price politics for hardware updates post-phase-1/2

Marco Barreno barreno at
Tue Jul 17 19:12:34 CEST 2007

On Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 02:50:59AM +0200, thus spake Jan:
> Hi,
> I've been on the list since end of march and I really love this project.
> I am planning to buy a Phase 2 phone but there is still something to 
> know before.
> Somewhere I read that FIC will likely sell the phase 2 to phase 1 owners 
> for something like $150 (instead of $300 - yes, I know that phase 2 will 
> cost more likely around $450 instead of $300). If I understood it 
> correctly, the OpenMoko-project is something with a "long term support 
> project", meaning there will be software updates all the time in future, 
> not like the phones on the market right now who stop their support after 
> a year or two. As OpenMoko updates the software, FIC will update the 
> hardware too. I wonder if FIC will offer every time the phone gets an 
> hardware-update some deal like there has been talking about the update 
> phase 1 to phase 2. Does anyone has some more information or a link or 
> so to read something about that?

In the "New Oceans" announcement
Sean said:

   We've decided that instead of setting up a complicated return or
   tracking system to remember who gets a discount for GTA02, we going to
   give you _all_ a discount on GTA01.

So I think that even people who buy the phase 1 phone will have to pay
$450 for a phase 2 phone.  The discount is getting to pay $300 now +
$450 later instead of $450 now + $450 later.

As for the software, the idea of this project is that all of it is
open and free (in both senses, beer + speech), so you will be able to
update your phone's software for as long as you have it.

> I mean it would be really sad if the phase 3 would be _way_ better than 
> the phase 2 but "you"'ve bought already a phase 2 in okt/nov and the 
> update would be somewhere around june/july or so. I would feel somehow 
> ripped-off if there would be no update-deal...

It would be fantastic from the buyer's point of view if hardware
updates were very inexpensive.  However, I don't think it's practical
from the manufacturer's point of view, and I can't think of anything
else that works that way (there must be some types of hardware that
do, but no common ones come to mind).  I think we'll probably have to
suck it up and pay for new versions of the hardware just like we have
to for our computers, cars, cameras, other phones, etc.

By the way, I was one of the people who posted to an earlier thread
hoping for a board-only option in October, thinking it could be a sort
of inexpensive hardware upgrade like you want.  After more thought,
however, it doesn't seem practical to me: the board is where most of
the development/production cost goes, so ordering it without the
screen/battery/case/etc. will save a bit but probably not even close
to half the phone price.  I'm just going to wait for phase 2 and buy
my phone then.  In the future, I guess I'll have to buy a new version
if one comes out that I can't do without!


"If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the
theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the military, nothing
is safe."
    - Lord Salisbury, British prime minister(1830-1903)

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