LG Fireweb gets official – first Firefox OS handset from a major player

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It’s been a long time coming but Mozilla’s Firefox OS is now available inside a smartphone from a major manufacturer in the form of the LG Fireweb. 

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LG launched its first ever Firefox OS-powered handset in Brazil earlier this week. Just don’t expect to be blown away by the specs – this a budget option aimed at mass-market appeal in high-growth/low-income markets. 

But this has been Mozilla’s intention with its Firefox OS all along: get the next billion users online via the dissemination of inexpensive smartphones running its completely open mobile platform.

Specs-wise, you’ve got a 4-inch screen with a 480 x 320 pixel display, 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 5-megapixel camera, and 4GB of internal storage, plus microSD support up to 32GB.

The LG Fireweb is available for $59 in Brazil, making it one of the cheapest smartphones on the planet. We spoke with Mozilla’s Andreas Gal and Brendan Eich at MWC 2012 about Firefox OS – then called Boot 2 Gecko – and where they planned on taking the platform in the coming years.

“What we’ve developed [with B2G] is a completely open stack that is 100 per cent free. We have a publicly visible repository and all the development happens in the open. We use completely open standards and there’s no propriety software or technology involved,” said Gal. 

“But what’s most impressive about B2G is how well it runs on low-end hardware.”

During our meeting with Gal and Eich, we got a demo of B2G running incredibly smoothly on a $60 handset with a 600Mhz CPU and just 128MB of RAM. Gaming, web browsing, video and typing were all seamless.

There are currently no plans in place to bring the LG Fireweb to the UK. Instead, Mozilla and its partners are focusing on emerging markets like India, Mexico and Brazil. 

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