Our Identity (was: Free Runner price vs iphone 3G price)

ian douglas id at w98.us
Wed Jun 11 08:46:02 CEST 2008

Robert Taylor wrote:
> if we can't make the device stand out ... it is a loosing strategy.

Yup, you've hit the nail on the head ... anyone comparing "apples to 
apples" in a side-by-side feature list is more likely to choose the 
iPhone. It looks slick, it's a nice form factor, and has features the 
Freerunner will not have like the camera and 3G. The Freerunner will 
have features like USB host mode and open-source software.

I think what's more likely to happen is that the Freerunner will 
primarily be picked up by the technology-advanced users around the 
world, who will then show off the phone to everyone around them, and 
word will spread gradually. I'm confident that the OpenMoko team know 
exactly what they're doing in terms of marketing, etc..

> I wonder if we have anything that unique to offer.  Can the open world 
> come up with an identity?

Our identity as a community is exactly that: openness. Use the phone how 
you want, update it when you want, change it when you want, upload apps 
when you want, write your own apps, nothing's hidden, you have complete 
access. You won't have anywhere close to that level of access on the 
iPhone without jailbreaking it and all of the risks included in that, 
and having to re-break the phone every time Apple upgrades the firmware, 
etc., plus being forced to *buy* applications from iTunes. Bleh.

As I've said above, that identity is more likely to appeal to the geeks 
of the world than "Joe Six Pack". And I don't think OpenMoko is trying 
to sell millions of Freerunners like Apple/AT&T are hoping to... we'll 
have a carefully-carved niche market of users, and it'll start with the 
curious users and expand from there over time. By the time the GTA03 or 
GTA04 come out with cameras and (hopefully) a slimmer form factor, etc., 
I think it'll be more of a phone/device that will appeal to a much wider 

My $0.02...


More information about the community mailing list