ZTE to launch Firefox OS as Android, Windows Phone alternative in 2013

Mozilla's mobile strategy is set to build more momentum as it has received the support of two of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers, ZTE and Alcatel-TCL, both of them based in China.

Firefox OS, nee Boot to Gecko, was launched back in July 2012 and was Mozilla’s proposed alternative to an increasingly under-fire Android. It was built from ground up as an open mobile ecosystem built on open web standards (like HTML5) which reduces the risk of stepping on any IP.

Mozilla has already announced that it would work with Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor. Two of those are in the UK under the Everything Everwhere banner and O2.

A spokesperson for ZTE has already confirmed that it will be working with a regional telecom carrier outside of China to launch a Firefox-OS based smartphone, which eliminates Vodafone, O2 and Orange which are global powerhouses and leaves Deutsche Telekom as the favourite.

There are at least three reasons why there’s space for a third player. First, Android vendors face the spectre of another campaign waged by Microsoft to collect a patent license fee for Android.

Secondly, Windows Phone licenses are expensive, up to £20 according to some sources and thirdly vendors other than Samsung are finding it increasingly hard to do business in AndroidLand , especially that Google has now purchased Motorola mobility.

Source: Reuters