Mozilla is quick out of the gate at Mobile World Congress 2013 as the company announces a number of important updates to its HTML5-only operating system – Firefox OS – and, most notably, a list of 18 carriers that have pledged their commitment to the ambitious project.
As Mozilla describe it, securing the commitment of 18 varied carriers “demonstrates significant industry support for a fully-adaptable, unconstrained mobile platform”. These carriers are América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN, and VimpelCom.
Mozilla has also announced its first official Firefox OS devices, manufactured by Alcatel (TCL), Huawei, LG, and ZTE. Initial Firefox OS devices will be available in markets that have little smartphone penetration to date, including Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and Venezuela.
From the offset, Mozilla is clearing focusing on these developing markets where the potential to establish itself and grow is, arguably, greater (and easier). As a consequence of this, the initial devices that run Firefox OS are reminiscence of early Android devices, both in size and specification.
On launch, Firefox Marketplace, Mozilla’s version of Google Play or the Apple App Store, will include the usual heavy hitters Facebook, Twitter, AccuWeather, and SoundCloud, as well as other classics like Cut the Rope, and Disney and EA games apps.
The first Firefox OS devices will be released later this year.