The first smartphones running Firefox OS went on sale last month, and it looks like Mozilla is now adding the builder of some of the world's most popular devices to its coalition. Engadget reports that Mozilla and Foxconn Technology Group have confirmed a joint press event in Taipei on June 3rd, during which they will formally announce that Foxconn has signed on to Mozilla's initiative. At least one new Firefox OS device is expected at the event, although it's not clear if the product will be a branded Foxconn product or simply something that the company is manufacturing for another partner.
The news surfaces just as The Wall Street Journal reports that Foxconn is planning several moves that will help it grow beyond contract manufacturing. Foxconn — which builds devices for everyone from Apple to Sony — is perhaps best known for the numerous problems with working conditions and underage employees in its Chinese factories. Many of those same factories also assemble iPhones and iPads, however, and according to the Journal Foxconn is trying to diversify its business given the increased competition Apple is facing. "As our production capacity has grown to such a large scale and existing major-brand customers offer limited order growth, we need to actively expand our client base to help increase our manufacturing volume," an executive told the Journal.
In addition to new partners, Foxconn's plans are said to include a number of initiatives, including selling its own branded accessories like headphones, keyboards, and cables. Foxconn is even said to be considering a line of iOS accessories. According to the Journal report, the company also sees cloud computing, software, and Foxconn retail stores as ways it can increase its profit margins. As such, the company is said to be heavily investing in software engineers for its R&D center in southern Taiwan, though the company would not disclose how many resources it was devoting to the project.