First Firefox OS smartphone hits the market in Spain

2 Jul 2013

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ZTE Open, the first Firefox OS smartphone on the market

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From today, customers in Spain can pick up a ZTE Open, the first smartphone on the market running Mozilla’s open-source mobile operating system Firefox OS.

Spanish users can become the first adopters of Firefox OS with a ZTE Open for €69 from Telefónica. The handset features a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 256MB RAM, 3.2MP camera and a 4GB micro-SD card is included.

“Consumers should not be locked to any one system but have the choice to consume the content they want and the flexibility to be able to take it with them when they change devices,” said Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica España. “This first open web device marks a significant milestone in making this possible. This is just the beginning as we plan to bring a wide range of Firefox OS devices to our customers.”

Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom is also planning its first Firefox OS release in Poland with Alcatel’s One Touch Fire. “The launch of the first Firefox smartphones in Europe is an important step on the way to more innovation and to more competition between the different ecosystems,” said Claudia Nemat, board member for Europe and Technology at Deutsche Telekom. “We rely on open platforms because we want to create freedom of choice on behalf of our customers.”

 

These Firefox OS devices, demoed in the video above, are powered completely by web technologies.

Facebook, Twitter and Nokia’s Here Maps come pre-loaded, as well as the Firefox browser, of course. More HTML5 apps can be downloaded from Firefox Marketplace, which has been populated with apps from Evernote, Wikipedia, Pulse, AccuWeather, EA and SoundCloud, but still has a ways to go to catch up with other app platforms.

However, one analyst is confident that the platform is fit for the competition. “One of our recent surveys found Firefox OS to be more compelling to developers over Tizen, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire, despite no commercial products being available yet,” said John Jackson, research vice-president at IDC. “It is clear that influential members of the operator, OEM, and developer communities at both global and hyper-local levels see the potential of Mozilla’s Firefox OS to be that next platform.”

Mozilla has partnered with more than 20 hardware manufacturers and operators on Firefox OS and devices are expected to reach more markets later this year.

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com