GPLv3 and Mobile Phones

Ben shadroth at
Thu Dec 14 23:51:59 CET 2006

On 12/10/06, Stefan Schmidt <stefan at> wrote:
> Hello.
> On Sat, 2006-12-09 at 14:00, Gabriel Ambuehl wrote:
> >
> > Personally I say add the hardware, even if it needs a binary driver (or even
> > just firmware). The religious group is then free to remove the driver and not
> > use WiFi ;)
> This "religious group" contains the coreteam of OpenMoko. :)

So why can't the Neo 1973 have WiFi and OpenMoko be installed without
it and you just do a self install of the WiFi?

The way I see it:

FIC 1973 without WiFi and modern radio: sells to a few Open Source
zealots (myself included), fails to make a good return. Product

FIC 1973 with WiFi and modern radio: sells to everyone. Product makes
heaps of money. Enough to create an open source WiFi implementation.

The majority of people don't care about open source. Why not just give
them what they want and use the money to make what's good? It's hardly
like another slightly proprietary mobile phone will do any harm to the
free software cause, but an open phone that no-one buys and an good OS
that dies with it will be a huge waste.

I bought a new phone the other day (just a simple one, I'm waiting for
the OpenMoko).

I notice on sale:

Nokia E70
 * tri band GSM
 * 3G
 * WiFi
 * Bluetooth 1.2
 * USB 2
 * Infra-red

 * 2 mega pixel camera
 * 352x416 screen
 * fold out QWERTY keyboard (gullwing / mousetrap style)
 * miniSD


The only thing that sucks is the OS (Symbian 60 v 3)

This phone is crippled by the operating system and the poor WiFi
performance (limited range), but it is right on target when it comes
to wireless connectivity and radio functions.

I'll buy the OpenMoko with or without these features, but I also run
Linux on my laptop, desktop and servers. There aren't that many people
like me.


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