In a move that truly brings an open systems approach, ZTE will be selling the Open Orange smartphone with the Firefox OS only to the auction site of, eBay. While at first this may induce a head-shaking moment of confusion, the brilliance behind the decision can certainly be noted. Business Wire listed a quote from the Vice President of ZTE, Mr. Dai Wenhong, who explained the reasoning behind this move, perfectly:
It is great honor to launch the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone worldwide through eBay. ZTE is devoted to providing more options for customers globally and enabling them to live better lives via advanced technology. The ZTE Open offers customers a smartphone experience at an incredible price point, making it ideal for cost conscious consumers or those looking to upgrade to a smartphone for the first time.
The incredible price behind this novel idea? A mere $79.99. Opening up a phone on eBay is really innovative thinking. Allow for a moment the review of what customers endure when an upgrade with their provider is not available. Losing the phone, facing theft or physical damage can be an expensive lesson. ZTE is now offering a way for customers to replace their phone without the extra hoops or costs. The Open Orange Firefox OS phone makes it a thing of the past.
Curious about the specs? For the mid-range price, the Open Orange is pretty decent in spec reviews. PC World touched on the specs from the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the Open Orange has an:
3.5-inch screen and is powered by a 1GHz processor from Qualcomm. The smartphone also has a 3.2-megapixel camera and support for Wi-Fi and A-GPS. The device has 512MB of integrated storage and 256MB of RAM, ZTE said at the launch event. On the software side, the Open has built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, as well as location-based services using Nokia HERE maps. There is also the Firefox Web browser and the Firefox Marketplace.
Samsung and iPhone it isn’t, but those devices, without a contract run closer to $500 to $600 for replacement. For now it seems ZTE is only advertising the Open Orange on eBay and no additional models. The phone will be unlocked, reports Business Wire. While the phone is typically aimed for new smartphone users, developers and new phone users in general, there is the very real concept of advanced smartphone users that will turn to this alternative instead of dishing out several hundreds of dollars for a replacement.
Even though companies like T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint are offering new devices over a payment plan, many customers demand the lower cost upfront. When a phone becomes damaged outside of manufacturer defects, a customer is left holding a dead, expensive phone. Some will have insurance to replace the device, typically with a deductible around $199 for high-end devices. The cost isn’t bad for the replacement, but for those consumers who pushed away insurance, eBay is now a better concept.
No more worries about if the phone is legitimately unlocked or wondering about the scratches and dents on a phone they ordered. Turning to the largest auction site to receive a brand new, unlocked, Open Orange Firefox OS smartphone is an appealing factor for consumers. So far ZTE has not announced an official date of release for the Open Orange on eBay, but it’s reported per Business Wire it will be sometime this year.