This evening in the run up to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mozilla held its first keynote to detail its plans for the long-expected Firefox OS initiative. After first being detailed to the media in a series of media interviews and features in Europe during the last year, the foundation responsible for the Firefox browser is now ready to detail what Firefox OS will entail.
First Mozilla has announced that 17 carriers across the world have committed to releasing Firefox OS devices, with the first wave of devices being released in South America and Europe, including Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela with more markets being confirmed during the year. Carriers confirmed for the initiative include MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. Telstra has been announced as the latest carrier to support the initiative during the keynote.
Hardware partners confirmed to manufacture Firefox OS devices include Alcatel (TCL), LG and ZTE with Huawei also being confirmed tonight at the keynote, with respective release plans from each manufacturer to confirmed at a later date. Qualcomm is also playing a major role in the initiative by providing Snapdragon SoC designs and optimizations tuned for the operating system for maximum performance at the lowest possible hardware costs.
Alongside the confirmation of hardware, carrier and manufacturer partners for the Firefox OS initiative, Mozilla also detailed the “app store” for Firefox OS, the Firefox Marketplace and will offer apps in categories like games, news and media, business and productivity. These apps are tied to you and your online identity to take across devices and platforms without the need for synching or manual updates.
Firefox Marketplace will also include popular apps such as AccuWeather, Airbnb, Box, Cut the Rope, Disney Mobile Games, EA games, Facebook, Nokia HERE, MTV Brasil, Pulse News, SoundCloud, SporTV, Terra, Time Out and Twitter as well as personally-tailored and local apps to users in their respective regions where Firefox OS is planned to launch. Firefox Marketplace can be previewed on Firefox for Android Aurora and will be offered with the first Firefox OS phones to launch later this year.