Four hardware makers - Alcatel, LG, ZTE, and Huawei - are set to build Firefox phones, which will start retailing from 17 carriers worldwide, later this year. Mozilla has also announced that it is also demonstrating its first commercial build of its Firefox OS at the MWC 2013.
Although ahead of Canonical's Ubuntu for phones in terms of both the stage of technology development and ability to publicly announce partners, the hardware makers aren't exactly prominent players in the current smartphone market. Samsung, the most popular and successful manufacturer of Android phones, has reportedly said it has no intention of selling Firefox phones. The company already has an alternative OS in the open source Tizen. Also, according to Computerworld, Firefox phones may be debuting this year, but not in the U.S. until 2014.
Mozilla will be rolling out the first wave of Firefox OS devices to consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, and will announce the additional markets in time to come.
The smartphone market is huge, and Mozilla might be able to secure a footing. While both Firefox and Ubuntu phones are causing a stir at least among the geeks, Firefox has the edge over Ubuntu as the former reigns as the world's second most popular Web browser, while the Ubuntu Linux is pretty much unheard of in the mainstream community. Here's a preview of a working build of the FireFox OS that you can come to expect:-