ZTE talks up Firefox phone for Europe

It looks like Europe will be getting the first taste of the Firefox operating system, with phone maker ZTE already talking up a launch in this part of the world.

That's according to Cheng Lixin, chief executive officer of ZTE’s US unit, who was speaking at this week's CES event. He said that ZTE was working with a European wireless carrier to introduce a smartphone using the Mozilla-built operating system, likely to be sooner rather than later. There might be a US launch too, but that sounds very much secondary to a launch in Europe. Nice for us to get something first for a change.

Not that it's nailed on that the phone will come to the UK. A number of partners have previously been announced, with only one of those having any relevance to the UK market beingTelefónica, which is the owner of UK network O2. So, if it is launching here, it will be with O2.

It will also be cheap. A budget price is likely to be one of the key selling points of any Firefox phone, which is probably how it will find its niche. Mozilla and ZTE are said to be looking at capturing one per cent of the mobile market in 2013, which doesn't sound like a lot. But that percentage of a huge market is significant enough for both - and if reviews are good, it could be a strong foothold for steady growth in the following years.

When plans are firmed up and go public, we'll let you know about them, as well as any confirmation of a UK launch.

Source: Bloomberg

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