New Open Hardware company

Werner Almesberger werner at
Sat Jul 25 18:53:18 CEST 2009

steven mosher wrote:
>    2. Build a Copyleft version of the Iphone from scratch. pass me
> 400Million and I'll get right
>        on it! But you can't just build the iPhone, you have to build what
> apple will ship 18 months
>        from now to be competitive.

Heh, I'd do it for 40 ;-)

But I think the fallacy is in trying to mimic the iPhone anyway. The
way I see it, Apple took an existing and well-understood concept,
added a competently done design, and created an open market for
applications. Perhaps the most significant departure from the
industry's old course lies in partially superseding the
carrier-centric lock-in model.

Smartphone hardware, however, still seems to be largely driven by
the vision of the video phone. If you trace back the history of the
video phone, you'll end up somewhere in 1927 with Lang's

Now, if you're making a movie, wouldn't you rather use a video
phone instead of a plain old telephone ? After all, you want to
show moving pictures and your actors are already dressed up,
presentable, and exist in a perfectly scripted universe in which
all calls are important and always happen at exactly the right

With virtually every movie that depicts an even slightly futuristic
world showing video telephony, it's no surprise that some people do
start to believe that this will be part of the future ...

With that in mind, we could ask ourselves what are the roads not
taken in the "guided evolution" of the mobile phone, because they
led away from that perceived holy grail. Then put the creative
energy not wasted on chasing Apple into doing something that's
really groundbreaking.

- Werner

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