If Firefox chose the MWC to launch its operating system for mobile devices, it was left for the Computex event to showcase the first tablet based on the Firefox OS. The launch was also accompanied by the announcement of a new strategic alliance between Firefox and Foxconn with the latter contracted to develop a host of devices based on the Firefox OS including the tablet. However, both declined to name the OEM for whom the devices are being assembled.
The Firefox operating system that is based on HTML5, along with a host of other open web technologies, has already attracted the attention of several manufacturers who have committed themselves into developing hardware based on the OS.
“At Mozilla we see the open Web as the biggest and the best platform for the mobile world. The Firefox OS initiative helps solidify open Web standards for mobile computing; it also encourages and enables more openness in system integration and device interoperation. This cooperation demonstrates the full potential of Firefox OS, the open Web mobile operating system, to enable not only the smartphone but also a wide range of mobile devices,” said the SVP of Mobile Devices, President of Asia Operations, and CEO of Mozilla Taiwan, Dr. Li Gong.
As per information currently available, at least 5 companies—Alcatel, TCL Communication Technology, LG Electronics, ZTE Corp, and Huawei Technologies—have confirmed they are developing devices running the Firefox OS. However, other top tier companies like Samsung has ruled out any devices running the Firefox OS so far though Sony Mobile has evinced interest in developing a Firefox OS based device in future.
Dr. Li Gong was quoted saying, “The (major) operating systems in the market now are not doing good enough…the Mozilla solution will complement what other operating systems lack, such as Android in native mode. There is currently no solution based on HTML5 and open Web technologies.”
Firefox is a browser based operating system, which means the apps run on a browser foundation. What remains to be seen is how well it will be able to compete with the well established operating systems such as Android and iOS in the market.
As for the tablet, neither Firefox or Foxconn revealed what the internals of the device will be like. Instead, it has been left to the OEM to revealed the specifications at a later date.