Why Foxconn’s Firefox OS-powered tablet is too big to ignore

Mozilla has already scored some pretty powerful partners for Firefox OS. Those have been enough to get us interested, but now there’s word out of Taiwan that Foxconn is joining the ranks. There’s going to be a product announcement on June 3rd where, some sources say, the company will unveil a Firefox OS tablet.

This is big news for two key reasons. First, of course, is the fact that world’s largest manufacturer of electronic devices is going to put (some of) its weight behind Firefox OS.


Foxconn remains Apple’s go-to OEM and puts together phones for Nokia and many others. It never hurts to hedge your bets in the electronics business, though, and Foxconn already sells plenty of products under its own name in Asia. Foxconn also think it’s time to get more Apple-y and start boosting its margins by increasing its retail presence. These steps, just like working with Mozilla, will further diversify the company’s portfolio so it does not grow too dependent on any one vendor.

Secondly, there’s the fact that Focus Taiwan’s sources are saying Foxconn will unveil a Firefox OS tablet. Mozilla’s focus for Firefox OS is squarely fixed on affordable phones and attracting “the next billion” users, especially in emerging markets.

Importantly, because Firefox OS (like all of Mozilla’s products) is open source, there’s really nothing stopping a company like Foxconn from flashing the code onto a 7- or 10-inch tablet and seeing how consumers react.

Tablets are a substantial slice of the mobile browsing pie chart, and their share continues to increase. Would shoppers be interested in an inexpensive, browser-powered tablet from Foxconn? At the right price, absolutely.

Though it’s slid to third place in global browser share, Firefox is still a widely-recognized brand. It’s also one of the most trusted on the internet, and its reputation will certainly help sell devices. Pair that with Foxconn’s unmatched ability to produce inexpensive devices at scale, and you’ve got a winning combination. If Foxconn can deliver, say, a $99 7-inch Firefox OS tablet, it’s going to sell.

Now read: Firefox OS minimum specs can’t get much more minimal