The Washington Post

Mozilla, Foxconn set a June 3 event

Mozilla and Hon Hai Industries — the trading name for electronics manufacturer Foxconn — have announced date for a major announcement in Taiwan, which is setting off speculation that the companies are teaming up on a new smartphone or tablet.

A Mozilla spokesperson confirmed to The Washington Post that the event would take place on June 3 in Taipei City but declined to provide details on what the companies may be cooking up.

Mozilla made a stir in February when the company showed off its Firefox OS, a new mobile operating system, and said it was working with manufacturers LG, Huawei, ZTE and Alcatel. Telefonica, a carrier partner, also announced that Mozilla had been speaking to Sony about a new phone.

In a report from the Taiwanese news channel Focus Taiwan, an unnamed “industry insider” said that the device will most likely be a tablet.

The news also comes shortly after a Wall Street Journal report that Hon Hai is looking to expand beyond assembling electronics for Apple, Microsoft, HP Sony and Nokia among others. According to that report, Hon Hai wants to provide more software and content for the electronics it makes and is hiring software engineers.

The tablet market right now is a battleground between Apple and manufacturers who make tablets running on the Android system. But it’s projected to grow by leaps and bounds in the next two years.

On Tuesday, the analysis firm IDC published a report predicting that the tablet market will grow 58.7 percent over the previous year in 2013, up to 229.3 million units from 144.5 million in 2012. The firm said that growth is expected to outpace the PC market by 2015, as tablets continue to gain popularity and users update desktop computers less frequently.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the firm is predicting the death of the PC.

IDC’s program manager for mobility trackers, Ryan Reith, said in a statement: “IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.”

Related stories:

MWC 2013 - Announcements from Mozilla, Sony, HP and LG

VentureBeat: Mozilla announces Firefox OS smartphones to come in 2013

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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