Mozilla’s Firefox OS has received the biggest endorsement yet from a US carrier, as the foundation has announced a new agreement with Verizon Wireless that will see the carrier release Firefox OS-powered devices, which will include a variety of form factors, including flip phones, sliders, and slates in the future.
Previous to this partnership announcement, Sprint had been the only US carrier openly supporting Firefox OS at its 2013 debut, but the carrier had no plans to launch Firefox OS-powered devices despite expressing support before Mozilla pulled away from an official US launch later that year. Mozilla instead chose to focus on offering developer devices in the US market, with ZTE opening up a Ebay store to sell their developer devices directly to interested developers and consumers.
Below, comments from Mozilla and Verizon on the new partnership:
The goal of this initiative is to create a more intuitive and easy-to-use experience (powered by Firefox OS) for consumers around the world. The companies are collaborating to contribute to the Mozilla community and create a new range of Firefox OS phones for a 2016 launch in various form factors – flips, sliders and slates – that balance the simplicity of a basic phone (calls, texts) with the more advanced features of a smartphone such as fun applications, content, navigation, music players, camera, video, LTE, VoLTE, email and Web browsing.
Firefox OS was chosen as the platform for this initiative because it unlocks the mobile ecosystem and enables independence and innovation. This results in more flexibility for network operators and hardware manufacturers to provide a differentiated experience and explore new business ventures, while users get the performance, personalization and affordability they want packaged in a beautiful, clean and easy-to-use experience.
Rosemary McNally, Verizon Vice-President of Device Technology
Verizon aims to deliver innovative new products to its customers, and this initiative is about creating a modern, simple and smart platform for basic phones. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Mozilla and other service providers to leverage the power of Firefox OS and the Web community.