Brad Smith article

Dean Collins Dean at
Fri Apr 13 03:07:05 CEST 2007

I already did - he's actually written about OpenMoko before (he sent me
a copy of his article (see below).

Not sure why he chose not to mention it in this article.



Dean Collins
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> -----Original Message-----

> From: michael at [mailto:michael at]

> Sent: Thursday, 12 April 2007 8:59 PM

> To: Dean Collins

> Cc: OpenMoko Community List

> Subject: Re: Brad Smith article


> On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Dean Collins wrote:


> > I guess the OpenMoko community need to work on the PR skills,

> > opportunity for a mention and it got totally glossed over.

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >


> >

> > Opening Up the Wireless Handset

> > By Brad Smith, Wireless Week Technology Editor

> >

> .....

> >

> > What do you think? Let me know at brad.smith at



> Very interesting, as this speaks to the more common consumer.


> At the end of the article Brad invites feedback.  It would be great if

> with the appropriate skills could respond to Brad and let him know

> OpenMoko.


> Michael



Sent: Thursday, 12 April 2007 5:58 PM
To: Dean Collins
Subject: RE: OpenMoko Neo


Yes, I have, Dean. I wrote about OpenMoko in my last ETF newsletter - 


Democracy Hits the Mobile Phone

By Brad Smith

The average selling price of a mobile phone keeps going down while the
top five manufacturers continue to squeeze out the smaller players. So,
why would any company want to get into the handset business, and I'm not
talking about Apple's iPhone.

About 1 billion phones were sold in 2006, but 84 percent of those were
sold by Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson, according to
Telecom Trends International. The other manufacturers actually had a
negative 19 percent growth in 2006.

This shrinking competitive field might discourage some, but not a
company called OpenMoko and its partners. OpenMoko is a corporation but
it's more of a community that makes one think of the early days of the
Internet and geeks working in their garages. It's been in development
for some time but just recently came out with its first smartphone,
although for a select audience. 

OpenMoko is the brainchild of a self-described "surfer boy who wound up
washed ashore in Taiwan." It is an open source mobile communications
platform using Linux at its heart. Its main partner is the Taiwanese
device manufacturer First International Computer (FIC), which has
started producing the Neo1973 handset running the OpenMoko platform.

The first handsets, just a few dozen, have been distributed free of
charge to those in the developer community to play with. More will go on
sale by the end of the month, again targeting open source developers, at
a cost of about $350. Then, sometime in September if plans work out,
OpenMoko handsets will hit some retail outlets as well as being sold

What I know about the Neo1973 is based on what I've read on OpenMoko's
wiki and webpage. It's a quad-band GSM phone so it will work anywhere in
the world. It has GPS built in, a 2.8-inch VGA touch screen (take that,
iPhone), an application manager (through partner Funambol) and standard
PIM applications like e-mail, contacts and calendar.

OpenMoko was born in the brain of Sean Moss-Pultz, the aforementioned
surfer dude. He says OpenMoko will take mobile handsets into a world
that is as open as the PC, where "mobile applications are equally as
diverse and more easily accessible" than they are now.

"Ringtones are already a multi-billion dollar market," Moss-Pultz says.
"We think downloading mobile applications on an open platform will be
even bigger."

OpenMoko isn't the only outfit working on mobile Linux, which actually
has a larger ecosystem than one might expect. Among the companies
already out there are A La Mobile, Trolltech, PalmSource and Motorola.
Nokia is deeply involved in the open source Eclipse Foundation, as is
Motorola. Panasonic and NEC are the leading handset manufacturers using

I have no idea what OpenMoko's business plan is, assuming it has one.
And I've got no idea if OpenMoko will succeed in finding what likely
will be a niche market. But what makes it attractive, at least at the
gut level, is its seeming wide-eyed, brash but innocent, democratic view
of what a mobile phone should be. That's refreshing.



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