Mozilla to Release Firefox OS for Smartphones

March 11, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. operating system 
[OP-uh-rey-ting-SIS-tuh m] (n.) – the main software on computers and mobile phones that makes these devices understand and open other software
Example: Android is a well-known operating system for smartphones.

2. low-end [LOH-end] (adj.) – having the cheapest price among similar products
Example: He bought a low-end smartphone that has Internet features but no camera.

3. prototype [PROH-tuh-tahyp] (n.) – a model or version of a product not yet released to the public
Example: Engineers showed a prototype of the new laptop to see if it would appeal to the people.

4. app [ap] (n.) – a small program that is installed in a computer or smartphone’s operating system
Example: Smartphones usually have GPS or map apps installed in them.

5. predict [pri-DIKT] (v.) – to guess the result of an event
Example: The company predicts that they will have an increase in profit this coming year.

Read the text below.

Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox web browser, gave people a preview of its new operating system, Firefox OS, at the last Mobile World Congress.  The company is promoting Firefox OS as the better system to have on low-end smartphones.

Sony Mobile Communications is already thinking about making smartphones with the Firefox OS. Sony’s deputy CEO Bob Ishida said that the company’s engineers are currently working with the company’s partners, and they hope to release a new product next year.

Mozilla had also recently worked with Spanish telecom companies Telefonica and Geekphones to release prototypes of Firefox OS phones.

Firefox phones will include Mozilla’s Firefox Marketplace. The marketplace allows users to try and to buy apps for games, news, media and business, among others. Social Networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook also announced that they plan to design apps for Firefox OS.  

China’s ZTE and Korea’s LG Electronics will be some of the first companies to release Firefox phones to the public. ZTE plans a release of Firefox phones as early as June this year.

Firefox phones will first be launched in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and Venezuela.

However, mobile phone users in the US and other countries may not be able to buy Firefox phones until 2014. Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said the company predicts that profit from Firefox phones would mostly come from developing countries, where there is a bigger market for low-end phones.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think a lot of people like using smartphones?
·         Is it necessary to have a high-tech phone? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What factors do you consider before buying a new gadget?
·         Is it important to know what company made the gadget? Why do you say so?


March 11, 2013