Mozilla expands Firefox OS reach with new LG, Huawei partnerships, coming to 17 global carriers in mid-2013 launch

Mozilla expands Firefox OS reach with new LG, Huawei partnerships, coming to 17 global carriers in mid-2013 ...

Presenting the latest updates to its web-based mobile operating system,聽Firefox OS,聽at Mobile World Congress 2013, Mozilla announced today that it has expanded its range of handset partners, bringing aboard LG and Huawei (later this year) to expand the reach of its platform.

Mozilla聽already had Alcatel and ZTE aboard, but the Korean smartphone maker has joined the line-up, with Huawei聽also committing to the OS in emerging markets.

Demoing the first commercial build of Firefox OS, Mozilla announced it will make the first wave of handsets available to consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. The company has partnered with 17 operators, including聽Am茅rica M贸vil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telef贸nica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom to get them into consumers鈥 hands.

The first operators to release the devices will be Am茅rica M贸vil, Deutsche Telekom, Telef贸nica and Telenor, in what Mozilla says will be a 鈥渕id-year鈥 launch, with other markets following soon.

Device manufacturers TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE聽revealed back in January聽that they will offer the new FirefoxOS, using Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. ZTE continues to work on its FirefoxOS device,聽and is said to be mulling a US launch also.

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 12.47.11 PM

To make it easier for users to interact and enjoy their Firefox OS handsets, Mozilla has officially confirmed the launch of the Firefox Marketplace, offerings web-based apps and games without the need for dedicated installations. AccuWeather, Airbnb, Box, Cut the Rope, Disney Mobile Games, EA games, Facebook, Nokia鈥檚 HERE maps, Soundcloud and Twitter are already on board.

As for actual handsets, only 鈥渄eveloper preview鈥 phones have been shared with the public (aside from the above mockups). You can see the聽Keon and Peak phones聽here.

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For those wanting to see what Mozilla has planned, the Marketplace can be previewed in Firefox for Android Aurora, coming to the first Firefox OS phones later this year. You can also try out the OS for yourself in Mozilla鈥檚 simulator.

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