Firefox OS Is Now Available In South America


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Last month, Europeans were the first to get a taste of Firefox OS. Now two South American countries will get to see for themselves if Mozilla has something that can finally take on iOS and Android.

Mozilla and Telefonica announced that they will be launching two Firefox OS devices today in Colombia and Venezuela. The devices in question - the Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open - will be available through Movistar.

“Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on Web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the Web,” says Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to work with partners like Telefonica which see the potential to deliver an experience for first time smartphone users which will delight them and really put the power of the Web in everyone’s hands.”

So, how much are these things to going to cost? In Venezuela, the One Touch Fire will retail for Bs. 1,739 ($277) and the Open will retail for Bs. 1,159 ($184) on contract. As for Colombia, both devices cost 199,900 pesos ($106) on a prepaid plan, or 99,900 pesos ($53) with a one-year contract. It's a little unfortunate that devices cost so much in Venezuela as it kind of undermines Mozilla's mission of providing cheap entry-level smartphones to lower income households.

Even if the devices cost a little too much, Telefonica thinks Firefox OS is essential to restoring the balance of the mobile ecosystem:

"There is strong momentum building behind Firefox OS as we bring more devices to more of our markets. But this is just the beginning as the platform, content ecosystem and range of devices continues to expand," says Yotam Ben-Ami, Director of Open Web Devices at Telefonica. "There is an inherent imbalance in the smartphone market at the moment and we believe that Firefox OS represents the best opportunity to restore balance and provide a more open smartphone experience to customers.”

So, where will Firefox OS be headed to next? Telefonica says that it will launch the HTML5-powered smartphones in Brazil later this year. As for a U.S. release, your guess is as good as mine.