December 04, 2013

Firefox OS Heads to Italy via Alcatel OneTouch Fire

Samsung may be pursuing a Tizen-Firefox OS partnership, but in the meantime it’s business as usual for Mozilla’s (NewsAlert) HTML5-heavy mobile OS. In this case, ‘business as usual’ means an official rollout in Italy.

The exact Firefox OS handset on sale in the country is the Alcatel OneTouch Fire, the same model that has already been released in Poland, Hungary, Serbia and Germany. The device, like others sporting Firefox OS, is available for a pittance and sports a 3.5-inch display, a 1GHz processor and a 3.2-megapixel camera. As it stands currently, the OneTouch Fire is only available online, but will reach stores on December 6, through Telecom Italia’s (News Alert) mobile division, TIM.

"We are very proud that TIM is the first Italian mobile carrier to adopt Firefox OS," said Marco Patuano, CEO of Telecom Italia, in a statement. "HTML5-based solutions' spread will be a huge innovation engine for telcos and an opportunity for the development of a new ecosystem."

Of course, the question is whether or not Firefox OS will be able to gain steam in Italy which is, much like the rest of the world, a pretty saturated market for mobile devices. Obviously, no one knows for sure, but a look at the current mobile situation in the country and Europe in general suggests Mozilla’s OS may have a chance of succeeding.

Ignoring Android’s (NewsAlert) massive market share and even iOS’ declining share, Windows Phone’s recent success in Europe seems to indicate that the region is open to new contenders. According to Kantar Wordlpanel, Windows Phone (NewsAlert) recently broke 10 percent market share in Europe, doubling its share in 2012.

In Italy, Windows Phone boasts a 16.1 percent share, according to ZDnet, in part due to loyalty toward the Nokia (News Alert) brand. However, the growing number of consumers looking for a low-cost smartphone is also a major factor. In other words, the situation is favorable for the low-end-focused Firefox OS.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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