Mozilla, long known for its free and open-source web browser, is getting its hands on the smartphone market. Stormy Peters, director of websites and developer engagement at Mozilla, unveiled the company’s first two smartphone models in a recent Mozilla blog post.
Currently being developed by Spanish manufacturer GeeksPhone, these iPhone-looking new devices called Keon and Peak are slated to be released by February. Featuring the browser maker’s Firefox OS that’s built entirely using open web standards, the phones’ service will be delivered by wireless carrier Telefonica once it’s launched. The prices of both models still remain unknown.
The Keon model (the orange one in the picture), advertised as “all you need to begin,” is a developer preview device featuring a single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a 3-megapixel camera on the rear. The Peak model (the white one in the picture), considered an advanced version of Keon, has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, an 8 megapixel camera on its back, and a 2-megapixel camera on its front.
How will these Firefox OS smartphones change the mobile world? What influence will they have on us?
On one hand, this new mobile operating system will give its users enough freedom and flexibility on choosing platforms. Consumers won’t have to stick to one specific platform since it is not vendor-controlled. Instead, the Web is the platform. On the other hand, Firefox OS will create more opportunities for developers. Speaking from a developer’s standpoint, working directly on the Web platform will save them all the troubles of learning and developing against platform-specific native APIs, with this OS, they can just develop an app based on HTML that has access to all of the APIs on their device.
For those who want to stay ahead of the curve and experience this new mobile operating system before the phones come out, they can either check out Firefox OS via the browser-based Firefox OS simulator or install Firefox OS on their own hardware.