ZTE is one of the few companies making a sly side-bet on Firefox OS, and next year it's planning to double-down on that initial wager with the launch of a second handset running Mozilla's smartphone platform. Speaking with IDG's Michael Kan at Expo Comm China 2013, ZTE's Executive VP He Shiyou expects the device to land first half 2014, with a larger display than its predecessor, a dual-core processor, a "revamped user experience" and, of course, a low price tag. The exec also said that, with approximately 100,000 units sold, demand for the ZTE Open "has exceeded supply," and he anticipates double that figure in total sales. ZTE deliberately manufactured the Open on a small scale, but is optimistic about future adoption of Firefox OS. Shiyou believes HTML5-based apps will become more relevant as speedy network technology like LTE reduces reliance on native software, stating: "In the future, the app store business model will be no more."
Interested in jumping on the Geeksphone Firefox OS bandwagon? Its first consumer-oriented device, the Peak+, is up for pre-order and we now know a lot more about it. It doubles up the RAM to 1GB over its Peak and Keon developer siblings, while packing the same 4.3-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 4GB of storage (with a microSD expansion slot), 8-megapixel rear camera and 1,800 mAh battery as the original Peak. It's also boasting the latest Firefox flavor, version 1.1, which brings faster boot times and fewer bugs, along with 25GB of cloud storage. You can reserve one at €149 for a limited time -- with delivery promised by mid-September -- so, if you're looking to leave the usual smartphone OS fray behind, check the source.
Geeksphone's Firefox OS-based Keon and Peak phones have mostly catered to developers; the company is now widening that audience with an upgraded phone for the public, the Peak+. While Geeksphone isn't saying exactly what's been tuned, it promises "new hardware upgrades" in response to community feedback. The firm is also offering 25GB in cloud storage to first-timers for all their web syncing needs. Reservations for the Peak+ will start in the days ahead, and would-be customers will likely want to sign up quickly -- Geeksphone is teasing a discount for the first wave of buyers.
As promised, Geeksphone is offering both of its Firefox OS smartphones starting today. While the Firefox orange-tinged Keon will set you back $119, the slightly more upmarket Peak is priced at $194 -- check out both of them in action after the break. The online retailer is willing to send both developer devices to anywhere in the world, so if you're looking to be part of the next billion smartphone users, place your order at the source.
Mozilla launched its first Firefox OS Simulator late last year, letting developers test out apps on the new platform even though the software was still very much in development. It only makes sense, then, that a new version would surface following the mobile operating system's official unveiling at Mobile World Congress 2013. Like versions 1.0 and 2.0, Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 runs as an extension in Mozilla's browser and is available on Linux, Windows and OS X. The new preview adds several features, including Push to Device, which brings over apps installed on the OS Simulator to a Firefox OS device provided it's connected via USB. Rotation simulation and an updated version of the software's Gaia interface are also on board. To give the Simulator a go, head to Mozilla's FTP server, where you'll find it under the working name r2d2b2g. Click through to source links for the full installation directions.
Well, that didn't take long. A mere couple of days after announcing it, too, would be jumping on the Firefox OS bandwagon, Sony's now let it be known that it's making an "experimental" ROM available to devs (or any common, daring owner) with an Xperia E device. According the company's Developer World blog post, this developmental version of Mozilla's fresh mobile software is being released in order to show the current progress of the OS project, as well as in hopes of receiving feedback that'll be beneficial toward the finished product. Folks interested in tinkering with the Firefox OS ROM can hit the source link below to see what it all entails, while those only looking for a quick peek will find just that in the video situated right after the break.
Via: The Verge
Source: Sony Developer World
Geeksphone may be an online phone seller based in Spain, but the name of its lower-end Firefox OS reference phone, Keon, appears to be Dutch. Regardless of the title's origin, the part of the phone that's most intriguing is the fact that it's one of the first to bear Mozilla's mobile platform. It isn't much in the way of specs, and that's easy enough to tell from just glancing at it, thanks to a 3.5-inch HVGA display. Still, the Keon's set of specs is actually on par with the Firefox protocol. This means that for roughly around 100 euros, we can expect to see a device with a 3MP camera, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, a 1,580mAh battery and a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon S17225A CPU. Don't expect an earth-shattering experience on this kind of phone, as it's meant to reside strictly on the low end. The Keon will be making its way onto the official company store in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we've made a lovely video and photo gallery below, so check them out.
Never heard of Geeksphone before? We can't quite blame you, but it's getting a fair share of attention at Mobile World Congress. While the company has cranked out an Android handset or two over the past few years, it's now dipping a second hand into the Firefox OS pot. Of the two models unveiled at this week's show, the Peak is the higher-end: it boasts a 4.3-inch qHD display, 8MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing cam, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Play chipset (MSM8225). 512MB RAM, 4GB storage with microSD expansion and a 1,800mAh battery.
As you can see, the specs on the Peak aren't anything to email home about, but for a Firefox OS device, it's certainly above-average. The materials are rather on the plasticky side and don't necessarily exude a large sense of elegance, but we're not going to say that the build quality isn't out of the norm for a device in this price range. We didn't have any problem holding it in our hand, and while we weren't given exact dimensions, it appeared to be roughly around 10mm thick. The back of the Peak sports the camera, LED flash and the branding of a Firefox OS developer device.
In terms of radio frequencies, the Peak is compatible with HSPA 900/1900/2100 and quadband GSM / EDGE. It's expected to arrive in Geeksphone's retail store in the coming weeks and the estimated price will be around 200 euros. Check out our full gallery and video of the device and OS below.
