Firefox OS and WhatsApp handsets make appearance

The smartphone landscape has benefitted from an infusion of variety this week as handsets running on the Firefox OS appeared on the market, as well as a WhatsApp styled phone from Nokia.

Spanish start-up manufacturer Geeksphone has launched two smartphones running on the Firefox OS platform, developed by open source outfit Mozilla. The Peak and Keon are designed for developers looking to test and create apps for Firefox OS.

“These devices have not been designed for consumers and include a pre-release development version of Firefox OS,” the firm told

The Peak runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, has a 4.3-inch screen and has 4GB storage space. The Keon runs on a Snapdragon S1 processor, has a 3.5-inch screen and also comes with 4GB storage space.

According to Geeksphone, it has already sold out of the Firefox OS handsets it had in stock, and has had to produce more to satisfy demand.

Meanwhile, Finnish firm Nokia has unveiled a device with a dedicated WhatsApp button, giving users easier access to the popular OTT messaging service.

The Nokia Asha 210 is part of Nokia’s smartphone range, aimed primarily at emerging markets. It has a QWERTY keyboard and a two-megapixel camera. The firm said it will be available for around $72 and expects it to start shipping in the second quarter of 2013.

“The Nokia Asha 210 really stands out giving super-social consumers new ways to express their personalities through design, colour and innovations like the world’s first WhatsApp button,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “It has been designed to allow people to easily update their social networks, stay in touch with friends and share user created content.”

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