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Openmoko's Open Source Phone Goes Mass-Market 247

nerdyH writes "Openmoko has begun shipping its Linux-based, open source Neo Freerunner phone to five newly announced distributors, in Germany, France, and India, says the company. The Neo Freerunner features an open hardware design, and a Linux-based operating system that users are free to modify. The project originally hoped to produce a mass-market offering last October. The $400 Freerunner will remain available direct, online, too. A 2.5G GPRS/GSM phone like the original iPhone, it boasts a 500MHz processor, WiFi, 3D accelerometers, a 4.3-inch VGA touchscreen, Bluetooth, and built-in GPS."
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Openmoko's Open Source Phone Goes Mass-Market

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  • Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZERO1ZERO ( 948669 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:10PM (#23938141)
    I'm still using a Nokia 6210 I got in about 1999 with an Orange contract, only on the second battery. In that time the life time counters are at about 50 hours total calls and rouhgly about 25 hours are outgoing calls.

    So blatantly I have no real need for a phone, why do they all have to be so gaddamn expensive? I can't afford much more than £5 a month for calls, will the open-ness and WIFI-ness of this phone allow me to say, use my internet (which I already pay for) to make phonecalls? (for free)

    What's with the 2.5G? Did n't the Iphone get absolutely slammed for the lack of it, something that British (european) users apparently Have To Have? Given that this is a french phone and not a US thing, surely it would come with the usual standards.

    Also, can I ssh into my computer and restart my webserver, motherfucker??? :)

  • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:17PM (#23938245)
    For an open hardware project, they're making fantastic progress. If you want 3G, offer to help. I'm not saying you shouldn't expect great things from a project of this sort (look at Firefox, it's turned out fantastically well), but you need to give a little to get a little (a la public broadcasting).
  • Re:2.5G (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sglewis100 ( 916818 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:23PM (#23938305)
    The problem is, that I'd have to drop $400, not have 3G now, and HOPE that 3G becomes available and that it wasn't too much more to replace. That won't compete with a 3G iPhone or a 3G Android phone. Great start, and I hope their next release is even better.
  • Re:2.5G (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Milyardo ( 1156377 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:29PM (#23938419)
    A 3G/3.5G/WiMax Controller Will undoubtedly come, as any manufacturer could make the controller. The competition will also keep the prices for such devices reasonable. The reason this will compete with a 3G iPhone is because you the ability to upgrade piece by piece. The iPhone you dropped $600 on last year is, and will be the same iPhone 2 years from now.
  • Re:2.5G (Score:5, Insightful)

    by svnt ( 697929 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:32PM (#23938455)

    Its Open-Hardware, get a 3G controller and replace the 2.5G one(when a 3G controller becomes available).

    Yeah, you're comfortable hand-soldering 0.5mm pitch BGAs, right? What 2.5G controller were you talking about?

    Buy it for what it is - freedom. If that's not enough, don't force it on yourself.

  • Time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:38PM (#23938561) Homepage Journal

    look at Firefox, it's turned out fantastically well

    Yes, but it took ten years.

  • Re:2.5G (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sglewis100 ( 916818 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:38PM (#23938569)
    You did say correct you if wrong... so here goes. iPhone 3G has a GPS. You are absolutely correct though, in that it does compete. I'm a happy iPhone user that wants to upgrade to get faster Internet, so obviously it's not a good choice for me. But it's a good phone.
  • Selection Criteria (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:41PM (#23938609) Homepage Journal

    The point is it costs more does less but gee it's open source. Not seeing the ground breaking. It's not the first so it's just an expensive open source iPhone clone.

    If the iPhone is everything you want, then this isn't the phone for you. Guess what, though? Not everybody is just like you, nor ought you expect them to be - that's arrogant and narrow-minded.

  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:42PM (#23938627)
    but not every product is designed for you.

    I too only use a low level voice phone Nokia (1100) and have no use for a fancier phone. You can still get low-level phones for pretty low cost new, and almost free on eBay etc.

    But at least I can appreciate that there are other people out there who actually have a lifestyle/usage pattern that fits better with a more sophisticated phone and have the money to spend on it.

  • Re:Time (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @01:55PM (#23938835)

    And now non-open projects are trying to catch up with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @02:28PM (#23939371)

    Not to detract from your point, but I think that perhaps you may be applying the term 'bricked' where it is not only inappropriate, but quite ridiculous. A temporarily disabled feature should never be described as 'bricked.' Thankyou.

  • Re:2.5G (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @02:50PM (#23939701)

    I mean, you're arguing that no one should buy Macs (or consoles) because you can upgrade PCs piecemeal?

    That'd be a part of my argument against Macs and consoles any day of the week.
  • Re:Some Experience (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mmontour ( 2208 ) <> on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:11PM (#23940079)

    headphone only mono. i.e. only one side works
    Are you sure about that one? The speakers in the device went from stereo (GTA01) to mono, but I never heard about a similar issue with the headphone audio. Do you have one of the production models or an earlier prototype? Is your headphone using the correct 4-pin plug?

    no bluetooth headset support
    No support in the current software, but AFAIK the necessary hardware is there.

    For me the killer feature is the openness of the platform (datasheets for almost all of the modules, the ability to completely brick it and then restore with JTAG, etc). I'll forgive a lot of flaws in order to support that philosophy.

  • Re:Time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @06:14PM (#23942577) Homepage Journal

    How long do you think it will take for it to be unseated?

    I don't understand your point relative to OpenMoko's current featureset vs. iPhone. Open Source projects take a while to surpass their commercial competitors, so we shouldn't expect OpenMoko to 'take-no-iPhone-hostages' immediately.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @07:11PM (#23943253)

    Not to mention that the Freerunner is (A) unlocked so you can use it with any GSM carrier and (B) not subidized by a carrier. You forget that when you buy an iPhone you're tied to AT&T (those bastards) for 2 years.

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson