Mozilla has announced that the ZTE Open and Alcatel OneTouch fire will be the first in a batch of handsets to run the upcoming Firefox OS.
With Huawei and LG to follow, the initial devices will be appearing during the summer of this year, announced Mozilla at an event at MWC 2013.
The Firefox OS will be based on the same technology as the web, with every feature built like an HTML5 web app. Mozilla hopes that the ease and accessibility of the Firefox OS will be attractive to developers.
“There is no new ecosystem – if you’re developing for the web today, you’re already developing for Firefox OS,” said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s head of products.
“HTML5 is fundamentally important,” explained Qualcomm’s CEO Paul Jacobs. “What we’re trying to do here is fill the gaps so developers can get applications out, to help the developers build the applications that will run cross platform.
Developers will be able to distribute their apps directly to consumers, but there will also be a Mozilla Marketplace to access the apps. Mozilla aims to blur the lines between apps and the web, creating what it calls the open web device initiative.
“Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla. “Last year we shared the vision with you, this year we’re going to share the devices.”
“Mozilla is a group of people that believes we should be doing good for the web,” added Kovacs. “We’re on the edge of unlocking mobile. At the heart of Mozilla we are not driven by commercial profits. We are certainly not going to be alone. At the centre of a phone should be the web and the web is a level playing field.”
Both the ZTE Open and the Alcatel OpenTouch Fire will feature Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and 3.5-inch displays, set to target the lower ends of the smartphone markets with Firefox OS handset price tags of around £70.
The Firefox OS handsets will be available to consumers in developing countries like Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia and Venezuela first, with Spain also receiving the devices from launch. Other markets will be announced later.