BARCELONA, Spain — Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation behind the popular Firefox Web browser, is getting into phones. But it’s not stopping at Web browsers — it’s launching an entire phone operating system.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based foundation said phones running Firefox OS will appear this summer, starting in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.
The Firefox OS will land in a crowded environment, where many small operating systems are trying to become the “third ecosystem," alongside Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Together, those two account for 91 percent of smartphone sales, according to research firm IDC.
Mozilla Foundation has an ally in phone companies, who are interested in seeing an alternative to Apple and Google. Eighteen phone companies around the world have committed to supporting Firefox phones, Mozilla said. They include Sprint Nextel in the U.S., Telecom Italia, America Movil of Mexico and Deutsche Telekom of Germany.