Japanese carrier KDDI’s CEO Takashi Tanaka says the company is "considering" selling smartphones with Mozilla’s Firefox OS, reports CNet Japan. The comment was made following yesterday’s HTML5 Study Group in Tokyo, at which Tanaka was an unexpected guest. The CEO declined to give details on the time frame that KDDI is considering.

The Japanese smartphone market is essentially split between the iPhone and a sea of Android devices

Like elsewhere, the Japanese smartphone market is essentially split between Apple’s top-selling iPhone and a sea of Android devices, both global and domestic, but without so much as a current Windows Phone handset to offer some variety. KDDI previously released Fujitsu's IS12T running Windows Phone 7.5, but it failed to gain any traction in the country, and HTC's chief product officer, Kouji Kodera, thinks it would take significant investment from Microsoft to turn things around. The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Samsung was preparing to launch a Tizen device on NTT Docomo this spring, an announcement that could be having an impact on its competitors’ strategies.

So far, we’d heard that Mozilla would be targeting low-powered devices in developing markets with its HTML5-based smartphone OS early this year. With major carrier support from the likes of KDDI (36 million subscribers) and others, Firefox could potentially make an appearance on some more substantial hardware, but we don’t want to read too far into an informal Q&A at the end of a web standards conference.