By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 18, 2014 08:12 AM EDT
Mozilla has signed a number of new partnerships in Europe and Latin America, as part of an effort to expand the availability of its Firefox OS in more countries.
For those unfamiliar with Firefox OS, Mozilla's operating system aims to leverage the web in order to provide scalability, flexibility, and high customization options, while at the same time being free of any limits and restrictions related to proprietary mobile operating systems. The Firefox OS platform has grown since its debut, which prompted global and regional operators to keep pushing the OS in their markets.
"Firefox OS has emerged out of the 'other' category as one of the top platforms for the global smartphone industry," touts Neil Mawston, Executive Director of Global Wireless Practice (GWP) at Strategy Analytics. "Strong interest from major operators and hardware makers has enabled Firefox OS to make headway in key regions and challenge established software players."
Mozilla has now teamed up with Deutsche Telekom to release the new Alcatel OneTouch Fire E smartphone in Germany. Moreover, the company will also launch this device with the carrier in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Macedonia.
Telefonica has also announced that Germany is now the ninth country where it will offer Firefox OS phones, as O2 has already started pre-sales of Alcatel OneTouch Fire E. At the same time, ZTE is set to launch the Open C as the first Firefox OS smartphone to hit France later this month.
In addition to Europe, Mozilla is also expanding the reach of its Firefox OS devices to Latin America. Telefonica will offer Firefox OS devices across all of its Latin America markets by the end of the year and will expand to Central America in the next few months, followed by Argentina and Ecuador. Telefonica will also be expanding its Firefox OS lineup: after recently launching the ZTE Open C and Open II, it will soon offer the Alcatel OneTouch Fire C, with all phones running Firefox OS. America Movil, which brought Firefox OS phones to Mexico earlier this summer, will also expand its offering to Latin America by the end of the year.
Mozilla also plans to launch its Firefox OS devices in the Asia Pacific region by the end of the year, with Spice and Intex set to launch the first Firefox OS devices in India soon, in the ultra-low-cost category. Telenor also confirmed plans to release Firefox OS phones in Asia by the end of the year, while Taiwan's largest operator, Chungwa Telecom, has also announced plans to deliver Firefox OS in its markets.
Lastly, while the current Firefox OS phones are low-end, Mozilla is also working with partners to develop higher-end devices in more form factors, as the Firefox OS ecosystem continues to expand.