Mozilla announces Firefox mobile phone for developers

Firefox OS developer preview phone.

Updated 4:27 p.m. ET

Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox browser, announced Tuesday that will release a preview phone running its open source mobile operating system Firefox OS.

The company has partnered with Spanish technology company Geeksphone to launch Firefox OS developer preview phones that will provide app makers with a dedicated device to test Firefox OS.

Firefox OS developer phones will have a 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor, 3.5-inch multi-touch screen and will come unlocked.

Mozilla hopes its mobile operating system will be an easy transition for website developers. The company says Firefox OS is developed using "a single technology stack (HTML5/CSS/JavaScript/new WebAPIs)."

"Using the same web technologies you are used to, you can make your app give alerts by vibrating the phone, take a picture with the camera or more," Stormy Peters, Mozilla director of websites and developer engagement, said in the announcement.

Those who want to create an app for Firefox OS don't necessarily have to buy a preview phone. Developers can also download Firefox OS simulator for Android devices.

A spokesperson for Mozilla tells CBS News that pricing for the Geeksphone handsets will be available in "early February" and a commercial launch will take place "later this year."

Mozilla released this statement to CBS News via email.

Geeksphone will shortly be previewing two developer handsets featuring Firefox OS which developers will able to test using. The devices will be available for developers to purchase online in early February. For those attending Campus Party in Brazil at the end of January a small number will also be available to test on.

Pricing will be confirmed when the two developer preview devices are available in early February. Please keep an eye on the Geeksphone website.

Please note that throughout the development of the project, Firefox OS has been ported onto a number of different devices from different OEMs in order to test and demonstrate. This is the first time that developer handsets have been made available for developers working outside of the project to take away and test their applications. Today's announcement does not represent a commercial launch for Firefox OS. These will take place later this year.

These devices have not been designed for consumers and include pre-release development versions of Firefox OS. Although we know many people are excited to get their hands on Firefox OS, we would urge them to wait until commercial devices are ready and they will be able to get the full experience.