ZTE's Firefox OS smartphone soon available on eBay in US, UK

The Open will cost $79.99 without a contract in the US

The ZTE Open is the first cellphone based on the Firefox OS

The ZTE Open is the first cellphone based on the Firefox OS

Sales of the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone will start soon via eBay's stores in the U.S. and U.K.

The availability of the Open through eBay means that consumers will be able to buy an affordable smartphone based entirely on open Web standards, ZTE said Monday. The phone will be unlocked and cost US$79.99 and £59.99, respectively, in the two countries.

Firefox OS is being pitched as a better alternative for low-end smartphones, and it is built around applications written using HTML5. The OS has been developed to target first-time smartphone users, according to Mozilla. For now, the Open is primarily meant for developers and early adopters worldwide, ZTE said.

The Open, announced in February at Mobile World Congress, has a 3.5-inch screen and is powered by a 1GHz processor from Qualcomm. The smartphone also has a 3.2-megapixel camera and support for Wi-Fi and A-GPS. The device has 512MB of integrated storage and 256MB of RAM, ZTE said at the launch event. On the software side, the Open has built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, as well as location-based services using Nokia HERE maps. There is also the Firefox Web browser and the Firefox Marketplace.

The ZTE phone was recently launched by Telefónica in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia. ZTE doesn't have any plans currently to sell it to U.S. mobile carriers. The phone has the same basic specifications as the Alcatel One Touch Fire which Deutsche Telekom has started selling in Poland and Telefónica also sells in a couple of countries.

LG Electronics and Huawei Technologies have also said they will start shipping smartphones based on Firefox OS this year.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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