Xeno's strange news awards blog.
US and UK consumers who want to take Mozilla’s Firefox OS for a spin will soon have a very inexpensive way to get their hands on some hardware, as long as they have active eBay accounts. ZTE will be using the online-auction-turned-shopping site to distribute the phone in those countries for $79.99 and £59.99, respectively. The phone is already being sold in Spain, Venezuela, and Colombia through Telefónica.
The phone’s specifications aren’t mind-blowing, though what you’re getting for $80 isn’t bad: on tap is a single-core Snapdragon S1 system-on-a-chip (part number MSM7225A), a 3.5-inch 480×320 touchscreen (which can handle two touch points for gestures but just one for anything else), 256MB of RAM, 512MB of microSD-expandable storage, 2.4GHz 802.11n, a 3.2MP rear camera, and Bluetooth 2.1. This is in no danger of being a high-end phone unless you travel back in time to 2008, but it does bring the smartphone experience down to a very accessible price point. Firefox OS has also been made with these low-end phones in mind – ZTE’s Open is very similar to Mozilla’s “Geeksphone Keon,” the lower-end of its two Firefox OS developer phones.
The phone will be unlocked, and thanks to the MSM7225A it should work with the GSM networks that AT&T and T-Mobile use in the US. There’s no word on when the Open will officially be available, just that it’s coming to eBay “soon.”