The first handset running the Firefox operating system is now on sale in Spain, priced €69.
The ZTE Open has a 3.5 inch HVGA touchscreen, 256MB of RAM and a 3.2MP camera. Mapping is provided by Nokia's Here service. The device will go on sale in Movistar stores across Spain, with Colombia and Venezuela getting the device in the coming weeks. The UK is expected to get the first Firefox OS devices next year.
Telefónica is supporting the new Mozilla platform, with it hoping to drive smartphone adoption in emerging markets and among cash-conscious consumers. Firefox OS handsets use web-based apps, meaning that manufacturers can drive the cost of the handsets down. Other manufacturers that support the new platform are Alcatel OneTouch, LG, Huawei and Sony.
Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica España, said: 'We believe that smartphones need to be more open and that the web is the platform for making this possible. Consumers should not be locked to any one system but have the choice to consume the content they want and the flexibility to be able to take it with them when they change devices. This first open web device marks a significant milestone in making this possible. This is just the beginning as we plan to bring a wide range of Firefox OS devices to our customers.'
Jay Sullivan, chief operating officer of Mozilla, said: 'The launch of Firefox OS marks an incredibly exciting time for the mobile industry. Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the web. We are proud to work with partners like Telefonica which see the potential to deliver an experience for first time smartphone users that will delight them and really put the power of the web in people’s hands.'
Author: Graeme Neill