Firefox OS is a go, as $90 ZTE Open launches in Spain
We all knew the time was coming, but today has seen a flurry of activity surrounding Firefox OS, Mozilla’s bold move into the world of smartphone operating systems. A tweet from Mozilla’s official Firefox account this morning said, “Firefox OS arrives this month in selected markets. Celebrate the first smartphone powered completely by Web technologies.” Subsequently, a tweet from Telefonica Digital brought good news to the people of Spain, as it confirmed the ZTE Open would be the world’s first Firefox phone to go on commercial sale, and it would do so there on July 2.
One of the primary attractions of Firefox OS phones was always going to be the price, and sure enough, the ZTE Open is a bargain. The phone will cost just 70 euros (which is about $90) as a Pay As You Go device, and the deal includes 30 euros of call credit plus a 4GB microSD card. If anyone is keen enough to sign up for a two-year contract, the Open will cost a touch over two euros, or $3, each month.
Of course, at this price, you won’t be surprised to learn the ZTE Open can’t match the Galaxy S4 in terms of specification. What you get is a 3.5-inch screen with a 480 x 320 pixel resolution, a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, 256MB of RAM, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and 512MB of internal storage. The Open was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February, alongside the similarly basic Alcatel One Touch Fire, and although it wasn’t the most exciting phone we saw at the show; it always attracted a crowd.
Following the Open’s debut in Spain, Telefonica will launch the phone in other markets – it mentions Columbia and Venezuela specifically – in the coming weeks, while Mozilla’s press release also says Norwegian network Telenor will be releasing Firefox phones in Central and Eastern Europe this year. A check of its website sees Norway, Serbia, Montenegro, and Hungary set for the second half of 2013.
Firefox OS is one of several new smartphone operating systems set to hit the shops this year, and is soon to be joined by Jolla, Tizen, and Ubuntu Phone.
By Andy Boxall