Announcement: new batches of GTA04 ready for (pre)order

Marc Verwerft marc.js.verwerft at
Mon Nov 14 17:51:51 CET 2011

What a great achievement! Thanks a million for keeping the ideas of
OpenMoko alive!
I now know what to ask for as a Xmas present ;-)

On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 4:02 PM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns at
> wrote:

> Dear all,
> I take for granted that you all are eagerly waiting for an annoucement
> that another batch of GTA04 boards becomes available. We did wait
> with an announcement until we can really answer all questions.
> Now, we think we can.
> Components have all been ordered for another (small) batch so that we
> can get them from production in December. If everything goes well, we
> can even ship out some boards before Christmas.
> The boards are named GTA04A4 (meaning the PCB revision). They
> are fully featured from hardware side:
> * DM3730 at 800 MHz
> * UMTS module with 3.75G (up to 14.4 MBit/s)
> * Sensors (Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer)
> * GPS
> * connector for optional camera module
> * well documented building blocks so that you can write your own
>   boot loaders and kernels. Nobody stops your creativity and
>   nobody is pretending to protect you from yourself!
> So you get something that is unique. A motherboard upgrade for
> a handheld device. With open documentation to develop free and
> open software. And, a community dedicated to continue the pioneering
> work of the first Openmoko team. Last but not least, a team that listens
> to your wishes for future upgrades and trying to fulfill them.
> How much will it cost?
> We know that most of you do expect that it is not too expensive, something
> in the range of the GTA02. Unfortunately, we can't fulfill this specific
> wish.
> There are two main reasons (besides we are not financial magicians):
> 1. the device has some very expensive components (CPU + Memory +
>    UMTS module)
> 2. we have really small production batches and therefore, have to pay
>     much more for the components than e.g. Apple or HTC (factor 2-3
>     compared to reports from iSuppli).
> And, we can't subsidize devices because this is not a feasible long-term
> strategy from an economical point of view.
> But since raising the size of the batches ("bulk purchasing") has a
> big effect ("economies of scale"), we have developed a strategy that should
> make everyone happy:
> A) there will be units available from (limited) stock shortly before
> Christmas,
>    at a high price. We try to produce more of these units to fulfill orders
>    within days. This offer is also good for getting samples for projects.
> B) you can participate in a group-buy at a lower price. This requires
>    that we reach a certain number of units before we can start production.
> So the price and availablility are:
> a) 666,66 EUR; available for shipment from stock; planned to start
>    on 19th December
> b) 499.99 EUR; requires 300 ordered units before 10th February 2012
>   (week after FOSDEM); production start expected for April 2012. There
>   is also a rebate for the first 100 early bookings.
> There are rebates for quantites: 5% for orders of 5 units, 10% for 10
> units,
> 12% for 50 units. So if you build buying groups (like for the Freerunners),
> you can save some more money.
> Both offers are ready for preorder/subscription through this link:
> There is a third type of offer - a customized GTA04 board. This means you
> can order a board variant where not all components are installed. And the
> display connector can be replaced by a Board2Board connector. This allows
> to plug the GTA04 like a module on a master board and develop different
> handhelds and tablets based on the GTA04 design.
> An example of such a device can be seen here:
> Finally, I have compiled some FAQ we have received in the past. If your
> question is not amongst them, please ask.
> So let's prove that the Openmoko community can not only design and
> build samples of a GTA04 but also go into perpetual mass production.
> Nikolaus Schaller
> FAQ:
> Q: Do I need a GTA01 or GTA02?
> A: Yes. The GTA04 is a motherboard that fits into a GTA01 or GTA02
> case. It does not have all electromechanic compontents. Missing are:
> GSM antenna, internal GPS receiver, Earpiece speaker, Handsfree
> speakers, Vibracall motor, Battery holder, Battery, USB power supply,
> and very important: it does not include a display module. So you have
> to take all missing parts from an existing GTA01 or GTA02.
> The only exception is the LCD module where we can provide spare
> parts.
> But you can operate the board without these components - but then
> it is not a handheld portable computer with phone functionality.
> Or you can try to build your own case. Some inspiring proposals
> and samples have been shown recently (e.g. wooden case).
> Q: Does the device support the US frequencies?
> A: Yes, it is Quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA (3.75G), but not
> CDMA2000 1x nor EV-DO
> Q: Does it have FCC and CE approvals?
