Mozilla is wrapping up work on its first version of Firefox for mobile phones, an important step in bringing the second most popular PC browser to an area where a rival project holds more influence.

"Our goal is to have a release candidate next week," said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's vice president of mobile. "If things go smoothly, we'll have a (final) version out in the next few weeks," with the debut planned for this year, he added.

Mozilla has been a leader in advancing the Web state of the art. But when it comes to the mobile phones, where the power of a new generation of hardware has transformed browsers from primitive afterthoughts to useful tools, Firefox has been missing in action.

Instead, an open-source project called WebKit powers the browser on the higher-end mobile phones du jour--Apple's iPhone, the Palm Pre, and Motorola's Droid and other models running Google's Android operating system, with BlackBerry headed that direction, too.

Full story: c|net