Mozilla has announced that its HTML5-based mobile phone platform — dubbed Boot to Gecko — will be making its commercial debut in Brazil by early 2013. ZTop is reporting that Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs made the announcement in Sao Paulo earlier today, remarking that reliance on HTML5 and open web standards should prove to be a practical way to get smartphone features on lower-end devices. Mozilla is partnering with Telefónica to release the devices and while supported phones have yet to be announced, we do know that they'll be unlocked, as required by law in Brazil.
We went hands on with Boot to Gecko earlier this year at Mobile World Congress. The project's goal is to create phones that run entirely on HTML5. The applications are little more than glorified bookmarks, installed from an app store much like any other smartphone platform. Developers can use standard HTML practices to enable offline access.
There's no word on when (or if) Boot to Gecko will see carrier support in the US. That said, it's an open source platform built entirely around web standards, and Mozilla has already made installation instructions available for the Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S II.