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ZTE aiming for Q1 2013 launch for Firefox OS smartphone

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ZTE and Mozilla are looking to release a smartphone running Firefox OS.

ZTE logo (STOCK)
ZTE logo (STOCK)

ZTE is coordinating with Mozilla to release a handset running Firefox OS in the first quarter of next year. The Wall Street Journal and Reuters both report that ZTE is looking to diversify its product portfolio to shift reliance away from Android and Windows Phone. According to ZTE spokesperson David Dai Shu, the company is working with "a regional telecom carrier outside of China." It’s unclear exactly who ZTE is referring to, but Mozilla has previously announced partnerships with carriers such as Sprint, Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom.

The cost of licensing Windows Phone was revealed back in January, with ZTE paying Microsoft between $20 and $30 for each handset it produced running the operating system. ZTE may also be paying a patent license fee to Microsoft for Android, so the inclusion of Firefox OS could be an attempt by the Chinese company to reduce its licensing costs while maximizing notoriously small margins on devices.