Mozilla Releases First Two Firefox OS Smartphones
Mozilla released the first two smartphones to carry the new Firefox operating system today. After early details were unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, the new operating system began to generate serious buzz. Mozilla partnered with Telefonica for the initial release, which is currently in Spain only.
ZTE and Alcatel provided the design for the first two phones to carry the new Firefox HTML open source OS, each sporting slim touchscreen designs and very affordable price points. Both the ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire come standard with all of the normal smartphone amenities, including email, phone calls, text messaging, maps, camera (3.15 and 3.2 MP respectively), and naturally, Web browsing with Firefox. Users can also download apps, although they may not get too far on the internal memory. Fortunately, both phones have expandable MicroSD memory as well.
Neither phone exceeds 512 MB of internal memory, and neither has an HD screen, but the €69 (~$90) price point, which includes €30 of credit for pre-paid users, more than makes up for the lack of sizzle. Both phones have highly respectable Adreno 200 graphics cards and 1 GHz Qualcomm processors.
The Firefox OS is an open-source system, intended to compete with Android for developer attention, and the experience is reportedly similar to using an Android device. It was developed using HTML5, the language of the Web, which Mozilla hopes will make it easier for third party developers to produce apps. With HTML5 integrated onto an open source operating system, there's definitely a possibility that Firefox could catch on with that crowd, although it remains to be seen if the software has the performance or longevity to make a splash.