Firefox OS smartphone ZTE Open to be available worldwide through eBay

By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 13, 2013 08:10 AM EDT

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Consumers interested in the ZTE Open, the first Mozilla Firefox OS smartphone, can rejoice as ZTE will start selling the handset worldwide through eBay.

The ZTE Open has launched in various countries over the past month or so, but not all markets got to see the smartphone. That will change soon, as ZTE will start selling the handset directly to consumers across the world through its eBay channel.

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While this may be seen as an unusual strategy, it makes sense when it comes to the ZTE Open considering its very low price tag and Firefox OS phones distribution at this early stage.

"It is a great honor to launch the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone worldwide through eBay," said ZTE vice president Dai Wenhong in a statement on Monday, Aug. 12. "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."

Mozilla also noted in a blog post that the ZTE Open handsets sold through eBay are intended for sale worldwide, therefore they will not include any localized apps or features. The devices will also come unlocked, which makes them a perfect choice for "developers and early adopters," according to Mozilla.

Various operators worldwide are rolling out Firefox OS phones in many countries, but each operator usually offers just one model at this stage. ZTE's new strategy to sell its Firefox OS handset through eBay may be part of an effort to ensure that the ZTE Open reaches as many markets and consumers as possible.

In other words, although Deutsche Telekom, for instance, is rolling out the Firefox OS Alcatel One Touch Fire to European countries such as Poland, Hungary, Greece and Germany, users in those regions will also be able to pick up the ZTE Open instead if they so prefer.

Firefox OS handsets are not only a choice for first-time smartphone buyers or budget-conscious shoppers, but they also offer an alternative to those who want something different in terms of operating system. Some consumers may be curious to try out something other than iOS, Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry, and the ZTE Open offers that chance for a low price.

The ZTE Open will soon become available on the ZTE store on eBay US and UK for $79.99 and £59.99, respectively. The handset will only be available in orange and will be usable on any mobile network.



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