Mozilla Firefox OS developer phones revealed

Mozilla announced last summer they would be joining the smartphone OS wars by releasing their very own Firefox OS, which is designed to be licensed by OEMs and eager carriers.

Until recently, they’ve been slowly working on getting their OS functional, but now they have reached a milestone where they need to involve 3rd party developers to add some apps to their ecosystem. Mozilla has just announced a “Developer Preview Phone” that devs will be able to use to get their apps ready for the launch coming later this year.

Named only as Keon, this seems to be a very basic smartphone designed. The handset will sport a 3.5 inch HVGA touchscreen, a Snapdragon S1 processor, 512 MB RAM, expandable 4GB MicroSD storage and a 1580 mAh battery. Mozilla is also promising OTA updates for the phone to keep devs up to date with the latest version of Firefox OS. There's no info on the price of the device and how devs are supposed to get a hold of it but it's expected to start shipping next month.

The creators of this developer device, Geeksphone, also mention a second, more powerful device called the Peak. This one features a 4.3-inch qHD screen, a 1.2 Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 and a larger 1800 mAh battery; the rest of the specs including RAM and storage remain the same.

Source: Mozilla Hacks Blog Via: Engadget  | Image via Mozilla

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36 Comments

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It looks like Android and iOS, but uglier.

The nice thing about Android and iOS is the ecosystem that Apple and Google maintain for their mobile OSes. MS has a very large ecosystem. What is Mozilla's ecosystem other than their browser? Apple, Google, and MS have $billions in the bank to compete with each other's offerings and added value. How deep are the pockets of Mozilla to invest in and create their own ecosystem?

At this point anything can happen at the lower end of the marketshare spectrum in smartphones. If done right I can see Firefox OS overtaking Windows Phone OS in marketshare.

derekaw said,
At this point anything can happen at the lower end of the marketshare spectrum in smartphones. If done right I can see Firefox OS overtaking Windows Phone OS in marketshare.

It would be possible if they doing something different or offering something new to the marketspace. This looks like Android/iOS and that is where users are going to stop considering it.

At best they are going to maybe present a better performing OS equivalent to Android.

Keon specs may suck but Firefox os will run well on it. Also the OS boots and shuts down in 2 secs each. I'm going to buy one, eager for this OS. If u have a nexus s or galaxys2 u can also have the OS

drazgoosh said,
That definitely looks like an orange iPhone... Can they be sued for a product that won't be sold?

Don't think they can.
It's all fantasy right now in theory if I'm not mistaken.

It gets interesting as soon as they try to hit a market, which they don't right now.

GS:mac

Mozilla shouldn't be bothering to try and make an OS, and should rather focus on their browser. As much as I like Firefox, it's no lie that Chrome is faster. The OS market is already over saturated (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian,Ubuntu etc.), the last thing we need is another OS.

XMac said,
Mozilla shouldn't be bothering to try and make an OS, and should rather focus on their browser. As much as I like Firefox, it's no lie that Chrome is faster. The OS market is already over saturated (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian,Ubuntu etc.), the last thing we need is another OS.

+1
Firefox is going downhill since v3

Sub_Zero_Alchemist said,

Nonsense

The new versions actually seem better to me. I just want to see Mozilla keep focusing on Firefox, because there are still some things that need work.

lol, it's funny how people always say some new phone out is copying iPhone.
Not much can be done when the common shape is a rectangle. What do companies have to do, make a round phone so they're not copying someone else?

Thing is until the iPhone nothing had a decent touch interface with an OS to maximise the use of that screen. The iPhone changed the industry... apart for RIM's BB's.

SK[ said,]Thing is until the iPhone nothing had a decent touch interface with an OS to maximise the use of that screen. The iPhone changed the industry... apart for RIM's BB's.

Also apart from WM/Pocket PC which was shipping since 2002. Apple didn't offer anything new, in fact It paled in technical and App features to WM at the time it was released. However, they did a hell of a job convincing the world they invented the smartphone and moved the market of high end phones to average consumers that never would have considered an expensive *gasp* $500 WM phone.

