New Oceans

Sean Moss-Pultz sean at
Thu Jun 28 03:20:13 CEST 2007

Dear Community,

Andre Gide once said, "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the
courage to lose sight of the shore." Sexism aside, I can't think of a
better way to describe our adventures this past year. 

Around the end of March, we were three months behind schedule. Critical
hardware bugs were being discovered almost weekly. I had just returned
from an exhausting trip around the world. Harald landed in Taiwan the
following week. One look at his face and I knew he was in basically the
same depleted state I was in. But, we were both dedicated to keep
pushing forward. We've come to realize, largely because of your support,
that failure is not an option for this project. 

For the people pushing this project, an open phone is not really even a
product. It's the very embodiment of our vision of technology. We
absolutely, passionately, believe that something as fundamental to our
lives as the mobile phone must be open. 

OpenMoko has become far bigger than just a small group of people trying
to build an open mobile platform. I can tell you for sure, things will
never be the same again inside FIC. To their credit, whole departments
and divisions have been reorganized to maximize the opportunity for
OpenMoko. This is the reason for my absence from this list for so long. 

The people inside FIC are amazingly open-minded. Our CEO and Chairman
are the two greatest supporters inside this company. Earlier this month
they did something courageous and support of the communities commitment.
The entire mobile communications division was restructured to build
devices for OpenMoko. And OpenMoko -- the project will officially become
OpenMoko -- the company. This is how much they believe in us. This is
how much faith they have that we will be successful. 

What does all this mean to us as a company and community? 

In one word: focus. 

We now have full control over the future of OpenMoko and the resources
needed to give it every possible chance of succeeding. Behind us (well
actually still in the same building :-) sits an supportive 800 pound
gorilla in the OEM/ODM world, eagerly waiting to work with us to make
our dreams a reality. 

OpenMoko -- together with all of you in the community -- will design,
from the ground up, open devices and write the free software platform
that powers them. FIC will build the hardware and help us set phones
free around the world. This is about the most perfect relationship we
can think of. Sure there will be rough times ahead. If it were easy, you
know who would have done this long before. Making new things is never
easy. But we're in this together. This project has changed me, changed
you, and changed FIC. Hopefully, one day, this project will change the

Now that OpenMoko is officially a company inside the FIC Group,
blueprints of our office modifications cover the desk and walls where
I'm sitting. Writing this letter to you all is finally giving me time to
reflect on this thrilling roller coaster ride. Sorry for putting so many
bits into your inbox. But I just can't help it. It's been months that we
could hardly step back and see things from a big picture. Now, I really
don't think I've been this excited since the day I got my first set of
Lincoln Logs. For those of us that love to build new things, Taiwan,
especially now at FIC and OpenMoko, is a great place to be. 

So here's the point of this email, finally after more than one year,
we're entering into a new ocean. 

In our factory in China, 400 Neos are waiting for you all. Another 600
will be ready before next week. More are queued up waiting for us to say

We've had a particularly challenging time trying to setup the online
infrastructure and figure out how to ship these phones. Sometime later
today or early tomorrow we're going to make another announcement asking
for some advice.

(Here come the details.)

Starting July 9th, we will launch and start taking orders.
We're going to have two configurations:

Neo Base -- everything the mobile application developer needs to enjoy
the benefits of the first freed phone, the Neo 1973:

 * Neo 1973 (GTA01B_v4)
 * Battery
 * Stylus
 * Headset
 * AC Charger
 * Phone Pouch
 * Lanyard
 * SanDisk 512MB MicroSD Card (2x)
 * Micro USB Connectivity Cable

Neo Advanced -- everything the mobile device hacker wants to get down
and dirty with the first freed phone, the Neo 1973:

 * Neo 1973 (GTA01B_v4)
 * Battery (2x)
 * Stylus
 * Headset
 * AC Charger
 * Phone Pouch
 * Lanyard
 * SanDisk 512MB MicroSD Card (2x)
 * Mini USB Connectivity Cable (2x)
 * USB Host Mode Cable
 * Debug Flex Cable
 * Debug Board v2 (JTAG and serial console)
 * Ruggedized Toolbox with shoulder strap
 * Guitar Pick (for opening case)
 * Torx T6 screwdriver

The delays have been expensive for us and annoying for you. 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. 

We're going to sell the Neo Base for $300. The Neo Advanced will be

GTA02 (AKA: The Mass Market Neo 1973) is on schedule to go on sale in
October. It will have the following new hardware components:

 * 802.11 b/g WiFi
 * Samsung 2442 SoC
 * SMedia 3362 Graphics Accelerator
 * 2 3D Accelerometers
 * 256MB Flash

We will sell this device through multiple channels. Direct from, the price will be $450 for the Neo Base and $600 for Neo

We have three more mobile devices planned for next year (not including
GTA02). During the next few months we will be adding serious resources
to both FIC and OpenMoko to support these projects. I will update you
all after we stabilize GTA02. Right now we must collectively focus
everything on turning the Neo into mass marketable device that proves,
once and for all, the power of an open phone.   

Finally, more than a few of you have complained about a lack of
transparency during the past few months. You have my word that we will
always best to be as open as possible. But sometimes we must make
compromises. I had to make a choice: keep up my travel schedule building
support for this project and tend to this list, or fix these real

Ignoring this list was one of the hardest things for me to do. All of
your comments give us our drive to keep pushing. But if we didn't keep
the project on track and make the necessary organizational changes this
project would be even later. And I knew that when I could come back to
explain this to you all, you would understand. Thank you.

We're back now. I can tell you like nobody else can, this project is
stronger than ever. We've got a whole new ocean in front of us just
begging for exploration.


OpenMoko and FIC. 

P.S. It seems that in all this restructuring, someone has been
eavesdropping on us. It could be a spy. Or it could be a ninja. Only
time will tell. So stay tuned ;-)

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