Foxconn to unveil a new device running Firefox OS smartphone platform

Foxconn is set to unveil a new product running Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphone at an event on June 3, according to Taiwanese press reports.

Focus Taiwan reports Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is also expected to announce it has become the 19th company to become a Firefox OS partner during the event.

While most Firefox OS devices announced so far have been smartphones, there is some speculation the new device could be a tablet.

The news comes as Foxconn, best known as an electronics assembly firm for major tech companies including Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Nokia, looks to diversify its operations amid sluggish growth in orders.

Earlier this month, Mozilla offered developers a free Firefox OS developer edition smartphone in exchange for coding apps for its new smartphone platform.

Mozilla has already signed up a number of major partners, including Twitter, Facebook, eBay, EA, Wired, Wikimedia and Disney, to develop apps for the platform.

Firefox OS uses a mobile version of the Firefox web browser as a platform for running platform-independent web apps coded in HTML5, which have the same access to a smartphone’s underlying capabilities in the Firefox OS as native apps have under iOS and Android.

The idea is that apps will be written in web standard languages (including HTML5, CSS, and Java) and therefore be able to work on any device that supports Firefox.

As Mozilla chief technical officer Brendan Eich revealed in September last year, because everything including the phone dialler runs within Firefox, the platform works on much simpler devices than either Apple’s iOS or Google Android, making it a competitive option in developing markets.

In March, Mozilla released a video showing off its first two Firefox OS smartphones, built by ZTE and Alcatel, after ZTE and Alcatel showed off the new phones, dubbed the ZTE Open and the Alacatel One Touch Fire, at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

A number of industry giants, including Optus, Telstra, LG, Huawei and Sony, expressed support for the low-cost smartphone platform at the Mobile World Congress.

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