The first batch of the eagerly awaited Firefox OS developer phones went on sale yesterday and were quickly sold out. If you want to catch the second batch act quickly because Geeksphone has already restocked.
When it announced its Developer Phones for Firefox OS in January, Mozilla planned to have two handset models, the bright orange Keon and the more up-market Peak, the following month. This schedule slipped, leading to pent-up demand for these development only phones.
Yesterday Geeksphone, the company partnering with Spanish communications company Telefonica to supply these developer preview devices, announced on its website and its Facebook page that the first phones were on sale.
Within a few hours Geeksphone replaced this notice with an out-of-stock apology and post on Facebook:
Wow initial previsions were largely surpassed! Devices will be back on stock in a few hours, thanks for your support!
The Facebook page also had a link to a new story on Forbes.com with the headline:
Geeksphone Sold Out In A Few Hours, That's A Good First Step for Firefox OS.
But was it?
It transpires that the "sell-out success" was due to the fact that, although Geeksphone has taken delivery of 10,000 units from the Chinese manufacturer, only 1,000 went on sale. According to Geeksphone CEO Javier Aguera, the company limited the supply in order to avoid order processing and shipping bottlenecks. With only 20 employees, Geeksphone just isn't geared up to handling a flood of orders.
As promised, supplies were back within hours. Both phones are priced in euros - the Keon is 91,00 euros, the Peak 149 euros - plus taxes and shipping.
So what does this say about the likely success?
Selling out a batch of 1000 isn't exactly the big time but this is a developer phone.
It persuaded me to grab one while stocks last. Even if the Firefox OS based phone fails to take off, being able to create "native" HTML applications for it has "geek" appeal.