Mozilla Announces Developer Builds For Firefox OS Smartphones

By Jordan Mammo email: , Jan 22, 2013 02:43 PM EST

Those annoyed with regulated ecosystems and mobile operating systems that capture their personal data now have an interesting initiative to keep tabs on. On Tuesday, browser-maker Mozilla announced two developer preview phones for its new Firefox OS: the Keon and the Peak.

Yes, it's another OS to consider in addition to iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Ubuntu; so what's so special about this one? Firefox OS has been developed using open Web standards only, meaning all of its apps will be built entirely with HTML 5. This opens up app development to virtually anyone and everyone, including amateurs unable to break into the Android and Apple ecosystems.

Mozilla is really pushing the open Web backbone of Firefox OS, touting its intention to "keep the web open" and ensure that it's available to everyone. It's also boasting about the freedom it offers developers to create and distribute their apps through a number of different venues: personal Web sites, the Firefox marketplace, and "any other store based on Mozilla's open app store technology."

"Developer preview phones will help make the mobile web more accessible to more people," said Stormy Peters, director of websites and developer engagement at Mozilla. "Developers are critical to the web and to Mozilla's mission to make the web accessible to everyone. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Firefox to discover, experience and connect to the Web. A web based on open standards and open technologies. We couldn't have done this without web developers."

A look at the phones' specs (seen below) won't impress anyone (especially the low-budget Keon), but it's not Mozilla's intention to go after behemoths like Apple and Samsung. Instead, they're aiming to release a phone that falls into a price range that most global shoppers could realistically afford.

The Firefox OS phones will officially make their first public appearance this year in Brazil, and are being built with Geeksphone in a partnership with Telefonica. There's been no word on pricing or commercial availability yet, though Mozilla did say it intends to ship out developer preview units in February.

Here are the specs for each phone:

The Keon
- CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz
- UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
- GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
- Screen 3.5″ HVGA Multitouch
- 3 Megapixel Camera
- 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
- MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB
- 1580 mAh battery

The Peak
- CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.2Ghz x2
- UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
- GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
- Screen: 4.3" qHD IPS Multitouch
- 8 Megapixel Camera (back) + 2 Megapixel Camera (front)
- 4GB (ROM) and 512 (RAM)
- MicroSD, Wi-Fi N, Light & Prox. Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB, Flash (camera)
- Battery 1800mAh

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