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Firefox OS handsets primed for launch

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla FirefoxOpen source software provider Mozilla has released details of the first Firefox OS smartphones prior to their commercial launch.

The Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open will be launched by European operator groups Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, in Poland and Spain respectively, in the coming weeks. Both operators said they hope the devices will form part of a line-up that will bring more choice to the smartphone ecosystem.

In a blog post, Mozilla was keen to point out one particular concept within the Firefox OS; an app search that “transforms the phone to meet your needs at any moment”. Users can swipe their phone, begin to type what they are interested in and the phone’s user interface will adapt instantly based on the user’s needs, the firm said. It explained for example that a search for a music artist will return results to buy or listen to a song, or buy concert tickets from that artist instantly.

In addition, the Firefox handsets will include built-in Facebook and Twitter social features, maps with offline capabilities the Firefox Web browser and Firefox Marketplace.

Deutsche Telekom will begin by launching handsets in Poland. Claudia Nemat, Board member for Europe and Technology at Deutsche Telekom, said: “The launch of the first Firefox smartphones in Europe is an important step on the way to more innovation and to more competition between the different ecosystems. We rely on open platforms because we want to create freedom of choice on behalf of our customers.”

José María Álvarez Palette, COO of Telefónica also voiced his opinion that consumers should not be locked to any one system but “have the choice to consume the content they want and the flexibility to be able to take it with them when they change devices”.

“This is just the beginning as we bring Firefox OS to more and more of our markets across an expanding range of smartphones,” he said.


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