Sean's speech at ESC about making a 3G device

Steve Mosher steve at
Fri Apr 3 07:27:43 CEST 2009

Since I worked on the presentation with Sean for the days he was here in
SF, let me give you my view and sean's view. That way we won't get into
some version of the telephone game.

Sean discussed three things at OpenExpo.

1. Our successes.
2. Our mistakes.
3. Our challenges

I won't go over 1& 2 but I'll cover #3 since rasters perception has
a bit of color added to it. Only a tiny bit and he's entitled
to that color commentary, I'll just add what Sean and I, as authors
of the presentation, had as our message.

Our biggest challenge was to make a choice about how to spend the
balance of 2009.

There were two paths:
A: Fulfill our promises on FreeRunner and launch GTA03
B: Fulfill our promises on FreeRunner and  launch project B.

We will talk more about project B in the coming months, but these
salient facts should be able to guide any budding executives out there.

1. GTA03 was in constant flux as a design.
2. GTA03 schedule was consequently always slipping.
3. The resources required for GTA03 are 3X those required for Project B.
4. We don't have 3X.

So, we picked plan B.

Now comes the question, what about GTA03? how do we get there? And when?
and what is it?

Well my basic argument was and is this:

First we attend to the issues that still remain with the GTA02. That's
why the VP of marketing ( of all people) is working on the buzz fix
problem. Second we complete project B. When we've done that, then we
get to eat dessert. Essentially, I made the same argument I heard so
many times on this list: "How do expect us to buy a GTA03 when you've
yet to deliver on all the promise of FreeRunner?" And I took the
arguments I heard from disty seriously, "how do you expect us to buy FR,
when GTA03 is right around the corner?" And I accepted the arguments I 
heard from Engineers I respect who questioned the viability of the GTA03 
in the market place. All of those arguments said "put a bullet in its 
brain pan!"

  So, what about GTA03? As it was defined, it is dead. So how do we
get to a new GTA03? Two requirements: continue to improve GTA02; deliver
on project B. What is GTA03 and when do we get there? There are a number
of independent efforts out there that are pitching me ideas for GTA03.
I talked to sean a bit about this and I'd like to try to open up more
of the design process and the marketing process to the community.
Perhaps on a separate list. Some of these discussions have already started.

What can you do to help?
1. Move GTA02 code upstream.
2. Stay Involved.
3. Continue work on applications
4. Buy a FreeRunner.
5. Get involved in GTA03 discussions



Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Apr 2009 18:35:58 +0100 Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at> said:
>> On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 06:13:36PM +0100, Justyn Butler wrote:
>>> 2009/4/2 Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at>:
>>>> On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 05:38:42PM +0100, Justyn Butler wrote:
>>>>> He also explains what it would take to put 3G in the phones, saying
>>>>> that they'd do it (but the 3G part would be closed) if a customer put
>>>>> in a large enough order (ie 50,000 units).
>>>> You've just convinced me that, unless this changes, no OpenMoko with 3G
>>>> will get my money as far as I'm concerned :)
>>> Why the outrage?
>> I bought the OpenMoko to get a more Free Software phone, not one that
>> gets less and less Free as new devices come up :)
>> I seriously hope GTA3 fixes some of the most serious problems GTA2 had
>> regarding that.
> 3g can be done - just like the 2g on feeerunner - you will talk to a closed
> blob via a defined protocol. just like any chip anywhere. no less free than
> gta02 in that way. BUT yes - you'll pay an extra $200.
> nb gta03 - you missed the news from sean's talk at openexpo in switzerland.
> gta03 is "postponed" (read cancelled - postponed is just a nice way to say it
> and try and keep the community hanging around in hope it un-cancels, as
> openmoko has laid off most of their staff (also news from openexpo), their
> linux staff. you don't un-postpone if you just let all the people go who work
> on the software).

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