Filed under: Mobile
Alcatel wasn't the only one to flash some Firefox OS hardware at Mozilla's big MWC event. ZTE was also showing off two shades of its new smartphone, the Open. The device will launch in orange and blue in global territories starting in Q2. It has a very handy 3.5-inch screen, meaning there's no issues holding it in one hand but there's not a lot of premium feel going on here. The plastic shell felt like any low-end Android device, though we won't fault the grippy finish here.
Other specs (that we've already snuck a peek at) include a Cortex-A5-based Qualcomm processor that could be clocked at either 600MHz or 800MHz -- we're trying to get a confirmation on that. There's also 256MB of RAM, 512MB of storage and a humble 3.2-megapixel camera on the back. The 480 x 320 screen itself is nothing to shout home about. Again, it feels like a flashback to those sub-$150 smartphones that did the rounds back in 2011 and while it's not the flashiest spec sheet, ZTE (and Firefox) are pitching this at those millions of future smartphone users that haven't already plumped for a mobile OS. However, the search function looks pretty pervasive, able to tap into apps, the web and more in search of the answer you're looking for. Specific carriers will be able to add in their own apps (pre-installed or not) for its customers. We got a quick glimpse at a data monitoring app that could pull together your data habits and respective carrier plans -- even if there's no word on a US release beyond some time in 2014. There's a quick hands-on after the break. Gallery: ZTE Open hands-on
Gallery: ZTE Open hands-on
Myriam Joire, Terrence O'Brien and Sharif Sakr contributed to this report.
With a number of other countries already in line to get their hands on Mozilla's Firefox OS, it's pretty clear that the company doesn't have the States at the top of its list of priorities. While attending its press conference at MWC today, however, we just had to ask: when will we be getting a turn at the mobile operating system? CEO Gary Kovacs assured us that the US is indeed on the list (albeit a bit further down), and his company has both plans and partners lined up for what looks to be a 2014 release time frame for the low cost operating system.
24/02/2013 - Firefox OS heading to Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Spain and more; Huawei device coming soon
Not content with a simple Deutsche Telecom announcement, Mozilla's using Mobile World Congress as a platform to launch its mobile operating system in a slew of markets. Rolling out in waves, the first round of devices featuring Firefox OS include the likes of Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela, with more markets soon, according to the company. The first round of handsets include devices by Alcatel, LG and ZTE. Mozilla also let slip news of a forthcoming handset from Huawei, who just capped up their own MWC press conference. As you'd expect, there's a whole slew of carriers on board. You can find the list in the release after the break.
24/02/2013 - Likely ZTE Open spotted at Mozilla press conference: it's blue and open, like the ocean
Remember that orphaned spec list we saw for the Mozilla-powered ZTE Open? Well, we think we've just spotted the device that it describes. It only came out for a second, clasped in the hand of someone from Mozilla, but we were just about able to grab a shot. As we saw in an earlier leak, it should be arriving with a 3.5-inch HVGA TFT screen, Cortex -A5-based processor, 512MB of RAM and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Check it out in the dark sea of shapes above and then remind yourself of the rest of the likely specs after the break.
24/02/2013 - Live from Mozilla's MWC 2013 press event!
Mozilla has gone from having zero mobile presence to being a big name waiting in the wings pretty quickly. The powerful open-source browser only landed on Android in 2010 (and in a "pre-alpha stage"), while Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) made its debut roughly a year ago this week. So, twelve months after the big reveal, whats does Mozilla have in store for us at this Mobile World Congress? You'll just have to check back in at the time below to find out!
30/01/2013 - ZTE to reveal its own Firefox OS phone at MWC 2013
ZTE's plans for this year's Mobile World Congress just got a little more interesting. While we've already taken a look at the huge Grand Memo in action, the Chinese maker's invite suggests that there will be another "major new mobile device" to show us, throwing in a 'ZTEMozilla' hashtag for good measure. We knew that Mozilla and ZTE have been holding hands for a while, and this serves to confirm mutterings that we'd see some Firefox OS hardware early this year -- although there's no hint of that mysterious European carrier just yet. Hold on, Barcelona. We're coming.
ZTE - Life is Grand
Mobile Devices Global Media Launch - MWC 2013
ZTE would like to invite you to the announcement of two major new mobile devices at MWC 2013. To whet your appetite - the hashtags for the announcements will be:
23/01/2013 - Mozilla Presents The First Firefox OS Smartphones
As much as we've heard about Firefox OS, there hasn't been a lot of talk about actual devices. We can put at least one major manufacturer on the list, however. ZTE's US chief Cheng Lixin tells Bloomberg that his company is working with an unspecified European carrier to ship a Mozilla-friendly phone sometime in 2013. It's a modest beginning, but Cheng notes that the OS could cross the Atlantic and reach the US this year if ZTE decides the platform is viable enough for the trip. Just what that that European phone involves is another matter -- it's unlikely that the mystery device we saw at CES represents ZTE's future hardware. Between this and TCL's commitment earlier this week, though, it's evident that Mozilla's platform is becoming a tangible reality.
Via: The Next Web
01/02/2010 - Firefox Goes Mobile
27/01/2009 - Mobile Firefox Expected On HTC Touch Pro
A beta version of Mozilla's mobile Firefox web browser - codenamed Fennec - could be launched on the HTC Touch Pro as early as next week.
The move is part of Moxilla's announced intention to move onto Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms.