Feeds

ZTE to launch Mozilla-based phone in Europe in 2013

Other markets may not be far behind

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

CES 2013 Chinese electronics firm ZTE is ramping up its efforts in support of the Mozilla Foundation's open source Firefox OS for mobile phones, and if all goes well, it could deliver a device targeting European customers as early as this year.

In an interview at the CES 2013 conference taking place in Las Vegas this week, Cheng Lixin, CEO of ZTE's US business unit, told Bloomberg that the company was already working with a European carrier to develop a Firefox OS device.

He didn't say which carrier, but Deutsche Telekom seems a likely candidate, given that Mozilla has already announced the German firm as a partner in its Firefox OS efforts.

Cheng also didn't say in which European country ZTE planned to launch its Mozilla-powered device. There's reason to believe it might choose somewhere other than the usual suspects.

Rather than going head-to-head with the likes of Apple for the top end of the market, Mozilla is developing Firefox OS to run on low-end smartphones for the developing world. It plans to launch its first devices this year in Brazil, in partnership with local carrier Telefónica.

If ZTE follows that pattern, it's possible it could pick one of the weaker European economies for a trial run of Firefox OS, then gradually broaden the platform's reach as time goes on.

But ZTE is interested in Firefox OS for another reason, too; namely, its desire to reduce its dependence on Google's Android. Samsung is planning to debut phones based on the open source Tizen OS this year for much the same reason. Both companies worry that Google is becoming not just a supplier but also a competitor, particularly in light of the Chocolate Factory's acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012.

Such concerns give ZTE plenty of incentive to promote Firefox OS aggressively, and if customers take to the platform, it could even abandon the slow-buildup strategy and charge straight ahead into rich markets.

"We closely monitor the ecosystem and how it evolves," Cheng told Bloomberg. "If that is ready and if consumer studies support that data, then we may launch [a Firefox OS device] in US also this year."

ZTE currently ranks fifth in the number of smartphone units shipped to the US, giving it around 5 per cent market share. Cheng said his goal is to boost the company into fourth place by 2015. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.