Rare earth ion doped fiber devices can achieve high efficiencies and high output powers due to their advantages of high optical pump power densities over long interaction lengths. With the advent of fluoride-based fibers, breakthroughs into both the short- and long-wavelength regions not possible with silica-based fibers have achieved. The low phonon energy and high rare earth ion doping concentrations of fluorides allow multi-level transition processes such as upconversion. This paper reviews some of the recent advances in fluoride-based fiber lasers and amplifiers, and takes a look at the major issues, mainly from an industrial viewpoint. The primary issue of cost has hampered commercialization and widespread acceptance of these devices. The future prospects of fluoride-based fiber devices will be discussed from the viewpoint of industrial applications.