Firefox Mobile OS will launch in five countries this summer

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Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs noted during the All Things D conference on Monday that Firefox OS will launch in five countries starting this summer. The mobile operating system, designed for budget handsets, will show up first in Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela, the outgoing CEO said.

During the chat, Kovacs said the whole mission with Firefox OS is to stimulate the economy. He referenced Mozilla’s entrance into the browser market as a time when the number of people, websites and experiences on the web exploded.

Mozilla announced their first mobile operating system just ahead of Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The operating system will be built entirely of open web standards which will allow every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application. The fact that a number of developers got their start using Web standards is likely to give the OS a leg up, especially in developing countries.

NPD Group estimates that worldwide low-cost smartphone shipments will exceed 311 million by 2016. Low-cost smartphones are designed as those costing less than $150. Regions like Africa, Asia and South America are reportedly ripe for the picking with regard to this low-end market.

Version 1.0 of the operating system will just be the start. Kovacs noted it will use brand appeal at first but innovation will explode later. Mozilla won’t be alone in going after these markets as Android and Facebook Home are both targeting the low end as well.

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