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Firefox OS Lands In Africa With $40 Orange Klif Smartphone

Mozilla recently announced that the first Firefox OS smartphone has started to arrive in Africa. The phone, called the Orange Klif, went on sale in Senegal and Madagascar last week. Mozilla and Orange had already announced their partnership at MWC this year and also that Firefox OS phones will come to Africa and the Middle East later this year.

"We are pleased to partner with Orange to bring the mobile Web [sic] to users in a substantial number of new growth markets across Africa and the Middle East," said Andreas Gal, CTO of Mozilla. "I'm also thrilled to see how the imminent arrival of Firefox OS has created excitement in the local Mozilla communities."

Firefox OS can be seen as Mozilla's "Chrome OS for mobile." It's an open source OS that works only with Web apps, but some of those Web apps can also be installed "locally" so they can work offline. A good example of this is games where most if not all of the content needs to be downloaded before you can play the game.

Although we're still talking small numbers here, Firefox OS has managed to become more successful than Ubuntu Touch, another open source operating system that has tried to take on Android. So far, Ubuntu Touch has only managed to appear on one smartphone, while Firefox OS is on several. Mozilla has also managed to attract many more OEM and carrier partners than Canonical, the company that makes Ubuntu Touch.

Mozilla's main strategy seems to be to release Firefox OS on ultra-low-end smartphones that cost as little as $25, undercutting even low-end Android phones. At this price point, the customers buying the phones are also far less likely to care about the number of supported applications or even the performance of the device (as long as it's fast enough for regular phone operations).

The Orange Klif is made by Alcatel and will cost under $40, and it will include a data, text and voice plan. The phone comes with a dual-core 1 GHz processor, a 3.5" screen with 480 x 320 resolution (not unlike the iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS), 256 MB of RAM, 512 MB of storage (it's a good thing most of the Firefox OS apps work on the Web), a 2MP rear-camera with LED flash, and a 1300 mAh battery.

The "Klif" will soon be available to some of Orange's other markets in the area, including Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, The Ivory Coast, Jordan, Niger, Kenya, Mauritius and Vanuatu.

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  • Pimpin Lincoln
    I think it's cool that firefox is supplying countries with basic phones, even though i would like to see a mid to high end ranged phone in the US running the firefox OS.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    15840736 said:
    I think it's cool that firefox is supplying countries with basic phones, even though i would like to see a mid to high end ranged phone in the US running the firefox OS.

    Yeah I wonder if there's any phone companies out there willing to try a new OS on a flagship phone. I like the idea of Firefox OS and have been wondering how it's capable of competing with Android and WP8. I think the lack of apps would be a turn off for most buyers but if you get it in the right hands it could really take off and maybe do some damage to Android.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    Although we're still talking small numbers here, Firefox OS has managed to become more successful than Ubuntu Touch, another open source operating system that has tried to take on Android.
    I would hope that Firefox OS is more popular than Ubuntu Touch. Firefox OS has been on the market since 2013 whereas Ubuntu Touch has only been on the market a few months now.
    Reply
  • Evan20x
    How will the Firefox Mobile Web Browser run on only 256 MB of RAM? Has there been specific optimizations for it or something?
    Reply
  • manon255
    The new smartphone range Klif will make available a range of attractive content, including well-established Orange services such as m.orange.tn foot.orange.tn and entertainment portal, access to social networks (facebook, twitter ...) and partners access to services such as Dailymotion video platform. In addition, customers will have access to Firefox Marketplace, the official source applications


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    Reply