Two Firefox OS phones went on sale on Tuesday in Brazil, a country on which Mozilla has been pinning many of its Firefox OS hopes. In addition to the Alcatel One Touch Fire, already the de facto flagship device for the nascent operating system since it’s available in most countries that offer Firefox phones, Brazil gets the higher-end LG Fireweb. The strategy has proved successful for Telefonica and Mozilla. In a recent interview with CNET, Telefonica’s director of open Web services and chief Firefox salesman, Yotam Ben-Ami, said Firefox OS accounts for 12 percent of the company’s sales in Venezuela after only three months.
“Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. plans to launch smartphones using a mobile operating system it developed with Mozilla, the U.S. software company behind the Firefox web browser, in the first quarter of next year.
The move is the latest indication that handset makers are looking beyond Google Inc.’s dominant Android mobile operating system as they try to diversify the software platforms for their smartphones and other mobile devices. While Apple Inc.’s iPhone uses its own iOS software, most other smartphones currently sold around the world are powered by Android.
ZTE Executive Vice President He Shiyou said at a press briefing Wednesday that the company, one of China’s largest mobile handset makers, will also launch smartphones using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 operating system at the end of this year or early next year.”