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May 28, 2013

Foxconn will unveil a Firefox OS device on June 3

Mozilla’s newest partner in its Firefox OS venture is none other than Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known in this part of the world as Foxconn. That’s right, Apple’s favorite mobile device maker.

Foxconn and Mozilla will unveil a new product running Firefox OS on June 3, which is next Monday. That will also be when the partnership will become official. The Taiwanese giant is the 19th company to join Mozilla in its Firefox OS project.

The first two phones running Firefox OS were announced back in February, and they are the ZTE Open and the Alcatel One Touch Fire. Huawei and LG are also working on handsets running this particular mobile operating system, which at least for the moment seems to be geared at the low-end of the mobile device spectrum. This isn’t a bad idea. Good low-end Android smartphones are still pretty rare, and great ones are virtually unheard of. So Mozilla is looking to capitalize on this niche. However, constant hardware advancements mean that cheap Androids will very soon be ‘good enough’ for anyone, in which case the possible success of competitors seems less and less likely.

Regardless, new entrants in the mobile space are always welcome, and Mozilla does appear to be pretty good at working with manufacturers to get its software into the hands of people.

It’s unclear what brand the Firefox OS device made by Foxconn will sport. It may turn out to be called Mozilla something, or perhaps Foxconn is looking into creating its own brand in the mobile world. That would certainly be interesting to see. Also an intriguing possibility would be for the two companies to announce not a smartphone, but a tablet – effectively the first one running Firefox OS to get official. But for now this is just conjecture, so don’t get your hopes up.