Neither iPhone or OpenMoko are revolutionary

Marcel de Jong mdejong at
Fri Jan 19 00:44:01 CET 2007

On 1/18/07, Renaissance Man <renaissanceman at> wrote:
> On 18 Jan 2007, at 10:23 pm, Marcel de Jong wrote:
> > I ask you, who will pay the bandwidth bills?
> The bandwidth bills are largely already paid (home and work are flat
> rate), plus free hotspots, plus there's flat rate hotspot schemes
> like The Cloud in Europe.

Only in limited spaces, hardly a blanket over a whole country. In NL
it's only at certain hotspots, and even then it's very limited
bandwidth. (and expensive)

> > Yes, Wifi on the Neo is cool, though it would slurp battery life.
> > Given the choice, I'd rather have a long battery life (at least 24
> > hours) and no Wifi, then have Wifi and only be able to use my phone
> > for 5 hours (the estimated battery life of the iphone).
> No, that's the estimated battery time for continuous talking, video
> or web browsing. They say 16 hours for continuous music playback. But
> no word on standby time. Presumably more than 16 hours.

I don't want to play music on my phone. I just want to make calls...
so for me that's about 5 or 6 hours of calling time. (sidenote:
standby time is also drastically cut when you have your wifi turned
on, those things can be real power consumers, my Nintendo DS can
normally play for about 16 hours non-stop, when I turn on the wifi,
suddenly I can only play about 8 hours non-stop, not that I do that
very much)

> You might also be interested in reading the Truphone FAQ "How is the
> battery life affected when using Truphone?" from this page (pasted
> below):
> is the battery life
> affected when using Truphone?
> > Truphone uses Wireless LAN (WiFi) radio as well as GSM radio in the
> > handset, so usually you can expect that the battery life when using
> > Truphone in 'Always on' mode is approximately half that of normal
> > cellular (GSM and 3G) operation; for example about 2 days (rather
> > than 4) on an E60. Talk time is usually a bit longer on WiFi than
> > on GSM.
> >

Half of 5 hours is how much? (to go on with the iphone example)
Right... 2.5 hours of talking time. And that's for the service of
truphone alone... that's not including the draining that's done by the

BTW, do you own stock of Truphone? Or are you in any other way
affiliated with that product? Just curious.

> > Standby times are greatly affected by GSM / 2G and 3G signal strength:
> >
> > - Good signal 3G connections use slightly more battery than good 2G
> > connections.
> > - Poor signal 3G connections use much more battery than good 2G
> > connections (when a handset is in poor coverage areas it increases
> > its transmission power).
> > - Very poor 3G connections that switch back and forth to 2G use
> > more battery than a stable connection.
> > and so on...
> > Standby time using Truphone on Wireless LAN is not generally
> > affected as strongly by the Wireless LAN signal strength.
> >
> > You can increase the battery life for Wireless LAN use by setting
> > the phone to 'offline' - press the power button briefly and you
> > will get a menu. Don't forget to set it back to 'General' or
> > another active profile before you wish to make GSM calls!
> >

So they admit that there is a drop in battery life when using the
product. Because, to preserve battery-life you have to turn WLAN off.
Also it may be so that Truphone doesn't really affect standby time,
but Truphone is only the product you use. It's not the Wifi chip
that's in your phone.
And it's that Wifi chip that's causing the drainage, it needs to sync
regularly with your wireless router or whatever accesspoint you have.

Besides it's a moot point, there is currently *no* open source
low-power wifi-chip. And Sean and the rest of the OpenMoko team has
indicated that they have no interest in adding a closed-source
closed-spec'ed piece of hardware in there almost completely open
phone. (What would then be the use of making the rest of it completely
open, if they did?)

>> I don't think anybody thinks you're "wrong" about it happening, and
>> happening soon.
> I think if you read through you'll find quite a few comments along
> that line Joe.

No, we just think it's improper to demand that the OpenMoko team
should go back to the drawing table to add a proprietary wifi chip on
the board. Completely destroying months (or perhaps years) work, and
demand that they do it in a few months!
(you give me the impression that you think it's no big deal to just
add a little chip in it, and that they absolutely right now have to do

Marcel de Jong

More information about the community mailing list