ZTE will launch Mozilla smartphone at MWC 2013

The Chinese manufacturer has confirmed a few minutes ago that it will be announcing two new smartphones at MWC 2013 on 25 of February with one of them being a Mozilla-powered smartphone.

An invitation to ZTE’s Mobile Devices global media launch that we received earlier today mentions “two major new mobile devices”, the other one being the ZTE Grand Memo, a rival to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Huawei Ascend Mate.

ZTE has been keen to diversify its portfolio and already produces Android and Windows Phone smartphones. The company shipped 7.5 million smartphones in the 3rd quarter of 2012 and has been listed as the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world by research company IDC for that period.

Mozilla launched its Firefox OS for smartphones back in July 2012 and like Windows Phone handsets, the first models are expected to run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Interestingly, the platform has received significant backing from a number of mobile operators peppered across the globe and is likely to target BRIC countries and emerging territories with very low prices.

ZTE and Alcatel-TCL, both from China, have backed Firefox OS. We reported in October 2012 about some leaked specification for the ZTE Firefox OS-based handset which appeared to be similar to the ZTE V788D.

Salient points include a 3.5in display with a 800 x 480 resolution, 512MB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera and an SoC clocked at 1.5GHz which if it comes from Qualcomm is likely to be a new SoC part.

Qualcomm’s only current parts that can reach those speeds are Krait-based, dual core parts which tend to be more expensive. We reckon that Qualcomm may introduce a single-core, high-speed part at MWC to cater for that segment.

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