Mozilla's Firefox mobile operating system could be an Android killer in emerging markets.
In a bet that consumers want mobile devices with smartphone functionality without paying a premium for high-end models like the iPhone 5S or Samsung Galaxy S5, Mozilla unveiled the cheapest smartphone on the market at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb. 23.
Mozilla is promising free Geeksphone Keon preview phones to developers who port their HTML5 applications to its fledgling Firefox OS.
ZTE will begin selling its Firefox-based Open smartphone to U.S. and U.K. consumers via eBay. Priced at $79.99 and unlocked to enable use across all mobile networks, the ZTE Open will be offered in an exclusive orange color from the manufacturer's branded eBay storefront.
Mozilla is partnering with mobile payments and analytics firm Bango to offer operator billing options to Firefox Marketplace consumers.
Mozilla will deliver feature releases of its fledgling Firefox OS mobile operating system on a quarterly basis, concurrently pushing out security updates for the previous two feature releases every six weeks.
Geeksphone, the small OEM that introduced the first developer preview phones running Mozilla's new Firefox OS, is building the Peak+, a Firefox device targeting the consumer segment.
Mozilla is beginning regional rollouts of the Alcatel One Touch and ZTE Open, the first commercially released smartphones running the open-source software development initiative's new Firefox OS.
Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group plans to hire as many as 3,000 workers to support development of devices running Mozilla's fledgling Firefox OS. Foxconn "will do its best to develop the Kaohsiung [Taiwan] software center as the company's software powerhouse," the firm said in a statement. "There will be no budget limit for fostering software talent."
Mozilla and Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group will hold a joint press event in Taipei on June 3 to launch a new product running the open-source software development initiative's fledgling Firefox OS.