India’s First Firefox OS Smartphone Priced Rs. 6990 Exclusively Available On Ebay India


Call it an example of niche marketing, or a very clever strategic move: India’s first Firefox powered smartphone ZTE Open has been launched, and it is only available on Ebay.

Although there has been no official announcement by ZTE regarding this launch inside India, it was notified earlier that ZTE is going to sell its Firefox OS enabled hardware only on Ebay US and Ebay UK.

ZTE Open, which was earlier declared as world’s first smart phone powered by Firefox OS, was globally launched three months back in Spain by Telefonica, a telecommunications company based in Spain.

ZTE Firefox Smartphone

However, its soft Indian launch with exclusive partnership with Ebay India has surprised many technology experts. Industry insiders are claiming that Sony was also trying to launch a Firefox OS enabled smartphone in India, but this partnership between Ebay and ZTE has clearly edged out Sony.

In an email response to The Hindu editorial team, Mr. Alok Agarwal, Director of Marketing, eBay India said, “We are delighted to provide Indian consumers access to the ZTE Open, a popular smartphone which is a great option for first-time smart phone users. This was exclusively available on eBay in the U.S. and the U.K., and is now available in India.”

ZTE Open: An Overview

Delicately priced at Rs 6990, ZTE Open has been targeted for first time smart phone users. Its pricing and marketing strategy closely matches with that of Micromax, when it launched its “My First Android” campaign.

ZTE Open is moderately powered phone having Cortex A5 1GHz processor, and 256MB of RAM. It comes with 512MB memory storage, which can be expanded to 4 GB MicroSD card which is available with the package. Its 3.2 mega pixel rear camera will help you to shoot pictures and videos. For connection with other devices, it has Bluetooth, A-GPS and Wi-Fi. The ZTE Open uses a 1,200mAh battery.

Being a new OS, it has limited apps availability. However, the company assures us that there are several apps already installed with the hardware such as: eBay, Badoo, Terra, Kayak, The Weather Channel, TMZ, AOL, Wikipedia, CNNMoney, Huffington Post, Time, Facebook, Airbnb, Time Out, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Firefox OS?

Discussions about Firefox OS had been started since 2011, but no product was launched. This new smartphone by ZTE paves a way for the launch of this OS and the future looks promising. Even LG has launched a Firefox enabled smartphone recently, and more manufacturers such as Sony, Qualcomm, Alcatel, Sprint, Singtel among others are about to launch their own hardwares powered by this OS.

It would be tough for Firefox to make any significant dents in the Android dominated smartphone market, atleast for time being. However, Firefox OS has introduced some amazing new features, which can attract a new set of smartphone users.

For example, the primary appeal of Firefox OS is that it is build completely using web standards including HTML 5, CSS and Java Script. Firefox Mozilla web browser’s effect and love for HTML5 is clearly visible over its OS as well.

As per the official statement from Forefox, “Built entirely using HTML5 and other open Web standards (and) free from the rules and restrictions of existing proprietary platforms.”

Firefox is also creating an environment where in app developers can seamlessly create more apps using the existing platform of Mozilla Developer Network. They are also organizing various workshops to attract more developers into their ecosystem.

Monopoly of any product or service is bad; and we hope that Firefox OS is able to give a decent fight to biggies such as Android and iOS.

We wish all the best to Firefox & ZTE!

  1. Mohul says

    Hey Manas.. thanks for the comment! You wont believe but Mozilla OS is creating ripples across the mobile world, and its good for the industry as well.. with all Androids and iOS phones around, it seems that everyone is connected with the same TV channel! Sony, LG, Quacomm, Singtel, Sprint and lot more companies are partnering with Firefox for this OS.. it has been built using HTML5 (really!); CSS and Java Script.. guys at Silicon Valley are incredibly excited about this new OS, as they believe that its better than Windows.. and can give stiff competition to Andoid (both are open sourced) and ioS as well.. ZTE was daring enough to launch it.. and LG has launched a version as well.. lets see what happens next :)

  2. Manas says

    Quiet a good review. However, i don’t think Mozilla will be able to take over the so created Android hype. With such publicity pace, restricted sellers and a wide range of Android phones already available in that price range & configuration, Zte and Mozilla are hardly going to attract potential customers. Anyways, hope the collaboration tries some good marketing techniques to increase their sales. :)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      @manas, As far as my personal opinion goes, I think, Firefox OS has great potential, especially because it relies on open standards. Apps that work on web, can easily work directly on the phone like Native apps. and app ecosystem is the main reason why Android/iOS are much ahead of others.

      It will be much easier for FFOS to have a good app ecosystem, as it will be easiest for developers to develop apps.

      Having said that, one has to understand that their are many variables for a successful mobile OS. Give FFOS about 12 to 18 months and it will be clear if they can be a real threat to Android!

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