ZTE Firefox smartphone heading to MWC 2013

News Paul Briden 12:08, 30 Jan 2013

ZTE's first smartphone running Mozilla's Firefox OS is set to debut at Mobile World Congress in February

ZTE will debut its first Firefox-powered smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2013.

The Chinese manufacturer has begun issuing press invites for its MWC announcements and within these has posted Twitter hashtags, one of which is ‘#ZTEMozilla’. ZTE has been closely tied to Mozilla’s operating system project for some time with the company confirming its intention to release hardware running the platform back in September 2012.

Previously it outlined plans to launch a Firefox phone in Europe within the first quarter of 2013 and it looks as though it’s about to make good on those promises.

It’s also been publicised that ZTE and Mozilla are in partnership with Telefonica (O2), so the likelihood of seeing devices through O2’s network is quite high.

Part of the appeal of Firefox OS is its open source nature and roots in web development, which means it’s fertile ground for cross-platform app development.

Mozilla has already released its own developer handsets, the Peak and Keon, for app creators to get a feel for the platform with and it’s hoped that by the time consumer-facing hardware arrives there’ll already be a thriving ecosystem.

There’s been no indication as to what kind of spec a ZTE Firefox phone might have, or even what it might be called, but the Peak and Keon appear to have pinned down what kind of specs we can expect for the high-end and low-end deployment of Firefox OS.

However, even the higher-end option only has a dual-core Qualcomm S4 chip, so the intention is clearly to keep everything well-optimised as well as relatively affordable and accessible for consumers.

We saw a preview of Firefox OS around this time last year and it was quite promising to say the least. We’ll be in attendance at MWC 2013 to bring you all the news and details, so stay tuned.

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