> A: At the moment partially. The UMTS module and the WLAN chipsets
> are fully precertified. And the GTA04 system has successfully passed
> the CE emmission tests, that it does not produce harmful interferences.
> We are just missing the CE ESD and safety tests.
> Q: Why do I have to wait so long if I participate in the group buy?
> A: The reason is that our project has no external funding and needs
> to collect enough money before we can order chips and components.
> This introduces two types of delay: the preorder-window and then
> the delivery time of components. E.g. PCBs are built to our specific
> request and that needs between 20 and 30 working days. And
> producing and testing several 100 units needs quite a while :)
> Q: Will there be variants?
> A: We have decided to run only a single variant with all components
> installed. It turned out to be cheaper in total than to have a low-end
> variant (e.g. without sensors) and a high-end variant.
> We have one variant that we can provide on demand: the module
> version. You can use it as the basis for connecting larger displays
> and experiment with alternate cases. Details how to mount mechanically
> and the pin layout can be found in the System Manual
> Q: Does it work with a GTA01 case?
> A: Yes. You will even get stereo speakers since the speaker box of the
> GTA02 has two. One was sacrificed in the GTA02 to provide WLAN.
> Q: Do you have complete phones?
> A: We have a handful of complete phones built from returned GTA02
> units. They are also available in the shop:
> Q: Do I get the money back if the group buy does not reach the minimum
> quantity within the preorder window?
> A: Yes. 100% (less money transfer cost).
> Q: What is the status of the software?
> A: We (Goldelico) do offer a hardware validation kernel and a
> Debian/LXDE rootfs, but this does not comprise a phone software.
> Projekts like SHR, QtMoko and others are in the middle of porting
> their distros to the GTA04 platform. So the software is not completely
> ripe but on good progress.
> But we already can do phone calls by a simple shell script and
> apt-get install through UMTS.
> Q: Is there driver support for every bit and piece of the hardware?
> A: We do not yet have drivers for Camera, IrDA, Audio IN, Torch/Flash,
> FM radio. If you can support the development, please help!
> Please also note that these hardware parts have not been tested in
> detail. So they may not work at all.
> Q: Where are the schematics?
> A: The System Manual includes the schematics:
> They will be updated soon to reflect the changes from the GTA04A3 (Early
> Adopter) to the GTA04A4 board.
> Q: Do you have spare components like case, antenna etc.?
> A: We can't buy or produce these parts and have no steady supply.
> We will try to get some replacements, but can't promise.
> Q: Is it possible to downgrade from the GTA04 to GTA02?
> A: If you swap the display again, yes. You can also get a second
> display module so that you can simply swap the GTA02 and GTA04
> boards+display units within minutes:
> Q: Do I need a debug board?
> A: No. The TI OMAP is "unbrickable" and you just may need a
> RS232 cable to boot and reconfigure NAND flash parameters.
> Q: I want to use it in a project and need 50, 100, 500, 1000 units.
> A: For samples or small quantities, please order them from our
> shop. For larger batches, please contact us and we will find out
> how fast we can produce and at which volume rebate. Depending
> on quantities, we can develop and produce variants.
> Q: What can I do to increase the likelihood that the group buy
> reaches the minimum quantity?
> A: Convince your fellow GTA01/02 owners to think about buying
> a GTA04 board. Talk, Mail, Blog about the GTA04 to make it
> known that the Openmoko project did lift off again.
> Q: I don't feel comfortable to replace the motherboard myself.
> A: The most critical part is to remove the LCD module from the
> GTA01/GTA02 board. Either find someone to do it for you. Or
> get a spare part. Or send the device to us and we will do it for
> you at a small fee.
> Please follow the instructions like for a buzz rework:
> Q: I am a reseller. How can I get devices?
> A: You are welcome to support the Openmoko movement. But
> we can't give any big dealer margins because the components
> and production are already very expensive. Please contact us
> for details.
> Q: My country is not listed in your shop.
> A: Running export into all countries on this world needs a
> lot of paperwork and knowledge to follow all the customs
> regulations. And worse, we have some US-Technology
> inside the GTA04 that is classified by EAR. So we need
> a re-export permission. This is all beyond our capabilites.
> Therefore we have to regret that we can't serve all countries
> on this world. But you may find friends who live in a country
> we can directly serve and you manage the export yourself.
> _______________________________________________
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at
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