I think they should be directing their efforts into a better browser with less crap in it then trying to enter the smartphone OS makert... Is it me or is pretty much every tech company (excluding Microsoft, Apple and of course a few others) trying to move into areas that they really shouldn't? I mean Nvidia and Valve are putting out gaming hardware, Google are trying to control the world with a browser, mobile OS and lame hardware devices and now Mozilla are trying to go for a mobile OS???!!! Google is the one that continues to amaze me (not a good way...) I mean it's a friggin search engine, the company name is the search engine name and yet they think they can now just start writing desktop OSes?!?!?! Something really weird is happening in the tech industry at the moment, everyone is trying to expand into areas they have absolutely no knowledge about and expect to succeed overnight!

ingramator said,
I think they should be directing their efforts into a better browser with less crap in it then trying to enter the smartphone OS makert... Is it me or is pretty much every tech company (excluding Microsoft, Apple and of course a few others) trying to move into areas that they really shouldn't? I mean Nvidia and Valve are putting out gaming hardware, Google are trying to control the world with a browser, mobile OS and lame hardware devices and now Mozilla are trying to go for a mobile OS???!!! Google is the one that continues to amaze me (not a good way...) I mean it's a friggin search engine, the company name is the search engine name and yet they think they can now just start writing desktop OSes?!?!?! Something really weird is happening in the tech industry at the moment, everyone is trying to expand into areas they have absolutely no knowledge about and expect to succeed overnight!

Windows Phone user here, what do you mean by Google lame hardware devices?

Google isn't the same company that started over 10 years ago, they've acquired that many companies that they can go into these different fields and compete, otherwise it would just be Apple with the iPhone.

nVidia and Valve specialise in gaming hardware and games, the fact they are making a console is no surprise and well in their field of expertise.

Half your post was bashing Google which is a bit uncalled for because without them competing, things would look very different.

ingramator said,
Google are trying to control the world with a browser, mobile OS and lame hardware devices and now Mozilla are trying to go for a mobile OS???!!!
Well... they are doing quite good on the first two...

ingramator said,
I think they should be directing their efforts into a better browser with less crap in it then trying to enter the smartphone OS makert... Is it me or is pretty much every tech company (excluding Microsoft, Apple and of course a few others) trying to move into areas that they really shouldn't?

They're trying to move into the low-end smart phone world, that's a very different place. Mozilla isn't in it to make boatloads of money like the companies you mentioned. And it actually makes a lot of sense to go into the smartphone market for them; Mozilla is all about the web. What's the only other place you'll use the web besides the desktop? That's where their presence is missing.

PS: Notice how the currently biggest smartphone OS makers are also browser makers. Who are you to so pre-maturely judge Firefox's success here?

*Just waiting for an Opera phone now*

I just wish they'd fix the flash-hanging issue that's been present since flash 11.3 was released. It makes the browser unusable. The issue's been around since at least Firefox 16. Flash 11.5 doesn't fix it either. I understand it might be Adobe's fault, but Mozilla should focus some attention on the basic function of their browser and get it fixed...before going out and trying to reinvent the wheel *again* for a phone OS.

Mozilla is really serious about this, aren't they? I really don't see this new OS gaining any traction in today's market.

insanelyapple said,
Its always better to have a choice.

This is a very anti-choice user base. Or at least it has become that in the past few years.

Shadrack said,

This is a very anti-choice user base. Or at least it has become that in the past few years.

That's exactly why they're releasing Firefox OS. And that's exactly why Netscape/Firefox was so important, because otherwise there was just Internet Explorer and nothing else was popular, even on Macs.

There are two big hailing points of Firefox OS. One is that these apps are designed are based completely on HTML5, so there's no special programming languages or UI tricks to learn, and these apps could easily be supported in any smartphone (not just Firefox phones). You can actually already check out the apps designed for Firefox OS on Android or Windows by downloading Nightly and visiting marketplace.firefox.com. The second big thing you notice about most smartphones today is that they're expensive, and even by the looks of these smartphones, there's nothing fancy. So while iOS and Android may be super popular in 1st world countries, they're hoping for Firefox phones to be popular in less privileged areas.