Mozilla’s smartphone operating system is about to hit the streets. The first two phones running Firefox OS will launch in Germany and Spain, but Mozilla says other partners will announce launches in additional regions soon.
Firefox OS is an operating system designed to put web apps front-and-center. It’s a relatively light-weight operating system designed to play well with inexpensive phones. Mozilla is also positioning the OS as a platform that’s more open than Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.
Not only is the operating system open source and open to customization by device makers and wireless carriers, but since Firefox OS basically runs web apps, anyone who can create a web page can code an app for the platform.
Deutsche Telecom will launch the first Firefox OS handsets in Germany, while Telefonica will be the first carrier in Spain to offer Firefox OS phones.
The first two handsets are the ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire. These are basically entry-level smartphones.
Both seem to be based on Mozilla’s Keon reference design, and feature 1 GHz processors, 3.5 inch, 480 x 320 pixel displays, 256MB of RAM, 512MB of storage, a 3.2MP rear camera and a microSD card slot.
Basically this is what you would have expected from an Android phone about 3 years ago. Now you can get them running a new OS which will ship without support for many of your favorite mobile apps (but with the promise of upcoming apps developed using web technologies).
On the bright side, they’re cheap. Prices for an unlocked phone start at about $90.