Sony recently expressed an interest in Firefox OS, revealing that it's got engineers working with the new platform and that it's teaming up with carrier Telefónica to investigate development of a Firefox OS-powered product. Today Sony took things a step further by releasing an experimental Firefox OS ROM for its Xperia E smartphone. The Xperia E typically comes preloaded with Android 4.1, but Sony has posted instructions explaining how users can unlock the phone's bootloader and flash Firefox OS onto it.
Because this is an experimental ROM, Sony notes that there are some features of the Xperia E that may not function properly after Firefox OS is loaded onto it. The biggest one is that there's no radio connectivity, meaning no cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support, due to the fact that the software hasn't passed certification. Sony also notes that the SD card could become unstable after flashing Firefox OS and that the touch sensitivity of the display isn't fully calibrated quite yet. The good news is that Sony's flashing tool will allow users to reflash Android onto the Xperia E if they decide that they no longer want Firefox OS on their device.
With some features that are missing or unstable, it's clear that this Firefox OS ROM for the Xperia E is intended for developers to try out the new platform and see what it's like to create apps for it. Still, it's nice to see Sony releasing the ROM so that developers can actually test out Firefox OS for themselves, and I'm sure that Mozilla appreciates that more devs will be able to get some hands-on time with its platform and perhaps even contribute some apps to it.
All of the necessary links and instructions for flashing Firefox OS onto the Xperia E can be found on Sony's Developer World blog using the link below. If you're just interested in getting a peek at what Firefox OS looks like on an Xperia E without actually going through with the flashing process, Sony has shared a brief video demo of the ROM in action.