Developers looking to work with Mozilla’s Firefox OS on a relatively high-end smartphone – meaning a mid-range handset, seeing as the operating system is pitched mostly at emerging markets – will soon have a new toy to play with. Geeksphone, the Spanish manufacturer that put out the first Firefox OS developer phones, has now detailed its new Peak+ device and put it up for preorder.
The original Peak, which is all of three months old, only had 512MB of RAM. Its successor will come with a full 1GB of RAM, the latest version (v1.1) of Firefox OS, and better battery and graphics performance. Geeksphone also noted that “external materials and inner construction have been enhanced, resulting in a more polished finish and pleasant touch, as demanded by our users.”
Apart from that, the specs remain the same: dual-core Qualcomm 1.2GHz processor, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, tri-band UMTS/HSPA and 4GB of storage (albeit with microSD support and the added benefit of a free 25GB of Fiabee cloud storage). Firefox OS relies heavily on HTML5 web technology — it only runs web apps, as opposed to native apps that would need to be installed on the device.
Preorders of the Peak+ opened on Thursday at the price of €149 ($197), the same that the Peak – which is no longer on sale – cost. However, this is only a promotional price; Geeksphone said a “standard price” would kick in on 15 September, which is presumably when the handset will ship. The company said 93 percent of its Firefox OS developer phone sales so far had taken place outside Spain, with German, French and Japanese developers being particularly enthusiastic.
Consumer-focused Firefox OS devices from manufacturers such as ZTE and Alcatel started going on sale at the start of this month in Spain. Early launch territories have generally been emerging markets and countries with faltering economies, with the handsets generally coming in under the $100 mark – making them competition for very low-end Androids and the likes of Nokia’s Asha range.
However, Deutsche Telekom is preparing to take Firefox OS into the mature German market, and we may well see more mid-range Firefox OS handsets appear soon – hence the need for a more mid-range developer handset such as the Peak+.