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Android rival Firefox OS goes public in June, not in UK

Firefox OS is coming to five countries in June, but Mozilla revals the UK and US aren't among them.

Android rival Firefox Mobile OS hits phones in two months -- but we won't see it here for a while. Firefox-maker Mozilla has revealed plans to launch the mobile software in five countries in June, but we're not one of them.

Firefox OS will be available on phones in Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela in June. 11 more countries will follow by the end of the year, which are set to include Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Speaking at AllThingsD's D: Dive Into Mobile conference in New York, Mozilla boss Gary Kovacs revealed the mobile phone software would arrive in the US in 2014. There's no word on Britain's green and pleasant land, but we wouldn't hold our breath.

The reason for the delay in reaching the big markets? Firefox OS isn't aimed at us, basically. It's designed to offer a low-cost alternative to the likes of Android in emerging markets, allowing manufacturers and phone networks to customise their phones without becoming beholden to Google.

Firefox OS is just one of a number of low-cost Android alternatives racing to offer smart phones to emerging markets, the biggest -- or perhaps only -- growth area in the mobile industry today.

Other rivals include Tizen, backed by Samsung, and Ubuntu Touch OS. Ubuntu is the best of the bunch in terms of design, but is the only one yet to reveal big-name backers.

Firefox OS will appear on wallet-friendly phones built by ZTE and Alcatel, among others. 

Are you interested in Firefox OS and the other Android rivals, or has Google got the market sewn up? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.