How about a slim Openmoko design?

Shawn Rutledge shawn.t.rutledge at
Wed Aug 22 20:41:12 CEST 2007

I think "less PDA" is the wrong direction to go with this product.
Future versions ought to be more iPhone-like in form factor (as slim
as they can make it, and frameless or at least nearly, with a high
ratio of screen real estate to overall size).  As for hardware
hacking, I doubt that most of us are going to be really changing out
chips or soldering the board anyway... we just need schematics (for
understanding) and easy access to JTAG.  That can still be
accomplished with a compact design.

A lot of people say they want a "plain old telephone" without so many
features, but it doesn't seem very interesting to me, and I'm not sure
if they really want that either... or this idea just comes out of a
frustration with current UI's.

Such a phone could also be an open-source project, but it would tend
to be completely different.  E.g. there is no point in using Linux for
that, when a simpler microcontroller with simpler all-in-one firmware
would suffice.  (And you would get incredible battery life with that
approach, too.)  I think a different company ought to try that, but
there is no point in having the OpenMoko resources being spread
thinner by trying to do both.

For applications like web browsing and email and GPS navigation, you
need as much screen real estate, resolution, memory and processing
power as you can get.  But the content itself is way more important
than the eye candy.  It's still good to simplify the UI as much as
possible, but not by removing features.  I don't actually talk to
people that much; probably more of my minutes are used by GPRS than
voice (or at least it will be that way, when I can get a phone on
which browsing becomes more worthwhile than it has been on my A1200).
So I'm one class of users.  Then there are the professionals that do
need to talk to a lot of people, and therefore contact management
features are very important; but they also could make use of all the
PDA and Internet features.  The third class would be people who just
use a phone for talking, some of them need it to be rugged, and they
don't care about the other features (construction workers, plumbers
and other service people, and people who are put off by ever having to
learn anything new).  A smart phone of any kind is not for them, and
there is hardly any point in trying to adapt it to satisfy them, IMO.
They are also not likely to care if it's open-source or not (because
they don't need any applications - just a dialer and a contact list).

On 8/21/07, "Jørgen P. Tjernø" <jorgen at> wrote:
> Perhaps not as much processing and features, but more of a phone, less
> of a PDA (actually, less of a Smartphone too?).
> In any case, I guess that'll be something we won't see until well beyond
> 2007. :-)

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