Sony releases Firefox OS software for developers

But the company still hasn't decided if it will do a commercial phone or not

Sony Mobile will provide an experimental version of the Firefox OS on one of its smartphones so that advanced developers can try it out and start working on applications.

Earlier this week, Sony said it is evaluating the Firefox OS platform for use on future smartphones. To show its current progress, the company is now providing an experimental version to run on the Xperia E, it said in a blog post on Wednesday that also details how to install the software.

The OS is being pitched as a better alternative to Android for low-end smartphones in developing markets and is built for applications written using HTML5.

The first phones using the OS are all powered by Qualcomm processors and will be offered by Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE starting this summer, according to Mozilla. Huawei Technologies also said it will also come out with products later this year.

Sony is taking a more cautions approach, and has said it will "investigate emerging technologies such as the Firefox OS platform to extend Sony's premium product portfolio to a wider customer base" with Telefónica, which is a big proponent of Mozilla's OS.

The software isn't intended for daily use, and has several limitations. For example, there is no radio connectivity, which means developers cannot make any phone calls or use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Also, the touch sensitivity is not fully calibrated, according to Sony.

The Xperia E has a 3.5-inch screen and is powered by 1GHz processor, which is the same spec as ZTE's first Firefox OS-based smartphone, the Open.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MWCconsumer electronicssmartphonesMobile OSesmobilesony

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?