Sony releases experimental Firefox OS ROM for Xperia E smartphone

By on February 27, 2013, 3:30 PM

Sony was one of the first major companies to announce their support for Mozilla’s new Firefox OS just a couple of days ago but we had no idea they already had something in the works. Today the Japanese company released an experimental Firefox OS ROM for developers to use on its ultra low end Xperia E smartphone.

The announcement shows that Sony is serious about supporting the web-based operating system and will give developers a head-start on working with Mozilla. Of course, Sony expects something in return – valuable community feedback.

A post on Sony’s developer blog gives readers an introduction to Firefox OS and highlights the architecture behind the new mobile platform. There are steps to assist users in the process of flashing Firefox OS to their Xperia E handsets. As always, it should be understood that unlocking the boot loader may void the device’s warranty.

Once installed, you’ll likely want to spend some extra time reading the post as Sony outlines some key steps and links to some useful resources to get you started. Your second stop would likely be the Mozilla Developer Network as they have an extensive set of documentation on how to write an application as well as details on emulators, the privileged access model and debugging instructions.

It’s worth pointing out that while the ROM is designed for developers, anyone with an Xperia E smartphone can download it and take the plunge. Just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.




User Comments: 9

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JC713 JC713 said:

Looks like a garbage OS but yay for open source lol

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

@UNKNOWN9122 Well, it is still in it's development stage. Give it some time to mature.

JC713 JC713 said:

@UNKNOWN9122 Well, it is still in it's development stage. Give it some time to mature.

That is what people said about web OS (palm). it is simply just too late for a boring OS like this to enter the market.

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

If I remember correctly, Web OS didn't have as many big names backing it like Firefox OS does. Now, that doesn't necessarily equate to success but, hopefully it won't be a complete flop

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Firefox is intended to replace dumb/featurephones, not high end smartphones. The carriers will decide if they want FF OS to survive and they may support it long term since the hardware is much cheaper. Carriers subsidize a couple hundred per Android/iOS phone, they may not have to subsidize much for FF phone.

It's also an interesting approach that may work. Many smartphone apps don't need to be full blown, like a CNN or NY Times app. They just need to bundle an HTML5 package that can be stored locally, much smaller footprint. Many HTML5 'apps' could also work offline. Check out web based version of Command and Conquer to see what can be done with HTML5.

This isn't for me but it has a shot with low end users who might only load a few smartphone apps (I know many who only have a few). FF could always add a skin app to iOS/Android to allow 'upgrading' to a full smartphone.

Would bet Google will be funding FF OS development within a year as long as they include Google services by default.

JC713 JC713 said:

If I remember correctly, Web OS didn't have as many big names backing it like Firefox OS does. Now, that doesn't necessarily equate to success but, hopefully it won't be a complete flop

I feel like Firefox OS will be only god in dumb phones, as said by the guest. @ blk, I hear ya man, but Samsung didnt help them out, only Sony did, probably because they wanted to seem like they support open source

Dustyn Dustyn said:

Thanks for showing this. Boot up time is slow. Responsiveness leaves something to be desired.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I feel like Firefox OS will be only god in dumb phones, as said by the guest. @ blk, I hear ya man, but Samsung didnt help them out, only Sony did, probably because they wanted to seem like they support open source

Samsung didn't help them out because they are putting their weight behind Tizen, another low-end open source OS that will surely go head-to-head with Firefox. These new OS's from my understanding are targeting more the emerging smart-phone markets where low-end devices will be more prevalent than the high-end ones we are used too. I'm sure the manufacturers have an ulterior motive here too by whittling away Android dominance. But personally I think the recent reveal of Ubuntu Touch is the most interesting, it seems to be more than just a standard Android clone.

JC713 JC713 said:

Samsung didn't help them out because they are putting their weight behind Tizen, another low-end open source OS that will surely go head-to-head with Firefox. These new OS's from my understanding are targeting more the emerging smart-phone markets where low-end devices will be more prevalent than the high-end ones we are used too. I'm sure the manufacturers have an ulterior motive here too by whittling away Android dominance. But personally I think the recent reveal of Ubuntu Touch is the most interesting, it seems to be more than just a standard Android clone.

Ahhh, Ubuntu Touch looks great, too bad it doesnt have much of a chance...

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