During the Mobile World Congress 2013 held in Barcelona, Spain, the Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE launched ZTE Open, its first smartphone product running on Firefox OS.
ZTE Open has a Cortex A5 processor and a 3.5-inch screen, but other features have not yet been disclosed. At the same time, another mobile phone brand Alcatel also launched a Firefox OS smartphone named One Touch Fire.
Like ZTE Open, One Touch Fire is a product with simple functionality. Adopting a 3.5-inch screen, a 1GHz processor, 512MB storage capacity, and a 3.2-million-pixel camera, this new product of Alcatel will be put into the markets of Latin America and Europe in June 2013.
Apart from ZTE Open and One Touch Fire, smartphone makers like Huawei and LG announced plans to launch Firefox OS products with Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors to explore markets in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and Venezuela.
In addition, Gary Kovacs, chief executive officer of Mozilla, said that Firefox OS smartphones are expected to be available in America in 2014.
It is still unknown how soon the phones will be available in China. As the phones utilize Mozilla's Firefox browser, the phones may be problematic for users who rely on online banking services. For example, many Chinese government bureaus and Chinese banks like Bank of China and ICBC do not permit users to use Firefox browsers for logging in to their respective websites. Instead, Microsoft's Internet Explorer is still the top choice. So reliance in China on an OS that relies on a browser that is currently not well supported may be a hindrance to the operating system's adoption.