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Barcelona - The Mobile World Congress opened in Barcelona on Monday, with Firefox presenting its new operating system for smart phones.
Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox internet browser, hopes to compete with Google's Android operating system (OS) and Apple's iOS for mobile phones, which dominate the market.
Since Mozilla is a non-profit organisation, whose Firefox OS is open-source, developers of mobile phone applications will be free to sell their apps without needing to share revenue with Apple or Google.
Mozilla hopes that its OS will further bring down mobile phone prices.
It has won the backing of about a dozen wireless service providers around the globe, including Deutsche Telekom, which wants to introduce a relatively cheap smart phone made by the French-Chinese Alcatel in Poland this summer, using the Firefox OS.
But the browser and OS maker hopes to score especially in growing markets like South America.
The annual, five-day event in Barcelona, seen as the world's largest exhibition for the cellphone and tablet industry, will also feature new mobile payment methods and see companies like Nokia introduce smart phones of under 200 euros (about R2 000). These would compete with high-end products from Apple and Samsung.
All manufacturers are counting on a smartphone boom in Asia, Africa and Latin America. - Sapa-dpa