Earlier this summer, Mozilla and its partners launched Firefox OS smartphones throughout Europe and South America. Though the mobile os certainly hasn’t displaced Android or iOS, the platform has evidently proved popular enough for manufacturers to keep on creating devices for it.
A DigiTimes report today revealed that Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE is already developing a next-generation of its ZTE Open Firefox OS device. The report cites a Sina report that quotes ZTE Vice President He Shy-yoy as confirming the company’s intentions to continue making Firefox OS devices. He also stated that ZTE expects to sell more than 200,000 ZTE Open devices.
Shy-you went on to state that ZTE’s second-generation Firefox OS smartphone (presumably and update of the ZTE Open) would ship to the U.S. sometime during the first half of 2014. The original ZTE Open is not available from U.S. mobile providers, though an unlocked version of the smartphone can be found on eBay.
As smartphones begin to saturate western markets, analysts have predicted that future mobile industry growth will be centered on emerging markets such ask Brazil, India, and China. In these markets, low-priced mobile devices make up a sizable poriton of sales. With cut-rate hardwre the norm, manufacturers may have to turn to outdated versions of Android or alternative operating systems that will run on low-end handsets. As one of these alternative platforms, Firefox OS could be well-positioned to end up more popular worldwide than other recent alternative mobile operating systems that tied their debuts to high-end smartphones.