Testing A $35 Firefox OS Phone—How Bad Could It Be?

Ron Amadeo | Ars Technica | October 6, 2014

...While you're sitting there using your Internet-enabled device to read about some other Internet-enabled device, it's easy to forget that the majority of people doesn't have any access to the Internet at all. The "World Wide" Web is actually not that worldwide—only about one-third of the population is online. That's 4.8 billion people out there with no way to get to the Internet.

Bridging this digital divide will be one of the tech industry's biggest challenges—and growth opportunities—over the coming years. As all-encompassing as the Internet feels now, the user base has the potential to triple in size. So as of late, we've started to see Internet companies take an interest in getting more of the disconnected world online. Facebook launched Internet.org, and Google has a ton of projects that aim to provide Internet by fiber, balloon, and drone for example.

But these initiatives are all focused on merely bringing Internet access, not addressing the actual hardware necessary to display the Internet. Enter the Intex Cloud FX, a $35 (Rs 1,999) smartphone from India aimed precisely at this issue. The Cloud FX runs Firefox OS, Mozilla's home-grown OS. Firefox OS is entirely Web-powered, and, therefore, Gecko, Firefox's layout engine, runs just about everything on the device...