ZTE Open: First Firefox OS smartphone launches on July 2 for $90

Move over iOS, WP8, BB10 and Android as a new mobile operating system is set to unleash itself on the market tomorrow. Come Tuesday, July 2, the affordable ZTE Open phone touting Mozilla's Firefox OS is going to make its debut in the consumer space.

The ZTE Open is the first-ever Firefox OS smartphone and will launch in Spain on carrier Telefonica. The handset is reasonably priced and will set consumers back by €69 or $90, which is inclusive of the €30 (approximately $39) as pay-as-you-go credit.

"The ZTE Open Firefox OS device launches tomorrow in Spain costing €69 incl €30 balance for prepay customers," reads Telefonica's Twitter post.

Alternately, consumers have the option of purchasing the ZTE Open on a two-year contract for just €2.38 (approximately $3.10) per month.

The launch of the new open source OS by Mozilla is a step towards grabbing a chunk of the mobile market that is currently ruled by Google and Apple. Whether the new mobile OS will be successful in establish a stronghold in the long term; however, remains to be seen. But with the pricing of the handset being way cheaper than several Android, iOS and WP8 handsets, the ZTE Open seems to hold promise.

"We're excited about dynamic app search," revealed Yotam Benami, Telefonica's digital director of open Web services, to CNET while referring to the functionality which finds apps and pages on the web instead of an app store. "It's a very personalized experience. You can interact with Web apps in the cloud. The entire user experience is more simple and streamlined. Many users are frustrated with the complexities of Android."

Benami further added that "the current dynamics of the mobile ecosystem are problematic for OEMs, for developers, for end users, and for carriers. Firefox resolves many of these issues.

The budget friendly ZTE Open features a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a modest 480 x 320 pixel resolution. It also sports a 3.2-megapixel primary camera and has 256MB of RAM. The ZTE Open comes with 512MB of on-board memory and has additional memory expansion support for up to 4GB via a microSD card.

The ZTE Open may be the very first Firefox OS smartphone to hit the shelves, but it will soon have company. Telefonica is slated to launch another entry-level handset, Alcatel's One Touch Fire, in South America (Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia.)

Apart from Telefonica, carriers like Telenor and Deutsche Telekom will also offer Firefox OS phones in Central and Eastern Europe and Poland, respectively. Apart from Alcatel and ZTE, Sony and LG are some other OEMs on board with Firefox OS.

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