Mozilla’s Firefox OS debuts on first smartphone

The Mozilla Firefox OS has set foot into the smartphone industry, launching on its first handset today and offering a challenge to the budget sector currently dominated by Android.

The ZTE Open has a mere 3.5 inch screen, a 1GHz single-core processor and 256MB of RAM with the entirely reasonable price of €39 (£33).

Mozilla claims it isn’t trying to take over the top-end of the market but instead wants to go after the still-expanding market of customers looking for their first smartphone.

As a package customers will in fact pay €69 as the phone comes bundled with €30 pay-as-you-go credit and 4GB storage card. One alternative is to pick the phone up on a 24 month contract with Telefónica for a piddling €2.38 per month

Additional features include a 3.2-megapixel camera and support for Wi-Fi and A-GPS. But the ZTE Open is most noteworthy for using Mozilla’s HTML-based Firefox OS. It supports the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Nokia’s Here maps but still has a long way to go to make any kind of impact against Android, iOS or Windows Phone.

Firefox may have made a smart move in opting for the emerging market to start with, but it will need to get apps on board sharpish in order to win over users.