Mozilla shares more details on Firefox OS and Firefox Marketplace, CEO anticipates U.S. launch in 2014Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Today was a big day for Mozilla, as it has revealed more details of Firefox OS and the first devices that'll come to market with its new mobile operating system. The first wave of Firefox OS-powered handsets are expected to launch in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, with carriers such as América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT, Sprint, Telefónica and Telenor already on board. Some operators have committed to launching Firefox OS products later this year. When it comes to the U.S., Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said that he expects to see Firefox OS phones in the U.S. sometime in 2014, but he declined to spill any other details.
Mozilla says that it's currently working with Alcatel, LG and ZTE to build Firefox OS smartphones, adding that it plans to partner up with Huawei later this year. So far we've seen the Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open shown off, both of which feature fairly entry-level specs. That's not entirely a surprise, though, since one of the focuses of Firefox OS is the ability to run on low-end hardware that can be launched in developing nations. Here are the spec details that we've got for the One Touch Fire and Open so far:
- Alcatel One Touch Fire: 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, 1GHz processor, 3.2-megapixel camera, 512MB storage, 256MB RAM, 2GB microSD card, 1,400mAh battery, seven color options, UMTS 900/2100 and 850/1900/2100 (supports up to 7.2Mbps download and 5.76Mbps upload), June 2013 launch.
- ZTE Open: This one's a bit more mysterious for now, but it's said to be packing a 3.5-inch HVGA display. A recent leak suggested that it'll also pack 512MB storage, 256MB RAM, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 1,200mAh battery.
On the software side of things, Mozilla also announced today that Firefox OS will launch with the Firefox Marketplace in tow. As you might expect from the name, the Firefox Marketplace will give users a place to discover and download HTML5 apps. There will be several different categories of apps represented in the Firefox Marketplace, including business, news and games, and Mozilla has confirmed that apps like AccuWeather, Facebook, Nokia Here, SoundCloud and Twitter will be in the Firefox Marketplace, along with software from EA Games.
Firefox OS definitely looks like it's making progress toward achieving commercially-available status. There are already several carriers and manufacturers that've voiced support for Mozilla's mobile efforts, and it sounds like Firefox OS users will have a decent batch of apps to choose from in the Firefox Marketplace. While it remains to be seen exactly how successful Firefox OS will be once it actually does launch, Mozilla does have the Firefox name going for it, which is a moniker that's fairly well-known thanks to the widespread use of Mozilla's web browser. Now that we've got quite a bit more information about Firefox OS and its upcoming hardware, what do you all make of Mozilla's work? Do you think it'll be able to succeed in the ever-growing world of mobile?