Mozilla lures HTML5 developers with free Firefox OS phones

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Mozilla is promising free Geeksphone Keon preview phones to developers who port their HTML5 applications to its fledgling Firefox OS.

The Firefox OS phone architecture relies entirely on the web to enable HTML5 applications with complete access to core device APIs. "We're hyper-focused on getting Firefox OS phones into the hands of 'porters'--developers who've already built and shipped an HTML5 web app and have the time now to port that app to the new Firefox OS platform," said Mozilla Developer Evangelist Havi Hoffman.

Developers may submit their apps for consideration here. "We expect to see a URL for a web site, a code repository, or an app platform such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Apps, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) WebWorks, Chrome Web Store, webOS, or the PhoneGap store," Hoffman states. "If you wrapped an HTML5 app with a native skin to distribute it to iTunes, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play or another app market, please indicate the tool you used (e.g., Appcelerator, PhoneGap, Sencha)." Developers must point Mozilla to a live HTML5 app to be eligible.

The Keon, first unveiled in early 2013, boasts a 1 GHz Snapdragon S1 processor, 4 GB ROM and 512 MB RAM, a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 3-megapixel camera, MicroSD storage and support for 2G and 3G networks. Geeksphone has since launched the Peak+, a Firefox device targeting the consumer segment priced at $194.

In addition to core services like voice calling, text messaging, email and Web browsing, Firefox OS includes built-in social features like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter integration, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Here maps and Firefox Marketplace, which offers HTML5-based apps across a range of categories including games, entertainment, news, business and productivity. Last month, Mozilla partnered with mobile payments and analytics firm Bango to offer operator billing options to Firefox Marketplace consumers. 

Carriers including Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint (NYSE:S), Etisalat, Telecom Italia and Telenor have announced their support for Firefox OS. Firefox Marketplace app partners include AccuWeather, Box, Airbnb, Wikipedia and SoundCloud.

For more:
- read this Mozilla Hacks blog post

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