Mozilla teams up with Foxconn to debut a Firefox OS tablet?

The two companies invite the press to the unveiling of a new device on June 3, which has rumors flying that a tablet running Firefox OS may be on the horizon.

The opening screen of Firefox OS running on a Geeksphone Keon. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Mozilla and Foxconn have sent around an press event invitation that declares that the two companies will be debuting a new device that runs on a Firefox operating system, according to Focus Taiwan. The event is to take place on June 3.

Someone with knowledge of the matter told Focus Taiwan that the new product will most likely be a tablet. Rumors have surfaced lately that Mozilla has been working on a Firefox OS tablet, especially since the company recently debuted two smartphones running on the operating system.

In April, a small Spanish company called Geeksphone began selling the two Mozilla smartphones , which are currently geared for developers who want to build apps for Firefox OS.

Laying the groundwork for its nascent Firefox OS, Mozilla has already won over a sizable list of allies including LG Electronics, China Unicom, America Movil, ZTE, and Deutsche Telekom. Mozilla announced in February at the Mobile World Congress that it persuaded 18 mobile network operators and four mobile phone makers to back its open-source mobile operating system .

While these partners don't necessarily have a big foothold in the U.S. market, Firefox OS is geared chiefly for more-budget-conscious regions.

Mozilla, a nonprofit organization best known for its widely used Firefox Web browser, isn't like other competitors. It uses its software not to please shareholders but rather to foster openness on the Web. However, Mozilla is hamstrung because Firefox has very little presence in the fast-growing mobile market.

Firefox isn't allowed on iOS, and it's not the default on Android, which means Mozilla has little leverage in charting the course of the Web. So, it makes sense that the company is partnering with manufacturers and looking to jump into making its own devices.

CNET contacted Mozilla and Foxconn for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

 

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