Alcatel and ZTE first to offer Mozilla Firefox OS powered smartphones

Alcatel and ZTE first to offer Mozilla Firefox OS powered smartphones
Firefox trots on to mobile

Boot to Gecko is no more – all hail Firefox OS, as Mozilla looks to take on the mobile OS market in 2013.

Boot to Gecko was first announced back in July 2011 and it is Mozilla's project to offer a fully open mobile ecosystem, powering smartphones built entirely to open web standards and based on HTML5 applications.

Skip to 2012 and the Boot to Gecko name has been dropped and the carriers as well as manufacturers that are to support the newly titled Mozilla Firefox OS have been revealed.

First up to bring out a Firefox OS smartphone are ZTE and Alcatel. Both manufacturers have officially announced they will be bringing out phones sporting the OS, although a date for their arrival has yet to be announced.

As for a UK launch, at the moment there's no news. The network operators supporting the operating system are somewhat lacking a UK presence.

They are: Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor.

As for what country will get a Mozilla Firefox OS phone first, it looks like Brazil has won this accolade, with Telefónica's commercial brand, Vivo stocking handsets in early 2013.

Promoting openness

Speaking about the launch of Firefox OS, Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla, hinted that the operating system will initially be offered to emerging market.

"The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use," explained Kovacs.

"The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings."

TechRadar spoke to Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of technical strategy, back in August 2011 about Boot to Gecko and he assured us that the project was not an OS replacement, saying: "Boot To Gecko is definitely not designed to be another platform."

With this latest announcement, it looks like Mozilla has had a change of heart.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.