A photograph has emerged of a handset running the new Firefox OS for low-end smartphones.
The picture is authentic, as it was published on Twitter by Mozilla evangelist Rob Hawkes on Wednesday, then retweeted by Mozilla chief technology officer Brendan Eich.
The Firefox OS used to be known as Boot 2 Gecko, or B2G, but Mozilla revealed its new name earlier this week, definitively putting the mobile operating system into the same stable as its popular browser.
The picture only shows the lock screen of the new OS. It also shows the OS running on a Samsung phone, although the only manufacturers that have signed up to make Firefox OS phones so far are ZTE and TCL, the latter of which will market its devices under the Alcatel One Touch brand.
Mozilla will give the OS away for free, so it may prove attractive to some manufacturers and operators who are keen to diversify their portfolio away from Android in particular — iOS is Apple-only, and Microsoft charges licensing fees for the use of Windows Phone.
Every feature of Firefox OS is based on HTML5, and the platform itself is optimised for low-end hardware. The first Firefox OS-powered smartphones will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets and "are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo," Mozilla said on Monday.
Other operators backing the new OS include Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Telenor.