Jul 022013
 

Today marks the first commercial smartphone launch featuring the Firefox operating system. The spanish Telefónica starts selling the ZTE Open for €69 including €30 of airtime plus a free 4GB microSD card coming with the prepaid Movistar offer. For now the ZTE Open will only be available in Spain but soon further Firefox smartphones should be offered in other countries as well (beginning with Latin America).

Image: ZTE Open (C) ZTE

Image: ZTE Open (C) ZTE

The ZTE Open is the first commercially offered open web smartphone device and shows that the alternative and independent OS Firefox can also be used quite effectively in mobile devices. Other manufacturers like LG Electronics, Sony and Huawei are said to follow this example and probably will be introducing their own Firefox OS mobiles very soon. This is good news for all users looking for an alternative to iOS and Android. All applications and services running on Firefox OS will be implemented using Javascript and HTML5 making it more accessible for developers.

The ZTE Open is equipped with a single core Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and only has 512 MB ROM/256 MB RAM available. But additional memory can be added using the MicroSD card slot. It comes with a 3MP camera, a 3.5 inch HVGA TFT touchscreen display, stereo FM radio, Bluetooth, UMTS, GPS and dual band Wi-Fi. Apps can be found on the Firefox Marketplace.

In general mobile phones equipped with Firefox OS will probably be kept simpler and serve more basic needs. The main goal seems to be to make Firefox mobile phones available at a comparably cheap price. This development may mark the end of the more rudimental featurephone and push smartphones into areas where previously they were simply unaffordable and of course it will try to take away some of the dominant Google market share.

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