Discussion: what are your dreams for the Openmoko

Ken Young rtm at cfa.harvard.edu
Mon Apr 30 17:35:43 CEST 2012

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns at goldelico.com> write:

> So what are your dreams with respect to open mobile handhelds?
> What would you like as future hardware? What to see in software
> distros? Anything else? What missing piece are you waiting for?

My dream is this: That we can convince some big manufacturer of Android
phones to "support" SHR or Maemo or MER on some of their obsolete handheld
phones.   Surely Samsung, for example, must have some remaining stock
of "Galaxy S{n}" phones when they release "Galaxy S{n+1}" phones, and make
their old handset obsolete.   Perhaps they can be convinced to provide
drivers and binary blobs to allow us to port some open OS to their
slightly old hardware.   Since they have Android drivers already, making
Linux drivers should not be hard.    They get to sell off some of their
old, slow moving stock, and we get open phones that are only one
generation behind state-of-the-art hardware, which would be fine with me.
The phones would have already been certified by outfits like the FCC, so
that expense would not apply.   If they provide the drivers and needed
binary blobs, we could port our preferred OS.   The phones could be sold
to us "as is", with no end-user support from the manufacturer or carrier.
It's not a perfect solution, but I'd be satisfied with it.

                                             Ken Young
                                Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
                                       kyoung at cfa.harvard.edu

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