TAIPEI -- Taiwan's tech giant Hon Hai Precision (IW 1000/25) Monday announced plans to develop devices and software using Mozilla's Firefox operating system, in an attempt to diversify its existing manufacturing services.
For the purpose, Hon Hai said it plans to recruit up to 1,000 technicians before year-end.
They will be assigned to a software park in the southern city of Kaohsiung, Young Liu, general manager of Foxconn's innovation digital system business group, told reporters.
Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn, has been trying to diversify its business from purely providing manufacturing services for brand names whose margins are low amid stiff competition.
"Today's agreement is in line with Hon Hai's development guideline of 'Eight screens, one network, and one cloud'," Liu said, referring to screens for cellphones, tablets and televisions as well as the Internet business and cloud computing.
Under the agreement, Hon Hai will work with Mozilla to promote the non-profit organization's Firefox operating system.
Liu said Hon Hai plans to produce five devices running on Firefox but declined to give details.
But he said it would not compete with its existing clients by launching its own brand.
Firefox is based on HTML5 and is being developed by Mozilla as an open web mobile operating system.
"Technically, HTML5 is already the most advanced, but still it is not good enough," Liu said.
"In the long run, we hope the open platform will become another option for clients aside from Android and Apple's iOS," Liu said.
Foxconn is the world's largest computer component manufacturer and assembles products for Apple -- including the iPhone -- plus Sony and Nokia.
The group employs about one million workers in China, roughly half of them based in its main facility in Shenzhen bordering Hong Kong.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013