TOKYO- KDDI Corp. has started selling the Fx0, the first Firefox OS-compatible smartphone to be released by a Japan-based mobile network operator.
The phone is manufactured by LG Electronics Inc. It comes with Qualcomm Inc’s quad-core “Snapdragon 400” (1.2GHz), 4.7-inch IPS LCD display (1,280 x 720 pixels), NFC reader/writer function, LTE communication capability and wireless capabilities such as IEEE802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. Its operating system is Firefox OS 2.0.
“It is the highest-performance, most functional Firefox OS-based smartphone,” said Andreas Gal, CTO of Mozilla Corp.
One of the Fx0’s own functions is “Web-cast,” which enables to directly connect two smartphones via a wireless LAN and share data. With this function, one smartphone functions as a wireless LAN access point/HTTP server, and the other functions as an HTTP client. Two smartphones can be easily connected by using the NFC reader/writer function and overlapping them.
“When two smartphones are overlapping, data on the access point and URL are transmitted,” KDDI said.
The company plans to encourage Mozilla to employ this function as a standard feature of Firefox OS.
“We do not consider it as a business,” KDDI President Takashi Tanaka said. “By using open web technologies, we wanted to offer an environment for realizing various ideas as if children are making various things.”
For that purpose, KDDI has already provided (1) “Open Web Board,” a gateway unit for using sensors and actuators as Web connectors (WoT: Web of Things), (2) library for making ARM Holdings plc’s “mbed-enabled devices” compatible with WoT and (3) Gluin, an online service for creating a scenario that operates those WoT devices in conjunction with one another.
“We would like developers to consider what they can make with them,” Tanaka said.
“Of course, it would be great if we can establish an ecosystem like that of Japanese feature phones,” Tanaka said. “But there are a lot to do before we can make it a business. If Firefox OS is employed for various things such as home appliances, it will create a new world. We will promote the world of Firefox OS for the joy of making something, not for short-term moneymaking.”