Telefónica teams up with Mozilla to create open HTML 5 mobile platform

The HTML5 based browser will use the Firefox brand

Telefónica Digital has announced a new deal with Firefox browser-maker Mozilla on the first day of Mobile World Congress 2012. The two firms have collaborated to create a new mobile platform, which will see a host of HTML 5 based devices running on the open web entering the market.

The Open Web Devices platform (OWD) is set to launch in 2012, although no specific date has been mentioned. The two companies claim that the platform will enable smartphones running HTML 5 applications to enter the market at low price points.

Telefónica Digital, which was formed just last year, said that its product development and innovation team worked closely together with Mozilla, which has pioneered open web standards, to create a new phone architecture that relies entirely on the web, enabling HTML 5 applications with access to core phone APIs. This means that all of the device’s capabilities, such as calling, messaging, browsing and games, can be developed as HTML5 applications and accessed through the Firefox web browser.

The reference implementation will be submitted for standardization to W3C international open source community, in line with the initiative’s commitment to openness. The two firms said that there are no proprietary APIs within the device architecture, making phones developed using it truly open devices.

The operating system is built on a hardware platform based on a Qualcomm chipset. The three companies will be collaborating to deliver a feature rich prototype platform that will enable smartphone capabilities at feature phone entry level pricing.

“It has long been our mission to deliver advanced web technologies that eliminate roadblocks for users and developers,” said Brendan Eich, CTO at Mozilla. “By providing the missing links, Mozilla is now unlocking the power of the web as the platform for creating and consuming rich content everywhere.”

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