Mozilla is developing a Firefox-powered smartphone that will be ready by 2013. The big news here is the smartphone’s Firefox OS, which is being built with HTML5, the most recent version of the standard code used to create websites. (HTML5 powers next-gen websites such as Nike Better World and the Arcade Fire-inspired The Wildness Downtown.) Aesthetic flair aside, HTML5 mobile apps are also cost-effective alternatives to native mobile apps. (Native mobile apps have to be developed for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android.) And no doubt Mozilla’s robust developer community will help promote the creation of new HTML5 apps.
TCL Communication Technology and ZTE are slated to manufacture the devices, and Mozilla already has backing from major global telecom companies such as Deutsche Telekom and Sprint. No word on a U.S. date yet, but the first commercial Firefox OS phones are expected to launch in Brazil in early 2013, serviced by Vivo, the country’s second-largest telecom company.