Mozilla Unveils New Line Of Firefox OS Devices

IT Management

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Mozilla stumbled upon a hit last year with its Firefox OS devices. The low cost of entry combined with a Web-friendly OS earned the alternative mobile platform a few million fans in emerging markets. Those emerging markets will continue to be important going forward, but Mozilla has set its aspirations a bit higher for the second year of Firefox OS.

At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla announced that it has partnered with even more hardware manufacturers to create a wide range of Firefox OS devices that will satisfy both spectrums of the market - those who desire affordable entry level devices and those who desire high-performance devices.

Future Firefox OS devices will be made by existing partners Alcatel and ZTE, alongside newcomers Huawei and LG. ZTE will be introducing successors to last year's phones with the Open C and Open II. Alcatel will be introducing a wide range of new devices with the Fire C, Fire E, Fire S and Fire 7 tablet. Huawei will be testing the waters with the Y300 while LG does the same with the Fireweb.

As an example, here's the ZTE Open C:

Mozilla Unveils new Line Of Firefox OS Devices

“We’re pleased to see the Firefox OS ecosystem grow so quickly as users, developers and partners come together to experience and build the future of mobile experiences,” said Andreas Gal, Mozilla Vice President of Mobile. “Firefox OS will continue to evolve and add more features to offer choice and customization that is unmatched by any other smartphone. We’re excited to see what other features and services will result from an open platform being contributed to by developers, partners and community around the world.”

All the new hardware will launch with a new version of Firefox OS that introduces tons of new features. Here's a partial from Mozilla:

  • Deep customization options for operators and manufacturers, developers and users. This includes the ability to create custom ringtones and replaceable home screens, which were direct requests from Firefox OS users.
  • A new universal search that will revolutionize how users discover content on their phones. The feature is available on any screen – simply swipe down from the top to find new apps, content or navigate to anything on the phone or the Web.
  • New navigation features to make multitasking intuitive, fluid and smart, much like how users interact with the Web. Users can easily swipe from the left and right edges to seamlessly move between pages, content and apps in a fun way that saves time.
  • Easy and direct sharing of content (and even software updates) in a secure way with NFC support, without the need for data or Wifi.
  • LTE support to make the mobile experience even faster.
  • Firefox OS will introduce Firefox Accounts and services. Firefox Accounts is a safe and easy way for users to create an account that enables them to sign in and take Firefox everywhere. With Firefox Accounts, Mozilla can better integrate services including Firefox Marketplace, Firefox Sync, backup, storage, or even a service to help locate, message or wipe a phone if it were lost or stolen.
  • The Firefox OS update will be rolling out in the near future. The new devices are either available starting today or will launch in the near future. As for a U.S. release, there's still no word of Mozilla's alternative OS moving out of emerging markets anytime soon.

    Image via Mozilla