Firefox OS-based phones coming to nine countries this summer

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Firefox OS-based phones coming to nine countries this summer
Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs has announced that phones based on the Firefox Mobile OS will launch this summer in five countries. These countries are Spain, Portugal, Poland, Brazil and  Venezuela.

Speaking at AllThingsD's Dive Into Mobile conference, Kovacs said that the first wave rollout of the OS would begin in a few months. Mozilla plans to reach 11 more markets by the end of the year, and the US in 2014. He said that Mozilla wants to address emerging markets where Firefox was particularly strong.

Following the interview, Mozilla corrected Kovacs and announced that devices based on the OS would not just ship to five countries but to all nine countries announced at the time of launch.

Mozilla had first previewed the Firefox Mobile OS in February during the Mobile World Congress. The foundation had said that phones running Firefox OS would appear in summer, starting in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, and that the exact launch timing was decided by and was dependent on partners.

With Firefox OS, the foundation aims to offer entry-level devices. It plans to bring mobile web content directly to users with web apps.

Mozilla Foundation has an ally in phone companies, who are interested in seeing an alternative to Apple and Google, particularly one coming from a non-profit foundation. Thirteen phone companies around the world have committed to supporting Firefox phones, including Sprint Nextel in the U.S. Other supporters include Telecom Italia, America Movil of Mexico and Deutsche Telekom of Germany. DT is the parent of T-Mobile USA, but plans to sell Firefox phones first in Poland.

Phone makers that plan to make Firefox phones include Huawei and ZTE of China, LG of Korea and Sony. The first devices running the OS will be inexpensive touchscreen smartphones. All the phones will run on chips supplied by Qualcomm.

ZTE had also announced the ZTE Open smartphone that runs Firefox OS during the MWC. The ZTE Open features a 3.5-inch screen with HVGA display. The smartphone is powered by a Cortex A5 processor, which clocks 1GHz. There is 256MB of RAM, 512MB of internal storage. It sports a 3.2-megapixel rear camera. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, A-GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities.
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