Have the Firefox OS launches across Europe and South America left you wanting your own alternative mobile OS? Unfortunately for you, Mozilla has yet to announce a solid release date for its new mobile OS in North America, and best estimates put the launch at next year. Worry not, however, as one of Mozilla’s hardware partners is willing to hook you up.
ZTE announced today that it will start selling an unlocked ZTE Open through eBay for $79.99. The device is one of the first to run Firefox OS, and has recently heralded the arrival of Mozilla’s mobile OS in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia.
“It is great honor to launch the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone worldwide through eBay,” said Dai Wenhong, VP of ZTE Corporation. “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.”
The move isn’t just a win for consumers that wan’t an alternative mobile OS, but for developers who until now have only been able to buy the developer version of Firefox OS devices from Geeksphone. With this, developers will be able to test out their Firefox OS-capable HTML5 apps on consumer hardware.
“Mozilla is dedicated to moving the Web forward as a platform for innovation and building products that people love,” said Dr. Li Gong, Mozilla 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.”
So, what are you going to get spec wise from the ZTE Open? Well, the $79.99 price tag should already tell you a lot, but here goes: the Open features a 3.5 320×480 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 single core CPU, 256 MB of RAM, 512 MB of built-in storage, a 3.2MP camera and a 1200 mAh battery. In short, you’re getting what you pay for.
The ZTE Open isn’t available on eBay just yet, but it will be available to U.S. and UK consumers when it does go live. The device will be unlocked so interested consumers will be able to activate it on any carrier.[h/t: Gigaom]