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Sony developing Firefox OS hardware, hopes to release first product in 2014

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Firefox OS just landed another major hardware vendor: Sony has announced its engineers are currently developing hardware running the new operating system and that it aims to bring a product to market in 2014. The news was part of an announcement between Sony Mobile and wireless carrier Telefonica. Both companies have signed onto a multi-year agreement that, aside from guaranteeing continued support for Sony's Android lineup, creates "a joint technical collaboration to explore the development of a handset running Mozilla’s Firefox OS open source mobile platform."

Sony executive Bob Ishida makes it sound as though the manufacturer is already past the exploration stage, however. "“At Sony Mobile we continue to evaluate innovative technologies that can help deliver the premium user experiences that Sony’s consumers expect," he said. “Our engineers are now working with Firefox OS Mobile and HTML5, evolving technologies which show great potential. In addition, we continue to work with our operator partners, including Telefónica, on a development project with an ambition to bring a product to market in 2014.”

Mozilla has already said it expects to see Firefox OS devices reach US consumers sometime next year, and bringing Sony on board will only help in that effort. Current hardware partners include ZTE, Huawei, and Alcatel — companies that have a minuscule presence in the United States smartphone arena.