Geeksphone may have gotten the ball rolling for Firefox OS with its developer preview hardware, but when it comes to proper commercial retail hardware, ZTE will be the first to introduce many users to the platform, in the form of its ZTE Open. While curious to see how the OS will fare, we’ve been a little down on the Open itself (like many of these other early FFOS phones) due to its seriously low-end hardware. Now, that’s not necessarily saying that the phone won’t be up to the task, but ZTE would sure need to give the handset a price tag to match its stature. Thankfully, it look like that’s exactly what the manufacturer is doing.
The ZTE Open is launching on Telefónica in Spain, and it will cost users what works out to about $90. That’s a great price for an entry-level smartphone on its own, but the deal here is even better: at that price, the Open still comes with $40 worth of pre-paid airtime – that’s an effective price of just $50 for the phone.
To be fair, we haven’t heard of anyone planning to sell the Open free-and-clear for that price (and the bundling with airtime may be a strategy to avoid making the phone seem TOO cheap, and ultimately unattractive), but even at $90, this phone could be worth a look. Might a sub-$100 sticker price be the key to selling entry level smartphones from upstart platforms?