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Appeared on: Monday, July 01, 2013
First Firefox OS Smartphones Launching This Week

Regional launches of Firefox OS smartphones will begin soon, with Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica to release the first Firefox OS devices - the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire and the ZTE Open.

Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies. The OS includes all the things people need from a smartphone out of the box - calls, messaging, email, camera and more. Firefox OS also includes built-in social features with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities and smart walking, driving and public transit directions, features like the Firefox Web browser, a new ability to discover one-time use and downloadable apps, Firefox Marketplace and much more.

The new mobile OS also features an adaptive app search. Simply swipe to the right on your Firefox OS phone and start to type what you are interested in. For example, search for your favorite music artist and get results to buy your favorite song, concert tickets or even listen to your favorite song instantly.

"The launch of Firefox OS marks an incredibly exciting time for the Web. Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on Web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the Web," says Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer. "We are proud to deliver an experience for first time smartphone users that will delight them and really put the power of the Web in people's hands."

Firefox OS phones come with Firefox Marketplace, which includes both global and local apps. Apps are provided in categories like games, news and media, music and audio, business and productivity. Popular apps include AccuWeather, EA games like Poppit, Facebook, Nokia HERE Maps, SoundCloud, Terra, Time Out, TMZ and Twitter as well as personally tailored and local apps that will differ by region.

Telenor will launch their first Firefox OS phones in Central and Eastern Europe this year. Firefox OS phones will launch in more markets later this year. Telefonica-owned Movistar announced the 3.5-inch ZTE Open smartphone will go on sale in Spain from June 2nd, costing €69 / $90 for prepay customers.

Tablet in the works too

Mozilla also says that a tablet PC based on its new Firefox operating system is coming soon, although it won't say just how soon that could be.

"We're moving aggressively and you'll see things soon," Brendan Eich, chief technology officer for Mozilla,said during a San Francisco news conference Monday.

Mozilla's Taiwan office last month showed a prototype tablet PC running Firefox OS. It was developed with Foxconn.

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