ZTE and Mozilla partner up, plan on selling a Firefox phone in Q1 2013

Mozilla, makers of the once loved Firefox web browser, are trying to become relevant again. Their strategy is to create a mobile operating system that leverages their HTML rendering engine so that developers can write their applications using the same languages they’re used to using when creating websites. In other words, they want “web apps” to get the same sort of respect that “native apps” get. Today ZTE is announcing that they’re going to unveil a phone either by the end of this year or early next year running Mozilla’s OS. David Dai Shu, ZTE’s spokesperson, told Retuers that: “We are trying to increase our efforts in coming up with our own operating system, while introducing products based on Android.”

To put it another way, ZTE is a bit tired of being so reliant of Google, so they’re going to try and see what else is available. Put yourself in Mozilla’s shoes. ZTE is basically telling them that the only reason they’re working together is so that they can get better treatment from Google. And trust us, the last thing Google wants right now is for Chinese handset makers to make phones that don’t come with Google’s own services.

Earlier this summer we reported that phones running Firefox OS will cost between $100 and $115. Make no mistake, those phones aren’t going to be for the type of people who read this site. Now yes, we understand that not all of you can afford something like a Samsung Galaxy S III or an iPhone 5, but chances are you’re going to opt for a Galaxy Ace II or Galaxy Mini II since they’re not only cheap, but incredibly price competitive as well.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Mozilla, if only because we’re curious to see if they can bring something truly new and innovative to the mobile phone space. Judging by how poor Firefox for Android is … we don’t have too much hope.

Author: Stefan

Stefan has been writing about the mobile phone industry since November 2006. He also spent 14 months at Nokia between 2008 and 2009, but has since purchased a Nexus One and an Apple iPhone. He's watching Windows Phone like a hawk, hoping it'll get better with time.