ZTE's Firefox OS sells out in the US and UK

ZTE's Firefox OS sells out in the US and UK

Summary: There weren't many ZTE Open devices available in the first place, but they did sell out over a weekend.


ZTE's first Firefox OS devices available to US and UK buyers sold over the weekend.

Last Friday, the Chinese smartphone maker began selling its ZTE Open device on its eBay store in the US for $80 and £60 in the UK. By Monday, the device had sold out, according to its eBay pages.

That the devices sold out in the UK and US might be as sign of success, but for now, fewer than 1,000 buyers in each market were able to get their hands on the device. According to its US and UK eBay pages, just 990 were sold in the UK while 985 were shifted in the US.

The ZTE's low-end price is shows in its specs, which offer a 3.5-inch multitouch screen, a three-megapixel forward-facing camera, 512MB storage and 256MB RAM, and a single-core 1GHz processor from Qualcomm. 

With carriers in the US and UK have yet to announce support for any device running Firefox OS, the ZTE Open comes unlocked.

ZTE launched its Firefox OS device with operator Telefonica in Spain in July, and in Venezuela and Colombia the following month, while last week's US and UK independent launch extended availability of the affordable phone globally.

Deutsche Telekom has released Alcatel's One Touch Fire Firefox OS in Poland, with Greece and Hungary next on the list. Norwegian operator Telenor also plans to launch a Firefox OS phone to customers on their networks in Central and Eastern Europe this year.

Meanwhile, Spain-based Geeksphone, which made the Keon and Peak Firefox OS for developers, has also released a follow-up called Peak+, which carries slightly more powerful hardware than its predecessor, the original Peak.

Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Mobility, United Kingdom

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Click bait title.

    Yeah sold out because they only made 2000. This is a POS overpriced phone. For $19 more you can get a decent phone with real software.
    Dreyer Smit
    • Off-contract?

      Decent phone for $100, off contract?
  • Tech Nerds got in first

    1,000 phones? My guess is tech nerds swooped in at that price. Lets see how well this does with average phone buyers.
  • Surface also did it

    Real sales is the thing that matters..
    • lets compare

      1.5 million Surfaces at an average of $850 = $1,275,000,000

      2000 Fox phones at and average of $80 = $160,000

      Yeah, those figures are really comparable, not!
      • It was a qualification

        But it's ok you like numbers - now post the math for profits :-)
  • "There weren't many ... available in the first place"

    Move along ... nothing to see ... nothing happened here ...
  • junk phone

    this is junk phone, i know its low cost budget phon but come on same goes for sailfish os tizen os as they cant compete against iOS android and windows phone in the us...
    • your probably right.

      I agree with you they are all a new interface for the same thing. What do you think of the Ubuntu OS? Of all of them I respect it the most
  • We laughed at Japanese motorbikes

    In Britain.

    Didn't Ballmer write off the iPhone?

    Has Android always been top dog?

    People who dismiss new offerings and believe that major upheavals can't happen often end up looking silly.
    • Wii. iPad.

      Remember when the Wii came out? The iPad? It felt like public at large decried them as something to not be taken seriously for their names alone.
      Back when Blackberry was on top, the idea that in a few years they would now be struggling, drowning, hardly considered a player, would be laughable.
      I agree that it's not wise to jump the judgment gun here.
      I'm not predicting the rice of the Firefox OS mammoth here, but I've seen enough evidence not to count them out yet.
  • What do these phones do better than anyone else?

    ios is the most compatible with itunes which is a plus for people who feel trapped in apple's ecosystem.

    Android has the most powerful widgets, is the most customizable, and has the most features (some could argue they are gimicky but regardless, they are still there).

    Windows Phone has Live Tiles, deep linking, Xbox Live integration, is the fastestest and fluidestest, pioneered the use of hubs (not sure if Android has those yet, ios certainly doesn't), Data Sense, Kids Corner (guest mode), the best built in mapping and navigation software, the best support for Office, Xbox Music Pass (the very best music subscription service available), etc.

    Pick a use case, any use case, where the best solution to that use case is the Firefox OS. What is the use case?
    • Pick a use case where the solution is the Firefox OS

      Use case scenario: User needs a new phone and has only $100 to spend on it.
      Possible solutions:
      1. Buy an outdated iPhone with a two year contract on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint
      2. Buy an outdated android phone with a two year contract on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint
      3. Buy a prepaid phone that does not have any apps available
      4. Buy a Firefox OS phone that is unlocked and allows you to pick your carrier and/or choose prepaid or contract.
      Garry Hurley Jr
      • Thanks Garry

        Appreciate the response.

        I do have to ask though, considering that I'm pretty sure you CAN buy a no contract Android phone for $100, is the $100 Firefox OS phone going to be substantially better than the $100 Android phone?

        Or am I wrong, are there no Android phones available for $100 off contract?
        • yup

          Todd's a bit of a naysayers but he is right. HTC desire is bout that price. Blackberry still has a hold of the business market I believe should be included in your list I'd recommend a blackberry over a windows phone.
    • For one thing

      It syncs with the Firefox on your computer. Or, I should say, it Syncs, since Sync is the name of the Firefox service that shares data between all your devices running Firefox as well as backing up your data on their servers.
    • By your description windows phones seem the best by far

      And still people is choosing something else on huge numbers - maybe there is hope for Firefox phone.
  • Quite a few apps already

    A quick search found the Firefox Marketplace, which has over 1500 apps listed. Should be enough to get you started.
  • Under 2000?

    That's peanuts. of course they'll sell out.