Africa's turn to discover Firefox OS

  • AFP
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 11:31 IST

Following its successful incursions into the Asian and European markets, Mozilla, in the hopes of continuing its development on the African continent, has announced, in collaboration with provider Orange, the arrival of the first Firefox OS smartphones in South Africa, Senegal and Madagascar.

Other African launches (Egypt, Tunisia, etc) are scheduled for the coming weeks.

It was in March of this year, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, that Mozilla and the French telecommunications giant announced their plan to put the mobile web within reach of millions of people across Africa and the Middle East with the Orange Klif, an affordable 3G Firefox OS smartphone exclusive to Orange.

The goal is to make Firefox OS available on roughly 20 devices with providers in around 40 countries by the end of the year.

Moving towards a multi-device OS with higher performance capacities

Two years after its official presentation in Barcelona, Firefox OS intends to be an operating system present on different types of screens, from smartphones to televisions, in-car systems to connected watches.

Firefox OS includes call handling, messaging, email and camera capabilities as standard. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are also integrated into the system. Another feature is that applications can be perused without necessarily having to download them first. Everything on offer (utilities, videos, navigation, games...) can be found in the Firefox Marketplace.

In the future, this operating system should be optimized to handle multi-core processors and right-to-left languages, along with enhanced confidentiality functions and an entire NFC (near-field contact) mobile payment infrastructure.

Most importantly, Firefox OS is positioning itself as the alternative to Android and iOS, which together account for 96% of smartphone sales in the world according to global market intelligence firm IDC.

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