At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Mozilla
made several announcements about Firefox OS
, including a preview of the first commercial build of its open mobile ecosystem, new details on new Firefox OS operator rollout plans, and the launch of Firefox Marketplace. The first Firefox OS phones are expected later this year, mostly in European and South American markets.
Firefox OS smartphones will be the first built entirely to open Web standards, enabling every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application. The first wave of Firefox OS devices will be available to consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. To date, 17 key operators spanning the globe have committed to the open web device initiative: America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.
The Firefox Marketplace will offer apps in categories like games, news and media, business and productivity. The apps will be tied to a unified online identity to allow for portability across devices and platforms. Already lined up for the service are AccuWeather, Airbnb, Box, Cut the Rope, Disney Mobile Games, EA games, Facebook, Nokia HERE, MTV Brasil, Pulse News, SoundCloud, SporTV, Terra, Time Out, and Twitter.
Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs claims that Firefox OS phones should hit the US "somewhere in the 2014 timeframe."