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Firefox OS To Launch In Another Nine Countries In 2013

Network operators love Mozilla’s open source OS

On by Max Smolaks 0

Mozilla has announced that the adoption of its Firefox OS is beating expectations, and smartphones running the new mobile operating system are due to launch in another nine markets across Europe and Latin America before the end of the year.

Mozilla’s partners – Telefonica and Deutsche Telecom – have started selling first devices running the new OS, Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open, in Spain, Venezuela, Colombia and Poland in July. The ZTE Open is also for sale on eBay in the US and the UK, where it sold out in less than a week. The phone has since been restocked, and is available for £59.99.

Take over the world

Announced in 2012, Firefox OS (previously known as Boot to Gecko) is an open source operating system for phones, created in HTML5. Mozilla’s CTO Brendan Eich previously described it as the perfect choice for customers in the developing markets.

Firefox OS AlcatelThe OS features built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities, and comes pre-installed with the Firefox Web browser. The Firefox Marketplace built for the platform currently hosts more than 2,000 apps.

Yotam Ben-Ami, director of Open Web Devices at Telefónica, said that the first launches have surpassed the network operator’s expectations, and the new OS will be introduced in Brazil and three Latin American markets in the next three months. Further launches will be announced in 2014.

Deutsche Telecom is due to start selling Firefox OS phones in Germany, with Greece and Hungary next on the list. Meanwhile, Telenor has confirmed plans to offer new devices in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro before the end of the year.

New phones will arrive with the latest version of Firefox OS (1.1), which includes many performance improvements and new features like MMS messaging.

“This growth underscores operators’ strategic commitment to the platform and their satisfaction with consumer adoption to date. It is striking that the Firefox OS is entering its second phase of expansion at a time when other aspiring third smartphone platforms continue to struggle for position, scale, and sustainability in the competitive market,” commented John Jackson, vice president at IDC Research.

“The platform continues to add new features that are appropriate for its target markets, striking a balance between value to consumers and affordability. Perhaps more importantly, Firefox OS continues to attract new apps and content partnerships. These are like lifeblood for a platform and should further help drive consumer adoption and spur innovation in developer communities around the Web.”

“The positive market reception of the first Firefox OS smartphones demonstrates that people like the user experience and openness we’re building with Firefox OS,” said Jay Sullivan, COO at Mozilla. “We continue to enhance Firefox OS to deliver the best experience for the many people around the world buying their first smartphones.”

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Max Smolaks
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