Firefox OS first phone out tomorrow, costs €69

Mozilla's mobile operating system hopes that by providing super cheap phones, it can do battle with Android.

Tomorrow will see the debut of a brand-new operating system, as Mozilla's Firefox OS enters the arena in a bid to crush Android .

The new mobile operating system, which hopes to defeat its robot-powered foe using the power of super-cheap smart phones, will land in Spain tomorrow.

The first phone to carry the operating system, which we've already tested , will be the ZTE Open . As you might expect, the phone itself is rather basic -- you get a 3.5-inch display and a single-core processor, as well as a 3.2-megapixel camera.

Not too exciting, but then the Open is ridiculously cheap. It costs €69 (about £59), a price that includes €30 (roughly £26) of credit on pay as you go.

Firefox OS itself is broadly similar to Android, arranging a grid of apps on a tiled homescreen. It uses the Firefox browser, so Mozilla is hoping it'll be a hit with fans who want a cheap smart phone for basic Web browsing, rather than fancy video or game apps.

It may, however, risk being too similar to Android, which is also available on some very cheap phones. Battling established operating systems is no easy task either -- just ask the embattled Nokia, which has struggled to find success with Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

My esteemed colleague Rich 'Wrasslin' Trenholm has toyed with Firefox OS before, but prefers Ubuntu Touch -- another challenger looking to take some of the smart phone pie away from Google and Apple.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll get a taste of Firefox OS in Britain for a while yet. Although Mozilla's Brendan Eich promises "other launches to follow", an earlier list of countries soon to enjoy the new platform don't include the UK.

Do you think Firefox OS can succeed? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Tags:
Phones
Mobile
About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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