Looking to grow its business beyond just building Apple devices, manufacturing giant Foxconn will reportedly build smartphones running Firefox OS, a new mobile operating system built by the Web browser developer Mozilla.
Foxconn, which is responsible for assembling many of Apple’s devices including the iPhone, will work with its clients to build Firefox OS smartphones, which are set to be released this year in emerging markets in Latin America and Europe.
“We offer design and manufacturing services for clients’ Mozilla-based smartphones even though the operating system is fairly new,” one Foxconn executive told the Wall Street Journal, according to a report Wednesday.
Among Foxconn’s clients are Sony, Huawei and ZTE, three companies that have previously said they will work with Mozilla to build devices for Firefox OS.
The new platform, which is set to formally launch this summer, is Mozilla’s attempt to bring more diversity to the smartphone market, which is currently dominated by Apple and devices running Google’s Android operating system.
Mozilla is hoping Firefox OS can do for mobile what its Firefox browser did for the Web and give users more choice while also creating a system that allows for more openness than what Apple’s iOS or Android currently do. Firefox OS is completely based on HTML 5, a coding language used to build websites, and that in theory should make it easier for more people to build apps for the platform.
The first Firefox OS devices, two developer editions, went on sale last month and quickly sold out. That isn’t necessarily a sign that consumer demand for Firefox OS will be high, but it did show that a great number of third-party developers are excited about the new platform.