Mobile

Going beyond Apple, Foxconn inks big partnership deal for Mozilla’s Firefox OS

Mozilla’s low-end smartphone efforts are picking up steam — and some major allies.

Its latest partner is electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, which has inked a deal to create devices running Mozilla’s new mobile operating system. But this isn’t just about smartphones. Foxconn says it’s also working on devices like televisions, and, if this shot from Engadget is to be believed, tablets as well.

All of this is comes as Foxconn is looking beyond just making iPhones and iPads for Apple: Foxconn wants to make its own devices as well.

More, with Firefox OS, Foxconn wants to take a greater role with services and software — not just hardware. Here’s how Foxconn innovation general manager Young Li put it in a statement:

“Currently, Foxconn is executing on a vision of ‘eight screens, one network, and one cloud’ with all our strength. Besides the native advantages of hardware manufacturing, Foxconn is also developing a brand new integrated approach to providing hardware, software, content, and services.”

That’s a major shift for a company that has traditionally stayed behind the scenes as a manufacturer for other companies’ products. And, in fact, it makes Foxconn sound a lot like Samsung, or, well, Apple.

With the deal, Foxconn becomes the latest entrant in a long line of companies interested in helping Mozilla build out its Firefox OS vision. Other allies include Chinese smartphone maker ZTE, Sony, and Huawei, as well as 18 major telecom companies.

It’s also worth noting that Foxconn’s announcement comes just a few days after The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is moving away from Foxconn as the manufacturer for its rumored low-cost iPhone. Things seem to be changing quickly at Foxconn.


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