On Monday during a news conference in San Francisco, Brendan Eich, chief technology officer for Mozilla, said that with a new Firefox OS smartphone hitting shelves in Spain this week, Mozilla is now focusing on tablets. He didn't provide a specific timeframe, but instead told the press that a Firefox OS tablet will arrive as soon as possible.
"I’m not going to project when, but I’m going to say we’re moving aggressively and you’ll see things soon,” he said.
He went on to explain that the tablet form factor was one of the original platforms for Firefox OS, that it would be easier to develop the operating system for a larger device. But Mozilla's development was influenced by community feedback, and that inbound interest "was in the direction of smartphones".
Eich also added that a number of developers showed high interest in a Firefox OS phone. Android even played a part in the smartphone direction, as it provided a relatively open system for developers to create apps specifically for that form factor's size.
"So we went to smartphones, but we’re going to get to tablets ASAP," he told the press.
Just recently Foxconn signed a deal with Mozilla to use Firefox OS on its own devices, thus extending past its origins in original design manufacturing to a combination of integrated software and hardware offerings. Foxconn also said it was hiring on up to 3,000 additional workers in Taiwan to bolster the company's Firefox OS software efforts.
Foxconn reportedly has plans to develop more than five devices running Firefox OS by the end of the year. It's also planning to design reference models that will be the foundation for future Firefox OS-based smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs. The Taiwanese company is the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, and wants to provide customers with an alternative to Android and Windows.
A prototype Foxconn tablet running Firefox OS was shown last month by Mozilla's Taiwan office. Eich said that it was a perfect example of how the Web scales better than any graphical UI system to date thanks to elements like CSS.
"We’re looking forward to working with them to see how Firefox OS scales up," he said. "We think it scales well."