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ZTE unveils Open, its first Firefox OS-based phone

Smartphone has 3.5-in. screen and is set to ship by mid-year

By Mikael Ricknäs
February 25, 2013 03:23 PM ET

IDG News Service - ZTE's first phone based on Mozilla's Firefox OS will go on sale in the middle of the year in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia, where its maker hopes to boost smartphone penetration.

Firefox OS is being pitched as a better alternative for low-end smartphones in developing markets and is built around applications written using HTML5. For example, in Latin America smartphone penetration only averages 18%, according to Telefonica, which will sell the ZTE smartphone.

The Open has 3.5-in. screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and is powered by a 1GHz processor from Qualcomm. There is also 512MB of integrated storage and 256MB of RAM.

The phone will first become available in mid-year, according to ZTE.

What it and other phones based Firefox OS will cost is still a bit of a mystery. Pricing hasn't been decided, according to He Shiyou, head of mobile devices division at the company.

On Monday, Geeksphone said the Firefox OS-based Peak and Keon will be available in its online store in the upcoming weeks. The phones are not meant for consumers, but are intended to allow developers to get acquainted with the OS.

The Keon has the same basic spec as the Open, but adds more storage and a bigger battery. The Peak is more powerful with its dual-core 1.2GHz processor. It also has a 4.3-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front.

The phones have been developed with Telefonica and Mozilla. Again, no pricing was available.

In addition to ZTE, Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and Huawei Technologies have also said they will start shipping smartphones based on Firefox OS this year. On Sunday, Mozilla previewed the first commercial build of the platform, and said that 18 operators are backing the OS.

The ZTE Open
The ZTE Open.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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