Mozilla tablet (teaser 001)

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal said the world’s top contract manufacturer, Foxconn, was looking to diversify beyond assembling Apple products.

Today, a Taiwanese publication reports that Foxconn has teamed up with the Firefox browser maker Mozilla on a mobile device to be powered by the Firefox OS.

This isn’t a rumor: the two partners have invited the press to the unveiling of a new device on June 3. According to the people in the know, the mysterious gizmo will be a tablet. The development puts Foxconn in a somewhat odd position as it assembles Apple’s iPhones and iPads, though I doubt Apple is worried much – if at all – considering the Firefox OS is an also-ran in the mobile arena…

According to Focus Taiwan which first broke the news, the invitation sent to media outlets suggests a Firefox OS device is underway, with one industry insider believing it’s a tablet rather than a phone.

A Mozilla spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters the June 3 media event and Foxconn confirmed plans to add Firefox to its product line for clients.

Although Apple is responsible for more than half of its revenue, Foxconn is taking heat amid Apple’s slowing growth and is reportedly looking for new clients. Per The Wall Street Journal, the manufacturer will revamp its higher-margin retail operations in Taiwan and invest in content and services.

tim cook foxconn

In addition to building products for Apple, HP and Nokia, to name a few, Foxconn also assembles gizmos powered by Google’s Android software and is believed to be the manufacturer of choice for Apple’s rumored standalone television set, dubbed the iTV.

Mozilla said Foxconn is the nineteenth company to strike a partnership on Firefox OS devices. While it previously secured support from 18 carriers (China Unicom, America Movil and Deutsche Telekom are on board), along with handset makers Alcatel, Huawei, ZTE and LG for Firefox phones, the non-profit organization has yet to release a Firefox OS-driven tablet.

Firefox OS (three up, teaser 002)

Spanish firm Geeksphone in April launched two Mozilla-powered handsets aimed at developers who want to build web apps for Firefox OS.

As for commercial Firefox phones, these will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors and will target mid and low-end segments in emerging markets, where Apple is thought to be releasing a less-pricey iPhone late this year or in 2014.

FireFox iPad mini

While Mozilla offers its mobile Firefox browser on Android, Apple’s strict policy means the software isn’t allowed on iOS.

Interestingly enough, Mozilla last summer demoed Firefox running on an iPad. Even more telling, the non-profit subsequently pulled Firefox Home from the App Store, its only native app for iDevices which was used to sync bookmarks.

The Mozilla-Foxconn media event takes place a week ahead of Apple’s summer developers conference.

  • Cosmi3

    Welcome to the Tablet market and prepare to get an iPad beating 😉

  • Megacier Louis

    Dont underestimate Firefox OS. it is the most personalizable OS ever because it is based on html 5.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Said no one…

    • Cosmi3

      Ok i am asking another way around do u think it will take over apple in tablet market??

      • Dan

        You never know what the future holds; can you imagine that at one time, IBM was at the top of the PC market? Closed mindedness like this is what brings down giants.

  • zachf914

    Probably another washed down version of Android. Lol.

  • SimonReidy

    I know its been said many times before, but Apple’s strict policy against 3rd party web browser developers using their own native code, just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Why is that a.) all 3rd party browsers are still forced to use the same WebKit engine? And b.) they are not allowed access to Apple’s Nitro JavaScript engine so they can at least run at the same speed as mobile Safari? Like so many little things Apple forces upon its users (like no ability to change default apps) the move just seems designed to cripple the competition, but in the process the end user gets burnt.

    Apple should have confidence enough in their own software to allow uncrippled browsers and email clients to fairly compete in the App Store. They don’t have to fully open up the OS. All they have to do is provide APIs with deeper access and allow for browsers to use their own code, and in the process allow users to set their choice of default browsers and email clients (just as they can on OS X, so why not iOS?).

    I know this will probably never happen, but I hope as time goes on there will be increasing pressure on Apple to give their users more options, so you never know.

    In the meantime at least jailbreaking fixes two of the biggest problems mentioned above (thanks to the tweaks BrowserChanger and Nitrous)

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I agree! Competition in the long run is good for all parties it is just as if Apple does not want this competition or does not want to compete with it. However nothing is stopping Mozilla pulling a Grooveshark and releasing a firefox web browser in Cydia yet they choose not to…

      • SimonReidy

        They chose not to as Mozilla aren’t allowed to use their own browser engine, and would be forced to build yet another WebKit based browser with their branding slapped on it (same as every other browser on the App Store). Me may still see Mozilla do this and build a WebKit based browser for iOS, but it won’t be “true Firefox”, the same as Chrome on iOS isn’t true Chrome (I still like and use Chrome on iOS, but for people without the Nitrous tweak installed, its a fair bit slower than Safari).

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        The key word in my comment was “Cydia”! If Mozilla released a browser in Cydia they could produce whatever program they wanted to with whatever engine they wanted so it would not have to use WebKit. If they did that Apple would probably be really annoyed since without a doubt Firefox would probably be a lot better and faster than Safari. Too bad we’ll never see it…

      • SimonReidy

        Sorry I missed that bit about Cydia. While that would be nice, Cydia is an insignificantly small market to target for big companies like Mozilla. They would be putting a ton of money and resources into building something that only jailbreakers could use. Plus there’s still an unfortunate (and unfair) bad stigma associated with jailbreaking, given it is bypassing the security of the device, and going against Apple’s wishes.

        Basically, Mozilla wouldn’t waste their time, money, or risk damaging their reputation, with a browser made solely for jailbreakers.

  • silsurf

    how come coudal partners got the splash page,

    just wondering as I am a fan of coudal

  • Gorgonphone

    WHAT IS THE OPOIN OF THIS AND WHY DOK THESE COMPANIES INSIST ON FLOODING THE MARKET WITH BS AND SATURATING THE MARKET?

  • iOops

    In my eyes, Firefox OS and Ubuntu mobile are nothing more than me-toos looking at cashing in on an app-store of their own, and suited for emerging markets. Today, the world runs on iOS and Android and I highly doubt that will change any time soon.

    • Kurt

      Maybe I’m a fool, but I still believe in Windows Phone. :-s

  • pawfyd

    I want Firefox for iOS so bad, but stupid Apple for no reasons doesn’t want any competition and forces brwoser makers to use a crappy engine. This sucks, because Firefox is the best destop browser. :/

  • chito

    motharfockert i DONT INSTALL IT MEN . so sorry

  • chito

    take it easy men , whats up homie

  • chito

    oooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh santime agarifilleing yoooooooooooooooh

  • chito

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh kibe