Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs has shed light on the company’s release schedule for its Firefox Mobile OS.
Speaking at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference, Kovacs said the first phones will arrive in five countries in June this year, those being Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.
The launch will be followed by launches in at least 11 more countries by the end of 2013, but big markets like the United States and the United Kingdom probably aren’t going to get the phones until next year.
“We plan to launch in five countries in June and 11 more by the end of the year,” Kovacs said. “We plan to hit Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. … We’ll hit the U.S. in 2014.”
Kovacs said it is targeting the launch in smaller markets first as the majority of these early handsets will be aimed at the lower end of the market.
He added: “In Silicon Valley we tend to see the world through high-end devices, but that’s not true in the rest of the world. So in the short term, we’re launching in emerging markets where Firefox is particularly strong.
“It didn’t make sense for us to launch a version-one device around the world.”
The operating system was detailed in full at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, with several manufactures, including the likes of Sony, LG and ZTE pledging to build handsets for the operating system.
We got hands-on time with the first device, the ZTE Open, on the show floor in Las Vegas as well as a good look at the OS itself and weren’t hugely enthused.
“Are we disappointed? A little,” wrote Andrew Williams. “We weren’t expecting miracles, but at present the quality deficiency in Firefox OS doesn’t quite seem to be offset enough by the cost of the first Firefox OS handsets.”
Mozilla also has support from a number of the key players in the mobile market with Facebook, Twitter and games from the EA library among its arsenal of apps.
Kovacs himself announced his decision to step down from his role as Mozilla CEO just last week, but will still play a major roll in the global expansion of the Firefox Mobile OS or, as he put it, “guide Mozilla’s impact on the future of mobile”