ZTE Open Firefox OS Smartphone To Be Sold In UK On eBay

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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ZTE Open will become the first Firefox OS smartphone to be released in the UK, unlocked for £59.99

The ZTE Open is set to become the first Firefox OS-powered smartphone to be made available to consumers in the UK, after the Chinese manufacturer announced plans to sell the device through eBay.

The orange variant of the ZTE Open will cost £59.99 and will be unlocked for use on all UK phone operators, while consumers in the US will also be able to get their hands on the smartphone for $79.99.

The handset was first announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year and is the first smartphone running Firefox OS to receive a commercial release, having been launched on Telefonica in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia.

ZTE Open UK launch

ZTE OpenIt is just 3.5 inches, has a modest 256MB of RAM and a 3.5 megapixel camera and is targeted at first time smartphone buyers.  The decision to bypass the major UK operators is a slightly surprising move given that Telefonica, owner of O2, has been a major backer of Firefox OS, citing a desire to  reduce its dependency on Android.

However rather than a signal that carriers are not ready for Firefox OS, ZTE says it is using eBay so that as many people as possible are able to buy an affordable smartphone based entirely on open web standards.

“The ZTE Open offers customers a smartphone experience at an incredible price point, making it ideal for cost conscious consumers or those looking to upgrade to a smartphone for the first time,” said Dai Wenhong, vice president of ZTE.

“We are pleased that now we will put the full power of the Web in even more people’s hands,” added Li Gong, Mozilla senior vice president of Mobile Devices. “With a great potential user base, we know that even more developers around the world will create their apps with new APIs to stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation.”

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ZTE Open

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ZTE Open