Firefox developer Mozilla has announced that TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel) and ZTE have signed on as the first partners to make Firefox smartphones.
The Firefox smartphones, using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, are expected to be released in early 2013.
A number of mobile operators, including Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor, have already expressed interest in selling the smartphones.
Originally given the codename “Boot to Gecko”, Firefox Mobile OS will use 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 Firefox Mobile OS as native apps have under iOS and Android.
Mozilla hopes to establish the Firefox Mobile OS platform as a low-cost alternative to Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
The news comes after Mozilla announced a HTML5 app store named the Mozilla Marketplace in February.