At a press conference today at Computex 2013 in Taipei, Li Gong, CEO of Mozilla Taiwan, and Young Liu, General Manager of Foxconn innovation Digital System Business Group, unveiled a new tablet prototype model designed for an unnamed OEM.
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Further details remain scarce, as no specs or price points were revealed. However, in a Q&A session, Mozilla stated that it was optimistic that its HTML5 OS would help it position itself in both developed markets and emerging ones.
In addition to unveiling the tablet in question, Foxconn and Mozilla stated they are working on at least 5 devices, and stressed that their partnership wouldn’t be limited to smartphones and tablets. Foxconn’s broad portfolio, the firms stressed, put it in a prime position to extend Mozilla’s OS into television screens or signage.
When asked what these developments meant for Foxconn’s status as a brand, Li and Liu stated that Foxconn would remain a manufacturer, not a brand, and the purpose of the collaboration is to optimally integrate of Mozilla’s OS with hardware. Details related to specs and marketing will be left to the OEMs.
The partnership marks a turning point as both firms attempt to move beyond their flagship products and services. Mozilla is continuing to push its vision for the mobile Web via its mobile OS — which includes a starry array of partnerships — while Foxconn is diversifying its business beyond manufacturing devices for consumer brands.
Last February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the firm officially announced the mobile OS and deals with LG, ZTE, Huawei, and others to roll out devices to markets in Latin America and Europe.
Since then, the first manufacturer to bring the OS to physical reality was Geeksphone, the relatively unknown Spanish hardfirm which released developer versions of two smartphones in April. The ‘Peak’ and ‘Keone’ proved to be popular, with initially batches selling out in hours.
Foxconn, meanwhile, has made efforts to broaden its portfolio beyond making devices for Huawei, ZTE, and most famously, Apple. It was recently discovered that Apple’s largest supplier is no longer Foxconn, but instead Pegatron.