "The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings."

Matthew Key, chairman and CEO of Telefonica Digital, said Firefox OS "will bring a better smartphone experience to a higher proportion of the population at a lower cost."

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