Mozilla Starts Doling Out Phones To Developers With Brilliant HTML5 App Ideas

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Apps, GT, Mobile
Tags: , ,

Just a week after rolling out the latest version of its
Firefox OS simulator, Mozilla has announced that it’s
offering a nifty new proposition to would-be FFOS
developers. If you’ve got an idea for a killer HTML5
application and the technical chops (or at least the
drive) to make it a reality, Mozilla wants to give you a Firefox OS developer device. And the devices in question? None other than the
seemingly popular Keon from Spanish smartphone
startup Geeksphone — one of the very same devices
that forced Geeksphone to limit their sales to ensure
that the team would be able to stay on top of existing
orders. It seems not even Mozilla has been able to secure a sizable stash of Keons, as developer
evangelist Havi Hoffman points out on the Mozilla
Hacks blog that the program will either run through the
end of May or until Mozilla blows through its “limited
supply.” Granted, the Keon isn’t the flashiest smartphone
floating around — it sports a relatively pokey 1Ghz
Snapdragon S1 chipset, and pairs it with 512MB of
RAM, a 3-megapixel camera, and a 3.5-inch HVGA
touch display. Then again, it’s not like other Firefox
OS devices we’ve seen lately have been substantial better. The Geeksphone Peak is a decent step ahead
of the Keon in terms of pure horsepower, but phones
like the ZTE Open that will ultimately appear in South
America and Europe later this summer seem more
focused on keeping costs down to appeal to as wide
a segment of people as possible. That focus on making a splash in emerging markets may just be
Mozilla’s opening salvo though, as Mozilla SVP of
mobile devices Li Gong noted that Sony would
eventually push out a more premium FFOS handset. Mozilla is no stranger to these sorts of developer
outreach tactics — it’s pushing developer resources
for months, and the organization showered attendees
at last year’s JSConf with Samsung Nexus S’s
loaded up with even earlier builds of Firefox OS. Buy-
in from developers will go a long way in securing a stable future for Firefox OS, and shelling out phones
to some exceptionally eager creators seems like a
small price to pay if the resulting apps push the
Firefox OS experience forward.

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