Mozilla flags 'higher end' Firefox OS phones on the way and moves on to tablets

2014 will be the year Mozilla fleshes out its Firefox OS hardware ecosystem if all goes to plan.

Besides announcing a TV tie-up with Panasonic , Mozilla has revealed at the CES trade show this week that there are two new "higher-end" phones running Firefox OS on the way as it looks to build up the tablet ecosystem around its mobile OS.

ZTE, maker of the one of the first Firefox OS smartphones — the cheap and cheerful Open , should release a new line of devices in the coming year, according to Mozilla, which points to two new dual-core devices, the Open C and Open II, in the pipeline.

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While Mozilla hasn't released any other details about the devices, it looks like they're designed to address the lack of higher-specced Firefox OS devices available so far, in order to make the platform more attractive to consumers.

Despite the arrival of higher-end devices, Mozilla plans to retain its focus on emerging markets this year and is hoping to see Firefox OS deployed in new ways, hinting at a play in wearables.

"As the internet comes to your wrist, your car and your TV, Mozilla would like to see the web principles of openness and a level playing field in these areas, too," Mozilla said in a statement today.  

Mozilla also announced yesterday a new "contribution program" to speed up the arrival of Firefox OS on tablets.

Contributors will be given access to resources such as Firefox OS nightly builds and a reference design tablet from Foxconn, which showed off a tablet running Firefox OS in June last year.

The issue that Mozilla is attempting to solve with the program is that it needs hardware before it can seek contributors on the software side, so it's looking to Foxconn and others like it for support.

"We have to make the hardware available before the software is final to make it possible for contributors around the world to help us complete the build of Firefox OS for tablets," Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of Firefox OS participation, wrote in a blog post.

The reference model listed is a wi-fi-only InFocus 10-inch tablet that has a 1280×800 display, 24bit colour, 16GB of onboard storage and 2GB RAM. Its dimensions are 267mm by 171mm, with a thickness of 9.7mm. It weighs 580g.

Mozilla plans to give contributors the reference tablet but says it will publish more details about the program when it launches in coming weeks.

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