Firefox OS phones on sale in Australia

Firefox OS phones are now on sale in Australia! You can buy a ZTE Open C with Firefox OS 1.3 installed for $99 (AUD) at JB Hi-Fi. (For non-Australian readers: JB Hi-Fi is probably the biggest electronics and home entertainment retailer in Australia.)

Australia’s not the ideal market for the current versions of Firefox OS, being a  country where a large fraction of people already use high-end phones. But it’s nice that they’re easily available 🙂

9 Responses to Firefox OS phones on sale in Australia

  1. Maybe we should market them as burners there. “About to commit some crimes? Need a smartphone you won’t mind putting under your boot in a week? You’re gonna love the new blah blah blah …” 🙂

    • Nicholas Nethercote

      That’s what I call thinking outside the box. Ladies and gentlemen, give a big hand to Asa Dotzler, Director of Firefox OS Participation! 🙂

    • I don’t think ‘burner’ phones exist in Australia. Our phone networks are better regulated, much like our finance sector, gun laws, etc 🙂 Our schoolkids don’t yet go around shooting their classmates because Charlton Heston thinks it’s a good idea.

  2. I’m up for a new phone. My Galaxy S2 has issues. Freezes too much, spontaneously reboots, chews battery even more than your average ‘smart’ phone.
    I’d prefer to buy outright as well.
    The hardware specs for Firefox OS phones don’t worry me too much, it’s more that the overall concept is still way too immature and unconvincing. Firefox OS appears to only be a convincing choice for those in the ‘third world’ whose choices are limited to ‘feature’ phones at present, as Mozilla has said is the target market.
    Even those Mozillians from ‘first world’ countries who’ve trialled a Firefox OS phone have not really reported glowing feedback.
    It’s time Mozillians stopped hiding behind the perceived low hardware specs of Firefox OS phones as the big reason people in ‘first world’ countries are unlikely to adopt Firefox OS. Mozilla is trying to sell the open web as a viable phone platform when developers have already, unfortunately, followed first world demand for native apps. Have I missed the news that Firefox OS all of a sudden is using it’s Linux gonk core to support Android apps? If not then please stop pretending everyone out there cares as much about hardware specs as they do about app support.
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m very much an open web supporter. I feel guilty every time I install an app on my phone that might have a browser equivalent! But unless we start seeing convincing stats from the Mozilla Store reflecting the number of developers flocking to write Firefox OS apps, and news of high profile companies supporting the platform, let’s not pretend that potential users are only going to be put off by hardware specs. That’s the excuse Mozilla is deluding itself with. When Google floods India with $99 Android phones, Mozilla will have to start waking up to the reality that it’s bet the farm on a false premise unless it can attract the sort of developer support to the ever-changing web APIs that developers have avoided to date in favour of native APIs that don’t evolve at the glacial pace like the consensus-dependant web APIs do.
    Oh yeah and please don’t shoot the messenger! I’m an open web advocate, always have been, but I’m also a realist.

  3. Living in Australia, I’d love to be able to recommend the ZTE Open C to all my friends, but Firefox OS 1.3 is… still a bit rough around the edges, in my experience, and I’ve heard it’s difficult-to-impossible to upgrade it. I’d love to be proven wrong, though!

  4. This is very cool 🙂 I am giving a talk on the OS and Australia’s Linux Con… and ummm Asa do you want to explain to this Aussie what you mean by burners??? I am hoping that’s not a cultural stab??

  5. “How to upgrade a ZTE Open C (French/Europe/US versions)” http://paulrouget.com/e/openc/

    from the article:
    “The Open C is compatible with Mozilla’s reference phone…”
    and
    “At the moment, I recommend Firefox OS 2.1

  6. I was excited when I came across this by accident on the JB site, but I’m also a little worried that it’s just a bit premature — because, it’s hard to avoid pure idiocy like this.

    @Pd: The web has advantages that native is unlikely to ever have, but the opposite is *not* true. The only reason the web isn’t as capable as native today is because it takes a much more cautious approach to security (compare the hundreds of thousands of centrally reviewed apps to the hundreds of *millions* of websites and *trillions* of pages that aren’t, and hopefully never are, centrally reviewed). Once the security + capability story is worked out (which is a major part of the Firefox OS experiment), I expect momentum will move back to the web. Actually, I think the shift has already begun, with many traditional websites starting to create decent mobile versions. Who knows, maybe 2015 will be a turning point, in the same way as 1995 (the beginning of the web explosion) and 2005 (the beginning of the web renaissance).