The Bulletin

Mozilla to launch first Firefox smartphone

Posting in Technology

In the years since the release of Apple's iPhone, the smartphone market has become increasingly competitive, particularly as manufacturers like Google and Microsoft aimed to introduce handsets that used their own operating systems. Now, Mozilla, the company behind the popular Firefox web browser, is joining the fray with its own, Firefox-operated entry.

The details of the new models, developed by a Spanish company called Geeksphone, have been published for developers ahead of the Firefox operating system's formal launch. The Keon, the more basic of the two models, will feature a 3.5in screen, a 3-megapixel camera and a lower-end Snapdragon S1 processor from Qualcomm. The other model, the Peak, will have a 4.3in display, and 8-megapixel camera and a more powerful S4 Snapdragon processor. Both models will use HTML5 web programming language, which should make it easier for developers to write apps that will work across a range of operating systems.

Mozilla said it expected the phones to go on sale next month, and its phones would be cheaper than many alternatives on the market and would be targeted towards emerging markets.

But in a market already crowded with the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry 7, and Symbian, and with expected releases from players including RIM, Ubuntu, Tizen, and Sailfish, how much room is left for additional players?

For now, Mozilla argues that its platform will offer software developers more flexibility than other alternatives on the market.

Photo: Geeksphone

via [BBC]

— By on January 24, 2013, 7:15 PM PST

Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure