ZTE is bringing Mozilla’s Firefox OS to the US and UK, but it’s taking an unsual route to get there: eBay.
Instead of launching its ZTE Open smartphone through traditional stores, the Chinese manufacturer today announced that it will make the handset available on the online retail site “soon.”
ZTE didn’t get any more specific than that as far as a launch window is concerned, but it did say that it will offer the Open for an unlocked price of $80 (£60). It’ll be available in orange.
ZTE says it’ll be usable on “all mobile networks,” but that it won’t come with any localized apps or features. That means no bloatware.
The Open has been available in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela for close to a month on Telefonica.
Like its Firefox phone counterparts, the Geeksphone Peak+ and the Geeksphone Keon, the ZTE Open is a decidedly entry-level handset. It comes with a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, a single-core ARM Cortex-A5 processor, 256MB of RAM, 0.512GB of storage and a 3.2-megapixel camera.
That makes the device severely dated from a technical standpoint, but Mozilla isn’t shooting to compete with Android and iOS on sheer power anyways. It’s looking to compete through price, simplicity, and its entirely web-based experience, and in that sense the Open fits the bill.
Now, it’s hoping that more developers and consumers will be attracted to the OS and its focus on opening up the web as its own app platform.
“Mozilla is dedicated to moving the Web forward as a platform for innovation and building products that people love,” said Dr. Li Gong, Mozilla’s senior VP of mobile devices.
“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.”