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Monday, 25 February 2013 11:00

Mozilla issues Firefox phone

Written by Nick Farrell



Aiming at Android

Big Cheeses in the Mozzarella Foundation have released a new Firefox mobile operating system which they are hoping will kick Android in the nadgers. 

In a press conference ahead of Mobile World Congress, Mozilla said that 18 operators including Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, were signed up. Firefox phones are likely to be flogged in the developing world and Eastern Europe and will be at the cheap and cheerful end of the smartphone market. Manufacturers LG, ZTE, Huawei and TCL had all committed to building devices, with more firms "to follow".

The platform is based on the HTML5 web programming language which makes it a little more interesting. For a start it means that developers don't have to learn a new programming language to develop apps for the beast. At the beginning of the year, Mozilla revealed a partnership with Spanish firm Geeksphone, with handsets made available to developers.

While Firefox phones might be cheaper than Android versions, the outfit might have an uphill battle gaining acceptance – mostly because there are few apps for it. Ovum issued a statement saying that the Firefox operating system was "slow and buggy" in its current state adding that it could not "hide behind price as a justification for poor performance" when Samsung and Nokia had their own budget devices on the market.

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