Feeds

ZTE to flog Firefox OS mobe worldwide via eBay

Unlocked, low-powered, and dirt cheap

High performance access to file storage

Chinese mobile maker ZTE has announced plans to sell a smartphone running the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox OS worldwide via online auction site eBay.

The company said the orange-colored version of the ZTE Open would go on sale "soon" for $79.99 on eBay's US site and £59.99 in the UK, though no specific date was given.

"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," ZTE vice president Dai Wenhong said in a statement.

Naturally, that low price tag won't get you a flagship device. In fact, by most smartphone platform standards, the ZTE Open's hardware specs are rather modest.

It's based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7225A chip, which includes a single 1GHz Cortex A5 processor core and an Adreno 200 GPU. It comes with 256MB of RAM and 512MB of internal storage, expandable via microSD cards. It has a 3.5-inch multitouch screen with 480-by-320 pixel resolution. It includes a 3.15MP rear-facing camera, an accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor, and it can pull in 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, and FM radio. And that's about it.

Photo of ZTE Open Firefox OS smartphone

Hope you like orange, because that's the only color of the ZTE Open that will be sold on eBay

With specs like those, the ZTE Open is hardly going to give the next iPhone a run for its money. But based on early reports, it does an adequate job of running Mozilla's lightweight, HTML-based Firefox OS, which is only just beginning to trickle out into mobile markets worldwide.

Telefónica launched the ZTE Open in Spain on July 2, and Deutsche Telekom followed shortly thereafter in Poland. The carriers have since debuted the device in other regions, including Venezuela and Colombia.

Mozilla has positioned Firefox OS as a low-cost alternative to platforms like Android and iOS, particularly for developing markets where many customers are only just making the transition from low-end feature phones to smartphones and the mobile web.

The version of the ZTE Open that will sell through eBay will be fully unlocked, so it should work on most mobile carriers worldwide. According to a blog post from Mozilla, it will not be optimized for specific networks and it will include no local or carrier-specific apps or features.

On the other hand, well-heeled Firefox fans who can't stand the thought of using low-end hardware might look elsewhere. Spanish startup Geeksphone is accepting preorders of the Peak+ – a Firefox OS handset with a better processor than the ZTE One's, a better screen, more storage, and dual cameras – for €149 ($198/£128) for a limited time.

The Open won't be the last Firefox OS device from ZTE, either. The Chinese firm says it's merely "the first of the Firefox OS range that will be launched in 2013," though it gave no hint of how many more models might be forthcoming. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.