Menu
Firefox OS coming to US, developed markets in 2016

Firefox OS coming to US, developed markets in 2016

Mozilla and telecom carriers see demand for high-end flip phones

Firefox OS, the smartphone operating system from Mozilla targeted at low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, is coming to more developed markets.

A new project with carriers in the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Spain will see high-spec phones developed for release in 2016. But rather than challenging Android and iOS head on, the project will target something that's been largely out of fashion in recent years: flip phones and sliders.

Andreas Gal, chief technology officer at Mozilla, said some customers like the older form factors but choosing them often means being stuck with an old operating system that has none of the flexibility of a modern smartphone OS.

"Development of feature phones has essentially stopped, said Gal. "This project will bring a modern smartphone OS into this market."

The Mozilla project, announced on Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, counts Verizon Wireless, KDDI, LG uPlus and Telefonica as members.

Together, they will design entry-level phones that feature modern specifications like support for apps and high-speed data. A key part of the project will be support for LTE data networks, called 4G by some carriers, and VoLTE, which is a new technology for running voice calls over the data network.

Mozilla's Firefox OS is open source so it can be adapted and customized for different screen sizes and resolutions, said Gal.

Firefox OS is already being used in about 16 phones in 30 countries, although mostly on low-end smartphones. The sole exception is Japan's KDDI, which last year launched a high-spec smartphone called the Fx0. The phone has a distinctive see-through case and includes features that haven't appeared on Firefox phones in the past, including LTE and a chip for NFC contactless networking.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesoperating systemssoftwaremozillalgconsumer electronicsKDDIVerizon WirelessTelefonicaMWC

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments