Mozilla made a big announcement about its long-awaited Boot to Gecko (B2G) project today, officially dubbing it 'Firefox OS' and revealing that the first devices running the web-based platform will be produced by Chinese manufacturers ZTE and TCL Corporation. The foundation also laid out details of new carrier partnerships with Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Telenor, adding to previously-announced agreements with Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom.
According to a press release, the initial Firefox OS hardware will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon system-on-chip. As Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs announced back in April, the phones will be available in Brazil early next year, via a partnership with Telefónica — in accordance with Brazilian restrictions, they will not be locked to the carrier. It is not yet clear whether the first device will be produced by ZTE or by TCL under the Alcatel One Touch brand.
Mozilla's choice of hardware partners for Firefox OS reiterates its focus on emerging markets. By aping Google's desktop Chrome OS and focusing solely on web-based, HTML5 applications, the platform aims to offer a consistent experience across a wide range of hardware, stripping out what the foundation terms "unnecessary middleware layers."
The Web APIs that allow Mozilla's platform to access native device features such as the camera and telephone functions are currently at various stages of the standardization process — a full list of the native features planned for the initial and future releases of Firefox OS is available on the Mozilla wiki. For a hands-on with an early version of the system, check out David Pierce's video from MWC back in February.