Firefox phone to be revealed in weeks by ZTE

ZTE plans to reveal a "major new mobile device" in February, and it dropped a big hint that it'll run Firefox OS.

The first Firefox OS phone could be unveiled in less than a month. Chinese giant ZTE plans to reveal a "major new mobile device" at trade show MWC, and has dropped a big hint that it'll be Firefox-related.

ZTE hints at what we'll see by revealing the Twitter hashtags -- keywords used by people tweeting -- for industry shindig Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. Hashtag #ZTEGrandMemo refers to the oversized Grand Memo phone-cum-tablet, and #ZTEMozilla teases a partnership with Mozilla, the people behind Web browser Firefox.

Mozilla is also behind Firefox OS, a new operating system for mobile phones that's designed to be completely open. It's based on HTML5, the same language as the Web. So HTML5 apps will work across phones and computers, with none of the divisions imposed by Apple's walled garden for apps.

The first devices to use Firefox OS are the Keon and Peak, pictured above, but they're just test phones for app builders to develop apps. If ZTE do show off a Firefox phone at MWC, it's set to be the first you could actually buy yourself -- depending how near this is to hitting the market, of course.

The ZTE Grand Memo is a massive 5.7-inch phone to challenge the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Bigger and with more screen space than a phone, but smaller and more portable than a tablet, the Grand Memo has a 720p screen and a quad-core processor.

Are you excited about the potential for Firefox OS? Is there room in the market or are Android and iPhone just too powerful? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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