Geeksphone, Alcatel and ZTE aren’t the only ones working on devices running on the Firefox OS. According to the Wall Street Journal, LG is joining the ranks of companies working on Firefox phones. LG’s phones will be hitting shelves by the middle of the year, but no concrete dates have been announced so far.

While this is welcome news for anyone who was looking to get their hands on a Firefox phone, LG has been predominantly known for its Android devices, with the current flagship Nexus device – the Nexus 4 – having been made by the company. “LG’s planned launch of Firefox phones is a means to meet diversifying consumer needs,” a company spokeswoman said to WSJ. “But this doesn’t indicate any shift away from Android,” she added.

Will be featured on handsets by 2013

LG's working on its own Firefox OS phones

Firefox OS uses HTML5-based apps and is targeting entry-level devices. The ecosystem's app store, the Firefox Marketplace, has social networking apps for Facebook and Twitter, Nokia’s HERE maps service, Box cloud storage, marquee games from EA Mobile and Disney Mobile Games.

Firefox Marketplace apps will be powered by cloud services to enable easy transition across devices and platforms. It will have popular apps such as AccuWeather, Airbnb, Pulse News, SoundCloud, SporTV, Terra and Time Out, as well as tailored, local apps that are relevant to users in their respective regions. Web developers can also turn a website into an HTML5 app through Mozilla's development kit. Firefox OS supports video calling over Web RTC, a browser-based technology that's also available on the Android Firefox Aurora app.

We got our first look at Firefox-based devices from ZTE and Alcatel back in February during the Mobile World Congress. The Alcatel One Touch Fire will first launch in China and Latin America, and will be the first Firefox OS phone to hit Europe this summer.

The device has truly modest specs and underpins the fact that Firefox doesn’t need high-specced devices to run smoothly. The One Touch Fire is powered by a 1GHz processor with 256MB RAM. The phone looks simple and has the trademark Firefox orange accents on a white body. There is a home key, but it is not clear if it is a capacitive button or a physical one. However, the phone does not have a front-facing camera.

The key specs of the Alcatel One Touch Fire are:

  • 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels
  • 3G, HSPA (up to 7.2 Mbps), GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • 3.2 megapixel primary camera
  • 512MB internal storage with microSD card slot and 2GB card in the package

ZTE's Firefox phone, dubbed the Open, is powered by a Cortex A5 processor clocked at 1GHz and has 256MB of RAM.

The key specs of the ZTE Open include:

  • 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480
  • 3G (HSPA up to 7.2Mbps), GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • 3.15 megapixel primary camera
  • 512MB internal storage with microSD card slot and 2GB card in the package

We expect more companies to join the fray and announce Firefox OS-based devices as the year goes progresses.

Publish date: April 3, 2013 9:13 am| Modified date: December 19, 2013 10:50 am

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