ZTE To Launch Firefox OS Smartphone To Compete With Android

By Jimmie Geddes email: j.geddes@mobilenapps.com | Jan 11, 2013 07:50 PM EST

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It seems like more and more companies in the mobile world want to reduce their dependency on Google's Android OS. Samsung recently confirmed it would be launching smartphones running on its own mobile OS, Tizen sometime this year. ZTE is the latest Android smartphone maker to announce that it will soon begin offering devices with an alternative to Android.

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ZTE is using Mozilla's Firefox OS in an upcoming smartphone that is expected to launch initially on European carriers and depending on sales, might bring the smartphone to the U.S. this year, according to Bloomberg when it spoke to ZTE CEO, Lixin Cheng:

"ZTE is seeking partnerships to offer devices with the new operating system to reduce its reliance on Google Inc.'s Android, which dominates the smartphone market with a 75 percent share of shipments, according to IDC. ZTE is expanding in mobile devices and cloud computing, where sales growth is faster than its traditional equipment business.

"We closely monitor the ecosystem and how it evolves," Cheng said. "If that is ready and if consumer studies support that data, then we may launch one in U.S. also this year."

Deutsche Telekom AG, Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Telefonica SA (TEF) have been developing an open mobile operating system powered by Mozilla to build out a range of cheaper smartphones and take on Android. Cheng didn't specify a European carrier partner."

It looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a year of mobile OS introductions. BlackBerry 10 will launch at the end of January, followed by Samsung launching a Tizen-OS smartphone, and now ZTE has pledged to support Mozilla's Firefox OS. Consumers will have more choices than the standard iOS, Windows- and Android-based devices they are used to. It remains to be seen whether any of these new mobile operating systems will even put a dent into iOS and Android's current market share, but it's nice to know there will be more choices.

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