Optus and Telstra back Mozilla’s Firefox OS, as Huawei and LG announce they’ll build Firefox OS smartphones

Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphone platform continues to gain momentum, with LG and Huawei signing on to build smartphones, while Optus and Telstra are publicly backing the platform.

Mozilla has announced Chinese smartphone giant Huawei and Korean consumer electronics giant LG are joining Alcatel and ZTE in creating devices for the platform, with all four companies using Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon chipset for the devices.

Firefox OS is also gaining momentum closer to home, with Optus’ parent company, SingTel, announcing its support for the new smartphone platform.

“SingTel is a firm believer in giving our customers choice and encouraging innovation and so are excited about the capabilities that can arise from an open mobile ecosystem using HTML5,” says Singtel’s Group Consumer chief executive and Australian country chief officer Paul O’Sullivan.

While not one of the 17 carriers supporting the platform, it appears Telstra is also having a close look at Firefox OS.

“Telstra is welcoming the Mozilla initiative as an opportunity to deliver an innovative mobile Web experience to their customers,” Mozilla states in a press release.

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Other phone carriers to announce their support for the platform internationally include América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.

Mozilla has announced its first-generation low-cost handsets will initially be released in a number of emerging markets, including Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.

“Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere. With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online,” says Mozilla chief executive Gary Kovacs.

Meanwhile, a number of leading developers have signed up to distribute their HTML5 apps through the Firefox Marketplace, including AccuWeather, Airbnb, Box, Cut the Rope, Disney Mobile Games, EA games, Facebook, Nokia HERE, MTV Brasil, Pulse News, SoundCloud, SporTV, Terra, Time Out and Twitter.

“The diversity of operator support, spanning both developed and emerging markets, is a powerful endorsement of the platform’s capabilities and to the third party innovation the platform will attract and enable,” says IDC research vice president John Jackson.

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