The first phone touting the Firefox operating system is set to hit the UK earlier than expected, with the ZTE Open going on sale on eBay.
The device, available in orange, will be unlocked and priced £59.99. No exact release date has been confirmed, with the handset going on sale on eBay's US and UK websites 'soon'. The handset has already gone on sale in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia but it had been expected that British consumers would have to wait until 2014 to get their hands on the first Firefox devices. The operating system is web-based, which Firefox's parent company Mozilla said would lead to more affordable handsets. O2's parent Telefónica is among the operators that have lent its support to the operating system. Among the applications that are available on the handsets are Nokia HERE maps, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia.
Dai Wehong, vice-president at ZTE, said: 'It is great honor to launch the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone worldwide through eBay. ZTE is devoted to providing more options for customers globally and enabling them to live better lives via advanced technology. 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.'
Li Gon, Mozilla's senior vice-president of mobile devices, said: 'Mozilla is dedicated to moving the Web forward as a platform for innovation and building products that people love. We are pleased that now we will put the full power of the Web in even more people’s hands. 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.'
Author: Graeme Neill