T-Mobile to launch its first Firefox phone next week

The Alcatel One Touch will hit Poland two weeks after Telefonia launched the ZTE Open

The Firefox OS dialer

The Firefox OS dialer

T-Mobile will begin its rollout of phones based on Mozilla's Firefox OS when it puts the Alcatel One Touch on sale in Poland next week.

The launch in eastern Europe will come just two weeks after the new smartphone OS made its global debut with Telefonia in Spain.

The OS is based around Internet technologies and particularly HTML5. Applications for the phone are written in Web languages -- a departure from the current practice where apps are typically written and compiled for each smartphone platform. Mozilla is promoting the openness of Firefox OS as a better alternative to systems like Android or Nokia's Asha for low-end smartphones.

T-Mobile will launch the Alcatel One Touch in Poland Monday starting at 1 zloty (US$0.30), the company said. It didn't provide any tariff details. In Spain, Telefonica put another Firefox handset, the ZTE Open, on sale July 2 for €69 (US$90) with a prepaid subscription.

(See a video hands-on of the two phones on YouTube.)

Both carriers are planning wider availability of the phones as the year progresses.

T-Mobile said it plans to have Firefox OS phones on sale in Germany, Hungary and Greece by the end of the year. Underlining its low-end focus, in Germany the phone will be sold under T-Mobile's no-frills Congstar brand. Spain's Telefonica has plans to launch Firefox OS handsets in several South American markets within 2013.

Beyond the two launch carriers, Mozilla has already signed up at least 15 other mobile network operators to put Firefox OS handsets on sale. They include América Móvil, China Unicom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.

These additional carriers are yet to announce firm launch plans for Firefox phones.

The platform has also attracted support in the supply chain with Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, planning a series of Firefox OS-based devices. It is hiring a team of several thousand software engineers to work on the platform and support customers, it said recently.

With phones now getting into the hands of consumers, Mozilla is starting to eye its first tablet PC based on the platform, a Mozilla executive said last week when speaking in San Francisco. Mozilla is "moving aggressively and you'll see things soon," CTO Brendan Eich said when asked about a tablet.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesoperating systemssoftwaretelecommunicationmozillaconsumer electronicst-mobileCarriersTelefonica

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?