ZTE's first Firefox OS devices to launch in first quarter

The company also says it will launch Windows Phone 8-based smartphones later this year or early next.

The Mozilla Firefox OS in action.
The Mozilla Firefox OS in action. Mozilla

ZTE, one of China's most prominent handset makers, plans to launch smartphones running the new Firefox OS early next year.

Speaking today to reporters in China, the company said it will launch handsets running Firefox OS in the first quarter of 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, which was in attendance at the press event, the company didn't say how many Firefox OS-based smartphones it plans to launch, and offered no further details on the devices.

Mozilla announced its ZTE partnership over the summer . At that time, the company also named the operating system Firefox OS. The open-source platform uses Linux, but runs applications on a version of the Firefox browser. The goal, Mozilla says, is to "eliminate roadblocks for users and developers" by placing applications in the cloud.

When Mozilla first announced the operating system in February, the company had hoped the first devices would hit store shelves at the end of this year. Now, they're expected to follow ZTE's lead and land in early 2013. Brazil is expected to be the first country to get them.

In addition to investing in Firefox OS, ZTE confirmed today that it will also deliver Windows Phone 8 devices to customers. It doesn't plan to launch those handsets until the end of this year or early 2013.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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