By Binu Paul email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 25, 2013 08:24 AM EST
The not-for-profit Mozilla organization has stepped into the world of mobile operating systems by launching its Firefox OS mobile platform that aims to take on Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
The Firefox operating system would eventually change the way people interact with mobile devices because it ditches the closed ecosystem. As the company terms it, Firefox phones will be the world's first 'open web devices' and these phones will essentially work just as a browser. As the OS is based on the open web, working on the HTML5-based apps will be just like visiting websites through a browser, opening them temporarily as apps and closing. In other words, users will be able to use the apps without having to install them.
According to Mozilla, 18 carriers have signed up backing the initiative and a couple of major manufactures including LG, Huawei Alcatel and ZTE have promised to rollout devices on the Firefox OS.
The first wave of Firefox OS devices will arrive this summer and will be available in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. Though the first phase of devices will land in emerging markets, Firefox smartphones are expected to hit the U.S. markets sometime later.
While Sprint remains to be the only one network that is familiar to American mobile phone users, the credibility factor of the new mobile OS is held high with the support of 17 other carriers globally such as América Móvil, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Telefónica , Hutchison Three Group, Telenor, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, China Unicom, Telecom Italia Group, VimpelCom, Telstra and TMN.
Mozilla will offer a set of familiar apps through its Firefox Marketplace as its 'open mobile ecosystem' goes live. The app list will include Twitter, Facebook, EA Games, Disney Mobile Games, Nokia HERE, AccuWeather, Box, Cut the Rope, MTV Brasil, SoundCloud and Airbnb.
"Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere," said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla, in a statement. "With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online," he said.
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