ZTE To Launch Firefox OS Powered Smartphones In 2013

Written by  Harpreet | 10 January 2013
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firefox os phonesZTE, China's second biggest phone equipment manufacturer, is planning on launching a Mozilla powered smartphone in Europe later this year. Mozilla, known for its Firefox web browser, has been working on a smartphone operating system for quite some time now. Mozilla's operating system for smartphones is labelled Firefox as well. ZTE may also launch the same device in US this year.

Earlier in 2012, Mozilla previewed the Firefox OS to its partners at the company's San Francisco office. The operating system is a web based platform with applications and features written in HTML5. So it's simply a mobile browser and the apps that run on it are not tied to any specific operating system like iOS, Android or Windows Phone. Mozilla is looking at competing with existing high-end devices but the company will also help build cheaper alternatives to the existing Android smartphone marketplace.

Currently ZTE is in middle of inking deals with prospective partners to launch multiple devices based on Mozilla's operating system. The company currently sells Android based smartphones which dominate the market with a 75% market share of smartphone devices shipped worldwide. According to a press release from the company, ZTE is keen on expanding its mobile portfolio and grow its cloud computing roots. The company expects more revenue in these two verticals than in their traditional mobile equipment business.

firefox os phoneMozilla is reportedly working with chipmaker Qualcomm, TCL and ZTE on building smartphone devices. The company is highly optimistic about its software powering these devices. Mozilla expects to grab a decent market share of the smartphone market by the end of 2013. The Mozilla Firefox OS powered devices are expected to be much more affordable than their Android counterparts. Market analysts believe that Mozilla and ZTE could capture 1% of the smartphone market this year.

Samsung is currently the largest seller of mobile phones, globally. Their reliance on Google's Android powered smartphone devices seems to have paid off. The company was able to topple Nokia from its top slot by flooding the market with more Android devices. Samsung is also planning on selling smartphones with a new operating system called Tizen.

It's clear how big companies are now itching to move away from their dependence on Android operating system. Call it an experimentation or an honest move towards innovation - smartphone manufacturers are exploring their options.


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Harpreet is a technology journalist based in India. He currently writes on Mobile, Technology and Startups. He is an avid reader and a passionate writer. Prior to ToolsJournal, Harpreet used to write for a major English news daily.

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