New Oceans

mcl at mcl at
Thu Jun 28 06:54:51 CEST 2007

Outstanding news.

Thanks again to you and the rest of the team for your vision, judgement, and determination.

Full speed ahead into the new waters! :-)

Mark C.

On Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 09:20:13AM +0800, Sean Moss-Pultz wrote:
> 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
> world.
> 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
> go. 
> 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
> $450. 
> 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
> Advanced. 
> 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
> issues.
> 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.
> Sincerely, 
> 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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