Talking tech since 2003

Mozilla, the software company behind leading web-browser Firefox, announced today that the first smartphones built around their mobile operating system, Firefox OS, will be launching “soon.” Phone companies Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica will release the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open respectively, first.

Mozilla was hesitant to provide concrete details on the release window, pricing, and plan details regarding the Firefox smartphones, but did showcase the two phones in motion running applications, taking photos, and browsing the web.

As far as specific features go, Firefox OS phones will be able to do everything a modern smartphone can – make calls, send messages and email, take photos, as well as support custom HTML5 applications like Facebook, Twitter, HERE Maps, and more. Of course, web browsing will be done through the included proprietary Firefox Internet browser.

The HTML5-based OS features what Mozilla refers to as “adaptive app search,” a feature that “literally transforms the phone to meet your needs at any moment, without the need to download anything.” In more of Mozilla’s terms, you can “swipe to the right” on your phone and start typing “what you are interested in to get a whole new customized phone experience” based on your current needs.

In a more clear example, Mozilla claims that you can search for one of your favorite musicians, and the provided results will include not only information about the artist, but also popular songs to purchase and concert ticket dates and availability. While it’s still a tad unclear how dynamic this search will be, it should be neat to see it more in action in the future.

“The launch of Firefox OS marks an incredibly exciting time for the Web,” says Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer.

“Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on Web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the Web. 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.”

Phone company Telenor will launch their first Firefox OS phones in Central and Eastern Europe later in 2013, and will come to “more markets” this year as well. The Telefónica ZTE Open will launch in Spain starting tomorrow. If you want to learn more about Firefox OS and the phones it’s on, check out Mozilla’s Firefox OS homepage.

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