First Firefox OS smartphone goes on sale

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After months in development, Mozilla’s Firefox OS is ready for the public. Today, the company announced that the first two handsets running the open-source HTML5 operating system — the ZTE Open and the Alcatel One Touch Fire — will soon go on sale in limited markets. Consumers in Spain won’t have long to wait after Telefónica-owned Movistar announced the 3.5-inch ZTE Open smartphone will go on sale from tomorrow, costing  $90 (including $39 balance) for prepay customers.

Mozilla hopes that its open frameworks, HTML5 apps, and consumer-friendly approach will lure people away from low-cost Android, Asha, and Windows Phone smartphones — which offer similar pricing but may provide more in the way of features. Firefox OS-powered smartphones will go on sale in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and soon Asia, with Huawei and LG joining ZTE and Alcatel in releasing new devices. Sony will also debut a new handset next year. In our early tests we noted the ZTE Open’s unremarkable hardware and the laggy nature of the web-based OS, we hope that the platform has matured sufficiently to provide a real alternative to its more established rivals.

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