At the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona, Mozilla has announced new partnerships with phone manufacturers LG and Huawei, with both companies planning to launch handsets for the new OS later this year. Shortly afterward, Mozilla also revealed that Sony has committed to launching a Firefox OS device in 2014.
Prior to these announcements, Mozilla already had dealings with Alcatel and ZTE, but the new partnerships should allow the company to offer a far wider variety of devices, which will mainly target emerging markets. Mozilla plans to make the first Firefox OS handsets available in Brazil, Columbia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and Venezuela.
In addition to its new partners the OS has already partnered with 17 operators including America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. The first operators expected to release devices will be America Movil, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, and Telenor, and Mozilla expects the launch to be sometime around “mid-year” with additional markets to follow.
Manufacturers Alcatel and ZTE already announced that they are building the HTML5-based OS on device’s suing snapdragon processors from Qualcomm, but neither company has yet to reveal a specific handset. Up to this point, the only Firefox OS devices that have been seen are the developer phones, which were revealed to the public a while back.
Despite the lack of information regarding these handsets, they are expected to hit markets mid-2013, and manufacturer ZTE is even considering a U.S. launch.