Firefox OS-Powered ZTE Open Phones Sell Out In The UK

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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The first Firefox OS smartphone to be released in the UK has sold out on eBay

The Firefox OS-powered ZTE Open is off to a good start in the UK and the US, selling out less than a week after it went on sale on eBay.

The orange variety of the smartphone is only available in the two countries through the auction site and is not currently available on any major operator. However its £59.99 price tag appears to have attracted plenty of people eager to try out the first Firefox OS smartphone to be released in the UK.

ZTE has given no indication as to when new stock will be available and has invited potential customers to sign up for email updates. We also haven’t been able to ascertain how many phones, exactly, were sold through this outlet.

ZTE Open sales

ZTE OpenThe ZTE Open 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.

It 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.

Firefox OS is just one of a number of open source mobile operating systems to emerge in the last few years, with Sailfish, Tizen and Ubuntu Mobile all looking to position themselves as genuine alternatives to iOS and Android.

Are you a Firefox enthusiast? Take our quiz!

ZTE Open

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ZTE Open