Neither iPhone or OpenMoko are revolutionary

andy at andy at
Thu Jan 18 07:39:02 CET 2007

> On Jan 17, 2007, at 7:37 PM, David Schlesinger wrote:
>> The NEO's not _cheap_, exactly: there was a recent survey of 1,800
>> recent
>> purchasers of cell phones, and 21--not 21 _percent_, mind you, 21,
>> period--paid over $400. Not many more paid as much as $350.
> To me what differentiates the NEO from a typical $400 phone is that
> when you've plunked down your money for a typical phone, you're locked
> into your provider (this is how it is in the U.S. - I know it's
> different in at least parts of Europe).   On top of that, if there's
> anything you don't like about your phone, that's too bad, because when
> they fix the problem in the next release, the only way you're going to
> get it is to buy the new phone.   Compared to the OpenMoko situation
> where even if you aren't a geek yourself, at least when some annoying
> UI glitch gets fixed, you can update your software.
> Also, since you're paying for the phone, not your provider, you are
> the customer, not your provider.   I currently have a Samsung t809,
> which is a D820 flashed with t-mobile's firmware.   The phone is
> supposed to be really nice - it has an MP3 player, for example, and
> bluetooth, and supports EDGE as well as GPRS.   But none of the
> features that I wanted actually work.
> I can't use a stereo bluetooth headset on it, because the version of
> the firmware t-mobile ships doesn't support that.   So the mp3 player
> is useless.
> The apps on the Samsung don't interface with my PIM on my laptop, so I
> can't update the phone book on the phone - it's a dead end data
> store.   When I lose the phone, I have to re-enter all that data.
> The calendar isn't interoperable, so same problem.   The AIM client
> uses SMS, so it's $0.10/message, even though I'm paying for unlimited
> GPRS/EDGE.   The PPP implementation doesn't work with my laptop, so I
> can't even use GPRS/EDGE for anything except from my Nokia 770, which
> I usually don't carry.
> So yes, not many people have bought expensive phones.   Why?
> Because, by design, they suck.   The customer is the provider, not the
> user.   So whether you're into open source or not, the OpenMoko/NEO
> phone is a much more attractive value proposition.   When a product
> isn't selling well, it might be because it costs more than the market
> will bear, but it's also possible that it just sucks, and so nobody
> wants it.
> It really will be interesting to see what happens with the NEO.   I
> think we will learn a lot.

I don't know what it is about the guy who posted this thread, but I really
think that he's got some sort of talent for getting people talking.  I
posted a similar idea only yesterday that received no replies.  Could
someone brief me on why the same idea gets so much feedback from the list?

However, I now fully understand the reasons for Sean omitting wifi, and
consider his arguments to be quite sensible.  I would be put off having a
feature packed phone that wouldn't last longer than three hours, but
having a phone that does everything I can currently do - but better - and
with the potential of wifi integration on the developers mind... yes. That
is a good phone, and many congratulations to whoever is making these
decisions to stick with them.  Good Project management.

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