Mozilla unveils first Firefox OS developer preview phones
Mozilla is rolling out preview phones running its forthcoming Firefox mobile operating system, enabling developers to test drive the HTML5-based OS prior to its commercial rollout.
FireFox's Keon and Peak
The developer phones, dubbed the Keon and Peak, were built in collaboration with device maker Geeksphone and operator partner Telefónica. The Keon boasts a 1GHz 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. The Peak includes a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 4.3-inch qHD IPS display, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera (2-megapixel front), 4 GB ROM and 512 MB RAM. Neither phone is intended to represent the kinds of Firefox devices that will be available to consumers but are instead designed to familiarize developers with the new platform.
Both the Keon and the Peak will be available for purchase in early February. Mozilla did not announce pricing. Developers may also test and deploy Firefox apps, widgets and services by installing the Firefox OS on their Android smartphone or on the desktop via the Firefox OS Simulator.
Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) promises a new phone architecture that relies entirely on the Web to enable HTML5 applications with complete access to core device APIs. According to Mozilla, developers can create Firefox OS apps from existing Websites by adding an app manifest--a JSON file that describes the app, including its name, its icons and a human-readable description. "You're not locked in to a vendor-controlled ecosystem," stated Mozilla Director of Websites and Developer Engagement Stormy Peters. "You can distribute your app through the Firefox Marketplace, your own website, or any other store based on Mozilla's open app store technology."
Telefónica is scheduled to sell Firefox-powered smartphones in Brazil through its Vivo unit. Firefox handsets will be priced in the same range as feature phones; Mozilla is collaborating with ZTE to build the first wave of Firefox devices. In addition to Telefónica, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Telecom Italia and Telenor also have announced their support for the Mozilla platform.
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