ZTE launching Firefox OS phones in US and Europe this year


According to ZTE’s chief of U.S. operations Cheng Lixin, the company is on track to launch phones running Firefox OS in Europe in the coming months. Cheng didn’t disclose which carrier ZTE was negotiating with, though he did dangle a carrot for Americans. It’s possible that ZTE could sell its Firefox OS phones in the United States before 2013 is done, too. Whether a western push happens will depend on how the phones perform elsewhere and whether the company thinks U.S. consumers will be receptive.

Details about the actual phones remain sketchy at this point, but it’s believed that one of the devices will be based on the ZTE V788d (above, left). It’s a modest foundation, which is in keeping with Firefox OS mission — it’s about putting a modern, web-first smartphone built with completely open software within anyone’s reach. The tweaked V788d is said to feature a single-core 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 3.5-inch display with a native resolution of 800×480. ZTE includes a 5MP rear-facing camera, but there’s no companion shooter on the front.

The current V788d sells for around $130US off-contract, which is a reasonable price point for Mozilla and ZTE to target. It would be nice to see a front-facing came added, especially since Firefox now supports WebRTC and can handle standards-based video chat in web apps.


Mozilla has been testing Firefox OS on a pair of ZTE devices, but specs for the second remain a mystery. Even if they were known, it’s highly likely that they’ll change somewhat before the phones go on sale. As excited as Firefox fans might be, they’ll have to sit tight until the Foundation and ZTE decide to divulge full details about the final hardware.

 via Geek.com


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