Back in November MTN revealed that it was looking to release a Firefox OS-based smartphone in South Africa.

We have had a number of opportunities to play around with the device in the past, and MTN has just announced that the Alcatel OneTouch Fire E smartphone is available locally.

“Having a smartphone based on the Firefox operating system means we can deliver numerous unique product innovations. For example, the phone can be easily set up for four of the 11 official languages, namely English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Xhosa. MTN will incorporate other languages in future versions of the phone. This means that our customers can choose the language they are most comfortable with and get a more naturally appealing connected experience,” explained Larry Annetts, chief marketing officer of MTN South Africa, in a media statement.

Unlike Android and iOS, Firefox OS apps aren’t developed around a native framework. The operating system is designed with HTML5 apps in mind, and there will be a locally curated app store to support the first tranche of handsets.

“It is designed for the Web in mind, the Alcatel One Touch Fire E is the ideal device to use in the digital age where access to information and social networks from a mobile device has become a way of life for consumers,” MTN said.

It is available at selected MTN outlets on prepaid and contract for R89 per month on the MTN MyChoice 25 package. If you fancy picking up the phone without a contract, it will be R1 699.

The smartphone has a 4.5-inch qHD screen (960 x 540 pixels), a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 1.2 GHz, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 1 700mAh battery.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.