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August 12, 2013

New Firefox phone soon to arrive in UK and US

ZTE's Open will only be sold on eBay.

By Ben Sullivan

ZTE has revealed it will become the first mobile phone company to sell a smartphone running the new Firefox operating system in the UK and the US.

However, the £59.99 handset will only be available to buy on auction site eBay.

The ZTE Open will also be one of the first smartphones to rely completely on HTML5 based applications, instead of using a unique company-owned platform.

Mozilla, the creators of the Firefox web browser, says the phone will inspire a "new wave of innovation".

A spokesman for the Chinese manufacturers ZTE said the handset was aimed at first-time smartphone users.

With the phone already on sale in Spain, Venezuela and Columbia, ZTE says the phone will be available soon in the UK and US.

The Open will be unlocked, meaning its available for use with any network operator.

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The ZTE Open phone features a 3.5in screen and 3.2-megapixel camera and is powered by a 1GHz processor.

Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at consultancy firm Ovum, said the decision to sell the phone on eBay "is an admission by ZTE that most carriers around the world are not yet ready to sell Firefox OS devices".

He added that "being different isn’t enough" in a marketplace already crowded by Google, Apple and Windows.
"If you have to explain to people why Firefox provides a better user experience, then it’s not particularly compelling."

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