Mozilla has disclosed that it is entering into a parntership with Taiwan-based Hon Hai, parent company of Foxconn, to develop a mobile device that runsFirefox OS. The device, rumored to be a tablet, will be unveiled on June 3rd,
When Firefox OS was announced it seemed to be a longshot that the market might adopt yet another mobile operating system, but now it isn't so silly an idea.
Two "Developer Preview" phones, the Keon and Peak, are already available from Geeksphone, I-Programmer has published the first installment of an app developer series, and developers are busy establishing a line-up of apps prior to the June launch of the operating system including Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain, building on the existing selection of apps that Firefox OS already has in its ecosystem, including Facebook, Twitter, EA Games, and more.
Alcatel, Huawei, LG, ZTE, and Sony had already signed up to develop Firefox OS smartphones using Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and AT&T had also mentioned that it will consider including Firefox OS phones in its line-up but partnering with Hon Hai, which manufactures the iPad, seems like a good boost for the platform.
A Wall Street Journal report published yesterday said Hon Hai was looking for new clients, as Apple sees market shares of both iPhones and iPads in decline. Although Hon Hai also assembles products for other companies, including computers for Hewlett-Packard and handsets for Nokia these clients have also reported slower sales in recent quarters.
It seems appropriate that FOXconn should be building fireFOX devices but it is more important than a conjunction of names - any guesses as to what the tablet might be called?
Given the success of the Geeksphone, and not just in a few countries it now is starting to look as if Mozilla's idea of launching in only a few countries is perhaps short sighted. Geeks the world over seem to see the sense in an open HTML based phone and they are the best publicity you could ask for.