Global allies give Mozilla’s Firefox OS a mobile foothold

The Geeksphone Keon, a Firefox OS developer preview phone.

(Credit: Geeksphone)

BARCELONA, Spain–Laying the groundwork for its nascent Firefox OS, Mozilla has won over a sizeable list of allies including LG Electronics and China Unicom, and the first phones with the browser-based operating system should arrive in the second quarter of the year.

Mozilla announced today at the Mobile World Congress show here that it’s persuaded 18 mobile network operators and four mobile phone makers to back its open-source mobile operating system. That’s not enough to unseat the incumbent powers of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS slayer, but it is enough to ensure Firefox OS at least isn’t extinguished before it even hits the market in the second quarter.

The first phones should arrive in the second quarter of the year, said Mozilla Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich.

Mozilla won commitments to sell Firefox OS phones from these carriers: America Moovil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, TMN, and VimpelCom. Handset manufacturers on board are Alcatel, ZTE, LG Electronics, and Huawei, with a boost from chipmaker Qualcomm.

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