Firefox OS-based ZTE Open Land in the US and UK via eBay

by Istvan Fekete on August 15, 2013

BlackBerry is organizing a retreat — well sort of — while Android and iOS are achieving impressive growth in the smartphone market. As a recent Consumer Intelligence Research Partners report has highlighted, the big fight for first-time smartphone buyers is between Apple and Android (and most importantly Samsung). So the question remains: how can a mobile platform or a smartphone OEM capture the attention of first-time smartphone buyers? Firefox OS and ZTE Open have apparently found the answer.

You can forget about expensive handsets and long-term contracts: the release of the Firefox OS-based ZTE Open handset puts all the above behind and offers a great alternative for those who have decided to ditch their feature phone and upgrade to a smartphone.

Yes, the ZTE Open will come factory unlocked, will run the open-source Firefox OS and will cost US and UK buyers just 79.99 off contract. And you don’t even need to go to the store to pick one up: it will be available exclusively via eBay, starting Friday.

ZTE announced the news via a press release published on their website, saying that following its launch in Spain, Venezuela and Columbia, the ZTE Open will arrive in the US and UK on Friday and be available exclusively through its eBay stores in both countries in a unique Orange color. And, as you may have already guessed, it will run on all mobile networks.

Okay, don’t get me wrong, the smartphone won’t impress tech geeks with its tech specs: it sports a 480 × 320 pixel, 3.5-inch display, supports 3G connectivity, offers expandable memory via microSD slow, comes with a 3.15 MP rear-facing camera, and has a 1.0 GHz Cortex A5 processor under the hood.

And since there is no smartphone without apps — the key to its success (see the failure of BlackBerry 10), besides a seamless Web browsing experience, Firefox OS already has several key apps in its marketplace: eBay; Badoo; Terra; KAYAK; The Weather Channel; TMZ; AOL; Wikipedia; CNNMoney; Huffington Post; TIME; Facebook; Airbnb; Time Out; Twitter and SoundCloud.

If you are looking for an affordable smartphone, here it is. I’m sure most developers will pick up one, just out of curiosity, since it costs less than a smartphone with a 2-year contract.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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