Carriers back Mozilla's Firefox OS to rival Android
Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and Sprint on board
Mozilla claims Firefox OS previously known as 'Boot to Gecko' has gained the support of O2's parent company Telefónica, T-Mobile's owner Deutsche Telekom and US carrier Sprint, amongst others.
Hot on HTML5
Firefox OS is designed to "unlock many of the current limitations of web development on mobile", allowing HTML5 applications to access a phone's underlying capabilities usually restricted to native apps.
Mozilla's aim is to remove what it describes as unnecessary middleware layers for those working with the platform by basing it in HTML5, enabling carriers and manufacturers alike to deliver handsets sporting 'rich experiences' at a lower price.
It's an open strategy that could see Firefox OS go toe-to-toe with Android in developing markets
Indeed, Telefónica is set to launch the first Firefox OS devices in Brazil in early 2013 through its local brand Vivo, with ZTE and Alcatel One Touch pledging to deliver handsets powered by Snapdragon processors.
A low blow
"The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web for users and developers," said Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.
"As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use.
"The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings."
Firefox OS sits alongside Mozilla's recently unveiled browser-based Mozilla Marketplace for HTML5 apps, with titles showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona back in February.