project customer

Jon 'maddog' Hall maddog at
Mon Apr 12 22:08:08 CEST 2010

Hello Christoph,

>Good luck. Maddog made a lot words about the Brasilian universitary  
>which should continue the Openmoko project. Nothing happend.

As far as I know the University still stands ready and willing to help
with the GTA02-core project as soon as that is ready to move forward.
Professor Zuffo has not de-committed from that project as far as I can

As to going further than that, the University is still interested in
working on an "Open Phone".  But as I have seen here over the past
several days, there does not seem to be much agreement as to how to move
that forward.

>From my viewpoint a bit of this comes from a tacit disagreement in the
project as to what is "open", and even less of a plan as to how to
finance a project that requires real money.  Openmoko's financing always
seemed to be on a shoestring, and never (for example) included the money
to fix problems.   Other companies might do a "recall" and fix the issue
at the factory. I think it was by good luck that the different issues
that happened with the phone were able to be fixed with "a capacitor
here" and "a resistor there"..and people stepped up to the "bug fix
parties"...but there are still a lot of people out there with unfixed

>Also he cooperate with silly companys like Koolu, who bargain Openmoko
>down to blood and damaged all the project.

Koolu had its faults, and I will not say it didn't, but after several
days of you writing and lambasting everyone about everything (other than
yourself, of course) I think blaming Koolu for "damaging all the
project" is a bit harsh.

I had a company in Brazil that was all set to license the designs from
Openmoko and manufacture the phone in large quantities.  They had a good
SMT line, channels to distribute the phone in Brazil, and from Brazil
throughout Latin America, and we had a good business plan to market to
the VARs that were mentioned in another email.  Even though the phone's
components were a little dated, we felt we had a good market in people
who had to change the OS to create the applications they wished to have
for small and medium business.  An example of that can be seen here:

The licensing of the design would have generated money to create the
next design.

Then we tried to find out where to buy the parts, and how many parts
were still being manufactured, and for how long.  That was when we began
to realize that the marketplace for Openmoko parts was very limited.  As
several people on this list have mentioned, to create a market for cell
phones that is profitable takes hundreds of thousands, or even millions,
not tens of thousands.

By the time that the company in Brazil ramped up to produce the phone,
did the manufacturing and certifications and testing that were
necessary, and did the certifications, built the channel, did the
advertising, they would probably run out of parts.  It would have been
unprofitable for them.

In the end I recommended that the company not try to produce the
Openmoko V7, even though I had spent a lot of time and money helping
them evaluate the possibilities.

So from my viewpoint, if there was one thing that killed the Openmoko
project, it was lack of a thorough, over-all, realistic business plan
that showed how the project was going to be sustainable into the future.

And the lack of agreement among all of the people involved as to what
the marketplace was for the phone.


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