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April 23, 2013

Firefox OS 'Geeksphone' to Hit Select Marketplaces

The wait is over: Firefox OS smartphones are here. The company delivering is a Spanish startup called Geeksphone.

The company, which consists of 12 people including its 20-year-old CTO and co-founder Javier Agüera, is soon opening an online store.

People will be able to start placing orders for their Geeksphone Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. The startup's first offerings are the entry-level Keon, and the company's more powerful model, Peak.

Though the pricing has not been finalized on either product, the Keon, which touts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1Ghz processor, 4 GB (ROM) and 512 MB (RAM), a 3.5″ HVGA touchscreen and a 3 MP camera, will be retailed at around  €115 or  €91 with VAT excluded.

The Peak, which sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2Ghz chip, a 4.3″ qHD IPS screen and two cameras (8 MP on the back and 2 MP on the front), costs around  €180 or, without VAT,  €149.

Mozilla released a statement saying that the Firefox OS devices will be available to consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. The company advises that the exact launch timing is decided by and dependent upon its partners.

Whether or not we really need another smartphone offering isn't a question in Agüera's mind. His startup initially focused on building Android smartphones but switched to Firefox OS entirely last year. Why? Because, Agüera argues, Firefox OS stands as highly sellable. Mozilla already boasts a global, engaged developer audience and a strong brand with Firefox.

Agüera also believes the new lines will get broad industry support from OEMs, hardware suppliers, strategic partners, etc., as well as support from telcos worldwide.

It will be interesting to see what happens and to whom Geeksphone appeals. The company is looking to appeal to developers who are interested in building apps for Firefox OS. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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