Developer preview Firefox OS phones revealed
The first dedicated hardware for Mozillas web-based OS is unveiled, albeit without release dates or price tags.
Having appeared in a
near-complete form at CES earlier this month, Firefox OS has
become one step closer to commercial reality with the
announcement of dedicated hardware for the open source
Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone is to produce two “developer
preview devices” designed specifically for building Firefox OS
apps. Currently, Firefox OS app developers have to choose between
hacking an Android phone or using a
Mozilla’s first ever operating system, like Chrome OS, consists of
nothing but a browser, with even the lock and home screens coded in
not-entirely-open natures of iOS and Android and the shift to
single-platform native apps.
Mozilla’s partnership with an obscure European company makes sense
in the context of their work with Telefonica. The Spanish cellphone
network has a majority stake in Vivo, the second-largest mobile
operator in Firefox OS’s initial target market of Brazil. It seems
likely that Geeksphone are using these preview devices as a dry run
for consumer devices promised (by Mozilla) later this year.
The lower-end model, ‘Keon’, has a 1Ghz CPU, 512Mb RAM and 3.5”
screen, while the higher-end ‘Peak’ has two 1.2Ghz CPUs and a
higher-quality 4.3” qHD IPS screen. With Firefox OS supposedly
aimed at the developing markets such as Brazil, Keon may be the
more important of the two.
Unfortunately, Geeksphone’s announcement is lacking a few crucial
details: so far, no pricing information has been announced
(although in promotional materials Peak is promised to be “at a
price you could never have imagined”) nor when the phones will be
available to pre order.