Telecoms giant Telefonica has announced today that it will sell Firefox OS smartphones in a number of territories in Europe (Spain) and South America (Brazil, Colombia and Venuezuela) in mid-2013.
Telefonica has also confirmed that it will be launching these smartphones in other territories in Europe and Latin America towards the end of the year and in 2014. Telefonica's CEO, Cesar Alierta, confirmed that Firefox OS smartphones will be sold in all 26 territories where it is present, which includes UK.
Although the press release mentions devices, only handsets will be available and they will be produced by Alcatel One Touch, ZTE and LG. Tablets could be next in line.
Like for Microsoft Windows Phone, all these phones will be powered by Qualcomm's system on chip family (which we suspect will be mostly Snapdragon 200 and 400). In theory, nothing would prevent the OS to run on other SoC's as well.
Interestingly, Telefonica disclosed that it is in "discussions" with Huawei and "other manufacturers" to get them to build Firefox OS.
The Chairman and CEO of Telefonica said "2013 marks the start of a new phase in our industry, one that will be characterized by open standards, for Telefónica and the telco sector as a whole, Firefox OS is a hugely important strategic initiative to change the prevailing value chain in the digital world. It is a major step to bring balance back to the telco sector, an initiative with strong cross-industry support."