Today Mozilla released their Firefox OS-based smartphones from online retailer Geeksphone out of Spain. Within a few hours, they were already sold out, but according to CNET, they may be available again soon.
“For those who like to be one step beyond,” touts the Geeksphone website. The $119, 3.5-inch screen Keon and $195, 4.3-inch screen Peak were built for open-source aficionados to create apps for the HTML5-based OS. The phones are specifically not for consumers; rather, designed for developers to experiment with before being released to the general public.
“With early access to hardware, developers can test the capabilities of Firefox OS in a real environment with a mobile network and true hardware characteristics like the accelerometer and camera…Plus, new hardware is fun to play with!” said Director of Websites and Developer Engagement at Mozilla, Stormy Peters on the Mozilla blog.
The Firefox phone comes with a few pre-loaded apps to help “inspire” the early adopters. Some of the apps available in the Marketplace include standard programs that one would expect to be available for any modern smartphone such as Twitter and YouTube. Others are brand-new for the Firefox OS only, such as a game called Desert Rescue.
Mozilla faces the same challenge as Blackberry and Microsoft: enticing developers to make apps for their OS instead of the already extremely popular Android and iOS. Peters appeals to potential Firefox OS developers with benefits that would be attractive to those with an ethical outlook on the Internet and technology. She explains that the goal of the Firefox OS is to “keep the web open”- one of the basic tenets of Mozilla’s mission, as well as the simplicity of working with HTML5 and the freedom to distribute your work as they please unlike the strict policies of Apple.
Firefox phones will be available to mainstream consumers some time next year.