First Firefox OS Smartphones Sell Out In Hours

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Firefox OS developer handsets are already sold out

The first smartphones to run Mozilla’s open web-based operating system Firefox OS have sold out just hours after they went on sale.

Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone has created two developer handsets to allow programmers to test out their creations in a real world environment ahead of the commercial launch of the platform later this year, but high demand means there are no more to go round.

“Due to the great demand of our phones at shop.geeksphone.com, the shop is currently out of stock,” said a statement on the company’s website. “The online sale will restart in the following hours. Thanks a lot and sorry for the inconveniences.”

Firefox OS smartphones

Firefox OS developer smartphones 2Geeksphone was the first European manufacturer to create a device running Android, and produced the Keon and Peak smartphones with Mozilla and operator Telefonica. Both devices currently run Firefox OS 1.1, but will receive regular over-the-air (OTA) updates ahead of the full launch later this year.

The Keon has similar specifications to the first wave of Firefox OS smartphones, while the Peak has more high-end specs so that developers can experiment with apps that might be commercially possible in the future.

The Keon has a 3.5-inch display, a Qualcomm 1GHz processor and 512 RAM, while the Peak has a larget 4.3-inch screen and a faster 1.2GHz processor. The Keon costs €99 (£84) and the Peak €149 (£127) with both prices excluding taxes, handling and shipping.

Not a commercial launch

Mozilla says that this is the first time developer handsets have been made available to the community and will allow them to try out hardware characteristics that are not easily tested on the Firefox OS simulator, such as gyroscopic controls. However it has stressed that these are meant for app creators and consumers should wait until later this year.

“These devices have not been designed for consumers and include pre-release development versions of Firefox OS,” said Mozilla. “Although we know many people are excited to get their hands on Firefox OS, we would urge them to wait until commercial devices are ready and they will be able to get the full experience.”

Chinese manufacturer ZTE revealed the first Firefox OS-based smartphone, the ZTE Open at Mobile World Congress in February, while outgoing Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs has confirmed smartphones running Firefox OS will launch in five countries in June, before reaching 11 more by the end of the year.

However the UK and US will have to wait longer to get its hands on the platform, which is not surprising given Mozilla is targeting emerging markets and lower-end hardware rather than the premium smartphones favoured by the American and British markets.

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