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.
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.”
— eBay India (@ebayindia) October 25, 2013
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.
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!