Until now, developers interested in getting their hands on actual Firefox OS hardware had to either attend a workshop or install the OS on their Sony android device. Now Geeksphone is finally ready to start shipping out Firefox OS dev units.
Engadget reports that Geeksphone will start selling the Keon and Peak Firefox OS dev units next week. The Keon will retail for €91, while the Peak will retail for €149. It seems cheap, and that’s because developers will be getting cheap phones. The hardware isn’t going to win any awards and it isn’t meant to. Firefox OS hardware is targeting developing markets, and the cheap price reflects that.
If you do want at least a little power, you’ll want to go with the Peak. It’s a mid-range smartphone with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and a 4.3-inch display. The Keon only has a Snapdragon S1 so developers will have to get a little creative when designing apps around the lower end of the hardware spectrum.
Thankfully, Geeksphone will be selling the phones worldwide instead of just in the countries where Firefox OS will be launching. Developers in the U.S. will be able to build apps to take advantage of the increasingly lucrative smartphone market in developing countries.
If you can’t afford or don’t want one of Geeksphone’s smartphones, you can always use the Firefox OS simulator. The simulator piggybacks off of your Firefox desktop installation to emulate the Firefox OS experience on the desktop. From there, you can test and debug any HTML5 apps you may have in the works.