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Firefox OS icon grid, Start page screenshots

We've learned quite a bit about Firefox OS and the first devices that'll power the open source mobile operating system thanks to Mobile World Congress, and that's a trend that's going to continue through today, the final day of the show. Mozilla has revealed to The Verge the requirements that a Firefox OS-powered device must meet in order to bear the "Powered by Firefox OS" branding, explaining that the hardware must include both the Firefox browser and the official Firefox Marketplace. However, Mozilla is also allowing carriers to customize Firefox OS products as they see necessary, so it's entirely possible that products with the "Powered by Firefox OS" brand could include an operator's own app store and apps in addition to the ones required by Mozilla.

There are also a few spec requirements that a Firefox OS product must meet. According to Mozilla, Firefox OS devices need to include at least a single-core 800MHz processor, 256MB RAM and a QVGA display, all of which are fairly low-end specs for early 2013. Considering that we've heard before that Firefox OS products are aimed at developing markets, though, the low bar to entry isn't exactly a surprise. Mozilla says that there are some other requirements that need to be met by individual companies to receive the Firefox OS certification, but it didn't elaborate on what those were because they're part of confidential agreements.

The first Firefox OS-powered devices are expected to begin launching around the world later this year, and it'll be interesting to see how well the devices that meet these requirements and carry the Firefox branding will sell. Firefox is well-known as a web browser, so the name could help to draw folks over to the Firefox OS hardware, as could the colorful shells that we've seen on devices like the Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open. However, it's unclear if people are attached enough to the Firefox name to want to actually purchase those devices over competing products, like comparable Android hardware. Mozilla has said that nearly 20 carriers from around the world have announced support for Firefox OS, so the new platform will certainly have several opportunities to convince consumers to give it a try.

Via The Verge


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