Monday, July 02, 2012

Android getting competition from an unlikely source

According to Wireless Week, The Mozilla Foundation announced today that it has partnered with some of the world's largest telecommunication companies on a new smartphone operating system built completely on HTML5, called Firefox Mobile OS. Although one of Mozilla's partners is Sprint, most of the participants are outside the U.S., including mobile operators Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor, and Chinese smartphone manufacturers TCL and ZTE. The new smartphones will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors, and the first launch is expected in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica's Vivo brand.

Firefox Mobile OS is intended to be an alternative for low-cost smartphones, with apps that are written in HTML5 and are portable across any Firefox OS device. Given that Sprint is the only U.S. carrier involved in the project, and that none of the major smartphone manufacturers have signed on, Firefox Mobile OS' primary impact, if any, will be in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia.
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