ZTE Corp. is preparing its first smartphone based on Firefox Operating System, an operating system that the Chinese company helped create. The device is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
To date, ZTE is uses the Google-owned Android operating system for its smartphones. ZTE’s decision, however, to support a new operating system is believed to show how mobile phone manufacturers are now looking for more options in terms of the operating systems for their devices. ZTE, for instance, also has Windows Phone 8-based smartphones that it is slated to launch this year or in 2013.
Recently, Acer’s decision to try out the Alibaba Group’s Aliyun Operating System as an alternative to Android also caught the attention of media, especially when Google disapproved of Acer’s decision.
One of the main reasons behind these efforts from smartphone companies is the legal battles between Android and Apple. Offering a single operating system on all its devices makes smartphone makers vulnerable in case courts find that some of its features commit patent infringement and decide to take it off the market.
Meanwhile, details about the specifications of the upcoming ZTE Firefox smartphone are still scarce at the moment. Mozilla, however, revealed through a press release in the past that the device will be driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Mobile operators such as Telefonica, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, and Etisalat have already signed up for promoting products based on the Firefox operating systems. The first Firefox Operating System device that is scheduled for launching will be unveiled in Brazil next year by the mobile carrier Vivo, which is owned by Telefonica. Apart from ZTE, the manufacturer TCL Communication Technology is also on its way to launch Firefox OS-based products in 2013 through Alcatel One Touch.
What sets Firefox Operating System apart is that it allows developers to use HTML5 to create apps instead of rely on native APIs. At the moment, the features and look of the Operating System remain to be revealed, save for some purported leaks of its app store.