Firefox OS continues chugging along, announces a host of new devices

Mozilla’s Firefox OS is certainly an interesting project, but up until this point its reach hasn’t stretched too far into mainstream markets. That could be set to change in 2015, and Mozilla has taken the opportunity of Mobile World Congress to announce a bunch of new devices, partnerships and initiatives for its fledgling mobile operating system.

KDDI, LG U+, Telefonica, and Verizon Wireless have all signed up to get Firefox OS phones ready for 2016. According to Mozilla, they will cover “flips, sliders, and slates” across a range of new markets. Network operators and manufacturers get the opportunity to differentiate their own handsets, while users still get a solid smartphone experience, says Mozilla.

There’s a new device from Alcatel Onetouch in the form of the Orange Kilf, an entry-level phone that comes with a MediaTek processor, dual SIM capabilities, a 2-megapixel camera and MicroSD card slot. The handset is going to be available with a data plan package offering low-cost Internet access, too — the data, voice and text bundles will come in at under $40 for customers in Africa and the Middle East, in a bid to boost smartphone adoption in these developing markets.

We’ve also been given some additional tidbits about Firefox OS itself: the software is going to get improved support for multi-core processors, enhanced privacy features, better WebRTC compatibility, right to left language support and an integrated NFC payments infrastructure in the coming months.

Mozilla says it’s also going to be working with KDDI and Monohm to release the pebble-style Runcible smartphone, a screen-less mobile that focuses on simplicity rather than apps, designed around the look of a traditional pocket watch.

“At MWC 2014, we were able to show that Firefox OS scales across price ranges and form factors,” said Mozilla President Li Gong. “Today, at MWC 2015, we celebrate dozens of successful device launches across continents, adoption of Firefox OS beyond mobile, as well as growing interest and innovation around the only truly open mobile platform.”

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