If you've been diligently tracking every bit of information on the upcoming Firefox OS, here's something interesting. Not only will the mobile OS make its debut this year, the company's CEO has said that it also expects to begin the first-wave rollout of the OS in June, AllThingsD reports.
At the opening of AllThingsD's D:Dive Into Mobile conference recently, CEO Gary Kovacs said that they plan to launch the OS in five countries in June, and take it ahead to 11 countries by the end of this year. He said, “We plan to hit Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. … We’ll hit the U.S. in 2014.”
ZTE Open, one of the first two Firefox OS phones
For those wondering why the company is leaving out an important market, like the US for its initial rollout, Kovacs explained, “In Silicon Valley we tend to see the world through high-end devices…But that’s not true in the rest of the world. So in the short term, we’re launching in emerging markets where Firefox is particularly strong. … It didn’t make sense for us to launch a version-one device around the world.”
It was early in July last year, when Mozilla made its big announcement. The Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” project, which unlocks many of the current limitations of web development on mobile, allowing HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, that were previously only available to native applications. Telefónica’s Digital unit had partnered with Mozilla early this year to take this work and showcase a new phone architecture where every phone feature which includes calling, messaging, games, etc. is an HTML5 application.
Then, at this year's CES, the company showcased its mobile OS. At the time, the company revealed that the OS is aimed at low-end, low-cost devices. The operating system will be restricted to single-core 800MHz processors when it launches.
The interface of the operating system seems to follow the same general style as that of Android with a homescreen and an app drawer. The major difference between both the OSes is that Firefox OS runs on HTML5. This leads to most of the operating system's apps simply being websites. While there is an app store planned for the OS, apps can be found through the search engine of the OS.
The UI looks new, but not something a typical smartphone user will have trouble figuring out
Aesthetically, the OS seems to have gone with a playful visual style with big round and colourful icons. This shouldn't detract from the OS itself though, as it seems to have the potential to become a key player in the OS market.
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