Confirmed: Sony to launch Firefox OS smartphones next year

Sony has confirmed that it will be jumping on Mozilla’s Firefox OS bandwagon, with plans to launch new smartphones running the new software next year.

The Japanese tech giant will join LG, ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel, all of which have already pledged allegiance to the new HTML5-heavy mobile operating system from Mozilla. Devices are currently in the very early stages however, and so we’re unlikely to see a Sony phone with Firefox for another year or so.

Over in Barcelona at MWC 2013 the news was revealed partially by mobile network Telefonica (O2) whilst confirming the availability of Sony’s new Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia Z. Whilst discussing the new Firefox OS, which was launched as a consumer build this week, Telefonica said that it and Sony had started to “explore the development of a [Firefox OS] handset”.

Sony’s Deputy CEO Bon Ishida confirmed on stage at MWC 2013 that the company’s engineers were currently working on new HTML5 technologies with Firefox OS Mobile with the ambition to bring a product to market in 2014.

Mozilla’s Firefox OS has been designed as a new and speedy operating system to suit all sorts of mobile phones, but to start off with we’re seeing small, basic and affordable devices. The first Firefox phone is the One Touch Fire from Alcatel, which will launch this summer in Poland through Deutsche Telekom.

Any good smartphone OS has a place where you can download apps from, and this week Mozilla revealed the Firefox Marketplace for its new OS. It will play host to a growing number of apps developed in HTML5, which should be small in size and speedy to use.