Mozilla confirms plans to release Firefox phone this year

By Danny Palmer
11 Jan 2013 View Comments
Mozilla Firefox icon

Mozilla, the software firm behind the Firefox internet browser, has confirmed it's to enter the smartphone market later this year.

Chinese mobile device manufacturer ZTE is among the firms Mozilla is working with, as the Firefox developer looks to produce a web-based, open source mobile to compete with the likes of Google, Apple and RIM.

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"We have announced Firefox OS partners including device manufacturers like TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel) and ZTE; chipset manufacturer Qualcomm; network operator partners like Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica," said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla VP of products. 

"Telefónica has announced plans to ship devices in Latin America in 2013. While we have no further announcements at this time, interest and momentum continues to grow in Firefox OS."

Mozilla confirmed a Firefox smartphone would be released in Europe this year but has given no specification or pricing details.

Meanwhile, the firm's plans to enter the US market could be complicated by the fact that the US Congress last year labelled Mozilla partner ZTE, along with fellow Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei, a security threat.

The most recent entrant to the smartphone market is mobile start-up Jolla, which last November revealed Sailfish, a Linux-based operating system designed to compete with IoS, Android and Windows Mobile. 

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