Mozilla reveals first Firefox OS smartphones, available to buy in February


Mozilla has introduced two smartphones Developer Preview, which act as a vanguard before the release of Firefox consumer OS later this year. The phones are being developed by Geeksphone – a smartphone Spanish startup – and Telefonica, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world (and also Spanish).

The first phone, dubbed Keon (top right), is very much a budget smartphone. There is a Snapdragon S1 SoC clocked at 1 GHz (probably the newer 45nm Cortex-A5 variety), full support for 3G bands usual and 2G, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. The display is a 3.5-inch hole of 480 × 320 units, and only a 3-megapixel rear shooter, but there is a micro SD slot, GPS, and 802.11n.

The second phone, known as the Peak (above left), is basically the same device – but with a clock speed of 4.3-inch 960 × 540 display, a front-facing camera (and an 8-megapixel rear camera ) and a dual-core Snapdragon S4 at 1.2GHz. It is the enthusiast version, in other words. No word on the price of either device, but is expected to come in Keon around $ 100-150. Both phones will be available “in February.” Both phones, of course, be fully unlocked SIM, and receive over-the-air operating system updates Firefox.

In the last year, has been solidly Mozilla Firefox persevering in OS, which is basically a lightweight distro of Linux that shares some common components with Android. Firefox codename OS is starting to Gecko – and that’s really all you Firefox OS is a Linux distro that automatically loads Gecko. Gecko is the layout engine / rendering used by Firefox, but Firefox OS essentially becomes the application execution, much like Android’s Dalvik.

In short, Firefox OS applications are basically web pages written in HTML, JavaScript and CSS – but also Mozilla has also added some additional hooks for Firefox OS that allows developers to access the hardware of a phone (like the camera) through HTML. If you want to try Firefox OS, but do not want to shell out money on a orange phone, you can always install Firefox OS on their own hardware – or just run the simulator (which is basically a modified version of Firefox).

The theory behind Firefox OS is to provide a truly intelligent open, free of both carrier and oppression Apple / Android – an environment where developers and consumers can Gallivant freely, without the ever-present fear that your data may be subject to somehow misappropriation. It is a good idea, but as we’ve covered before, chance of success Firefox OS is almost nil.

Still, it’s nice to see that Firefox OS is actually coming to market – the choice is good. If you can convince developers to develop applications, and if Telefonica puts some serious push brunt Mozilla open OS in the hands of consumers, there is a chance we might see a grassroots movement similar to that propelled Firefox fame in 2004.


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