Firefox maker Mozilla to launch smartphone operating system
Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, will on Sunday launch its first smartphone operating system and the handsets on which it will run in a bid to shake up the mobile industry.
Aimed at the developing world, where Apple's iOS and Google's Android have yet to capture the market, Firefox OS will run on handsets made by Chinese companies ZTE, Alcatel One Touch and others, costing less than £100.
Networks from across the globe, including Telefónica, which is big in Europe and Latin America, as well as Sprint in the US and Etisalat in Africa and the Middle East, will use the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona next week to announce their launch plans for the Firefox phones. Working the floors to persuade the all-important apps producers to back his project will be the Mozilla Corporation chief executive, Gary Kovacs.
Mozilla receives $300m a year in return for making Google the default search engine on its Firefox browser, and one can imagine a similar arrangement for Firefox OS. This means Kovacs treads a difficult path; he is dependent on Google for 85% of Mozilla's income but is taking on Android. How does he square that?
"We didn't launch Firefox so everybody came over to it, we launched Firefox to show a way that put the user at the centre."