Firefox and ZTE start attack on US and Blighty from Friday

You may be warranted in giving a groan hearing yet another competitor is trying to enter the market saturated by two heavyweights who need little introduction – Android and iOS.

Yet that’s exactly what Mozilla is attempting with their new ZTE “Firefox OS” devices. From Friday, ZTE will be taking to eBay to sell its first Firefox OS phone the “ZTE Open” for an incredibly tempting price of $79.99 (£59.99 in the U.K.)

Mr. Dai Wenhong, VP of ZTE Corporation said, “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.”

It’s probably not a huge guess that price has already piqued your interest, but most importantly is that it grabs the attention of developers. Android and iOS prove how vital development communities are, whilst Windows Phone – though growing gradually - shows how detrimental it is without.

Of course you need more than a tidy price to succeed in today’s highly-competitive market. Whilst the device itself is a fairly entry-level affair with its 480 x 320 3.5-inch display, microSD slot, 3.15 mpx rear camera, 3G connectivity, and a comparatively tame 1.0 GHz Cortex-A5 processor – it’s the OS which hopes to stand out and make a substantial enough splash.

So where do specs make little difference? You’ve got it, on the web. Who is one of the most renowned web browsers? ... You’re on a roll! It’s Firefox. Quiz finished, and hopefully you’re starting to see the direction Mozilla is looking to take Firefox OS.

Through making use of open web standards; developers have complete freedom from ecosystem restrictions presented by platforms such as iOS and Android.

Dr. Li Gong, Mozilla Senior VP of Mobile Devices says: “Mozilla is dedicated to moving the Web forward as a platform for innovation and building products that people love. We are pleased that now we will put the full power of the Web in even more people’s hands.”

He continues: “With a great potential user base, we know that even more developers around the world will create their apps with new APIs to stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation.”

Already the store features most users “everyday” applications; eBay, Badoo, Terra, KAYAK, The Weather Channel, TMZ, AOL, Wikipedia, CNNMoney, Huffington Post, TIME, Facebook, Airbnb, Time Out, Twitter, and SoundCloud. Combining these with a deeply-integrated search reminiscent of ‘Everything.me’ on Android which customises the phone based on the query you’re searching for.

It’s certainly interesting to see where – if anywhere – the company takes the OS, and how it will fair against other upcoming platforms such as Ubuntu’s.

How do you think Mozilla’s Firefox OS will fare against the competition? Do you think they are on to an interesting concept with a less restrictive web-based platform?

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