Firefox OS phones go on sale, sell out instantly, site crashes

The Geeksphone Keon and Peak with Mozilla's Firefox OS software sold out almost immediately online.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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The first Firefox OS phones went sale today, before selling out nearly immediately causing the site to crash. App developers hoping to learn about the Android-rivalling software made by Mozilla by using the Geeksphone Keon and Peak are unfortunately out of luck for now.

Browser-builder Mozilla, Spanish phone-fabricator Geeksphone and European network Telefonica have teamed up to create the two phones to preview v1.0.1 of Firefox OS. Consumers can buy them, but be warned the software is far from a finished product (and at the time of writing, the online store had crashed).

The Keon is a 3.5-inch phone with a Qualcomm Cortex-A 1GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM, in a casing of Firefox orange. It costs €91 (£78) without factoring in taxes and delivery.

The Peak is a bit bigger at 4.3 inches, with a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8225 processor and an 8-megapixel camera. It comes in a white case and costs €149 (£130) before taxes and delivery.

Firefox OS is an open source operating system for mobile phones, designed to be built into low-cost phones and customised by manufacturers and networks. It's clawing back some of the ground dominated by Android -- an idea shared by other Android rivals including Samsung-backed Tizen and Ubuntu Touch OS.

The Keon and Peak are unlocked devices updated with the latest version of Firefox OS, similar to the Nexus range of flagship Android phones. But unlike the Nexus 4 et al, the Firefox phones aren't aimed at the public. To take on established operating systems like Android and the iPhone, new platforms need apps, and app builders can preview the software and test their apps with the two developer devices.

If you want to try Firefox OS before buying a phone, you can install Firefox OS or use the online Firefox OS Simulator.

Does Firefox stand a chance against Android? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.