Mozilla unveils Firefox OS developer phones

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Mozilla unveils Firefox OS developer phones

Will newcomer mobile OS take off?

The Mozilla foundation is pushing ahead with its mobile Firefox operating system and has announced two developer handsets in partnership with Spanish vendor Geeksphone and telco giant Telefonica.

Called Keon and Peak, the two UMTS smartphones support 3G HSPA and have 512 MB RAM and 4 GB of read-only memory. The Keon is the low-end model with a single-core 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, 3.5-inch multi-touch screen and three megapixel camera.

Geeksphone Keon

The Geekphone Peak is a meatier proposition with a dual-core Qualcomm S4 onboard and a 4.3-inch IPS screen, and an eight megapixel camera.

 

Geeksphone Peak
 
The phones are unlocked and can be used with any carrier's SIM in the GSM and UMTS 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz bands, and also in the 850 and 1800MHz GSM frequency ranges.
 
Availability of the developer phones was not given by Mozilla beyond "very soon".
However, since December last year developers have the Firefox OS simulator for desktop operating systems to test their apps on, as well as the ability to try them out on Android through the Marketplace for Firefox.
 
Firefox OS itself is an attempt by Mozilla to "make the mobile web more accessible to everyone" according to the foundation's director of websites and developer engagement, Stormy Peters.
Based on a Linux kernel, Firefox OS runs on ARM-based mobile devices and utilises Mozilla's Gecko engine, with HTML5 applications having direct access to hardware through Javascript.
Mozilla believes the web standards HTML5 core will enable Firefox OS to compete against Android and Apple's iOS.
    
Mozilla already claims to have support from handset makers Alcatel and ZTE as well as telcos Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Telenor, and is expecting a commercial launch in Brazil this year.
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