Hon Hai, Mozilla to launch mobile device running on Firefox

TAIPEI Tue May 28, 2013 12:32am EDT

A security guard patrols at Hong Hai headquarters in Tucheng, Taipei county, June 8, 2010. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

A security guard patrols at Hong Hai headquarters in Tucheng, Taipei county, June 8, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Pichi Chuang

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TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd will team up with Mozilla and launch a mobile device that runs on the U.S. company's Firefox operating system, a Mozilla spokeswoman said, as Hon Hai looks to diversify its client base away from Apple.

The Taipei-based Mozilla spokeswoman declined to provide details on the device that the companies plan to unveil on June 3, but Focus Taiwan, citing an "industry insider", reported that it would likely be a tablet.

Hon Hai and Mozilla declined to comment on the report.

Hon Hai, a contract electronics maker that draws an estimated 60 percent of its revenue from assembling gadgets and other work for Apple Inc, saw its net profit ease last quarter as sales of iPhones and iPads slowed.

Most of the mobile devices that Hon Hai manufactures run on Apple's iOS and Google's Android systems. Hon Hai said it would add Firefox to its product line for clients.

Mozilla, the non-profit organization that evolved from Netscape, said at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress in February that it was working with manufacturers Alcatel (TCL Communication Technology), LG Electronics and ZTE Corp to build the first Firefox OS devices, with Huawei Technologies to follow later in the year, all powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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