When is the next and more powerful openmoko releasing

Gerald A geraldablists at gmail.com
Sat Aug 14 14:22:36 CEST 2010

First, let me start by saying I bought a Neo 1973, and would support such
a device again -- depending on my finances at the time. :)

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 6:41 AM, arne anka <openmoko at ginguppin.de> wrote:

> > And, I never understood why we should assume, that a premier league
> > player would ever care for a small community like ours.
> not for that small community per se.
> it would most likely be only a intersection of interests.
> the manufacturer would be able to
> - gain a reputation as being "open" (which might appeal to goverments as
> well b/c of several reasons)

Or not -- see the current spat over Blackberry in India/UAE/etc. "Open"
good for governments looking for tight controls. And while it might be great
for their citizens, it's the gov'ts that control devices, unfortunately.

> - additional promotion by mouth-to-mouth through people being interested
> in open devices, probably cheaper than paid merchandising for the same
> group

While this is true, this target audience is small.

> - somewhat broadened developer base

Do you really think that the term "open" will attract more developers? Maybe
a handful or two, but developers flock to where the money is. See iPhone. :S

> - android inspired cost structure: make your hw specs public -> enable
> developers to make the best from it -> gain market share since your device
> offers the most b/c developers can use the hw and are not limited to
> app-like apis (cf iP[od|hone|ad])
> with the success of android, i think a more open approach might appeal to
> vendors.

I'm not up on all the latest android stuff, but from what I've seen, you can
a pretty closed system from those building blocks.

What Sean got right was that a phone should have mass appeal. If your
and her mother want to use it, then that's good.

The Neo and the Freerunner are second (third?) class hardware -- there is no
doubt. The idea was to build great software, and that would make the appeal
to ordinary people strong, despite having hardware that wasn't best of
The problem was that the great software never got there, and combined with
old and problematic hardware, it didn't have a decent chance.

It's clear from the GTA03/0X wishlists that there are people out there who
an open phone. Some are even willing to pay good money for one. I am.

However, to not end up with a hobbyist phone, some compromises have to
be made. Not everyone will be happy, but the journey to a fully open
will be long, expensive and perilous.  It's important not to lose sight of
the end
goal -- which should be a device that is long-term viable.

There aren't enough geeks out there to make an open phone successful,
unfortunately. And to get the latest bells and whistles, the phone has to be
successful, so that there is another phone to follow. So, it's important
the phone be pleasing to the eye, have good software and hardware.

So, forget about "open" short term. Consumers don't care, vendors don't
care, operators don't care. If we can build something _appealing_, that
hackers find fun and consumers will buy, even if it isn't as open as
everyone would like, then that would be awesome. And as such a project
gains success, it has more clout and more money. And more clout
and more money means more leverage with suppliers, hopefully meaning
that things can be more and more open.

Let's remember that even the great iPhone maker Apple stumbled with
their first phone -- not iPhone 1, but the joint deal with Motorola called
Rokr. And even their latest phone has some issues.

Now, some on the mailing list might already know this. What I haven't
seen, so far, is anyone talk about how many devices would be needed
to be a "success". Would 100,000 phones do it? 1 Million? More, or less?

I'd love to see a truly open smartphone running Linux and BSD, with
full access to as much of the hardware as we want. I'm hoping to see
this sooner, but we'll have to see how many intermediate steps there
are, from "mostly closed" to "fully open". I'm willing to accept Android
as a stepping stone, but it won't warm anyone to "open" or push
suppliers in that direction.

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