Crowdfunding an Ubuntu smartphone (right now)

Stefan Monnier monnier at
Wed Sep 25 20:45:57 CEST 2013

> I don't see reliability as a problem because it depends on what type
> of reliability you are thinking of: component, software, hardware,
> production, or availability.

Small production runs means very few people have a chance of
discovering, let alone, fixing the various problems that can show up.

> In essence it goes to a modular approach - but "modular" typically drives
> cost up (at least for the version having the highest production numbers)
> and is in strong contradiction with miniaturization of handheld devices.

In my part of the world, phones have been getting bigger rather than
smaller.  And while modularity has a cost, it can be offset by economies
of scale (both in terms of production as in terms of
developping/debugging the kernel support) if that module can be reused
in more places.  Free Software strives on standards and modularity.

Also, if you can upgrade the screen and the CPU separately, you might
attract a few other users, who aren't so interested in Freedom but do
like the idea of customizing their phones.

I'd be very happy to have a Free Phablet (and I actually wouldn't
necessarily need it to have cell-phone connectivity, as long as VoIP
works well), even if that's not my favorite form factor: at this stage,
I'm willing to settle for anything smallish.

> It would be sufficient to bundle buying power (by summing up # of
> units for different projects), so that we get existing modules
> cheaper.  I.e. if all projects would use let's say an DM3730+Memory,
> they still can be soldered into different devices. Or  WLAN/BT and
> UMTS are already coming as SoC/MCP "modules".

Right.  That is a lower-leve of modularity than EOMA but it provides
similar benefits (not only direct cost, but also development&debugging).

> So the trick is to use a bigger shopping bag and make a different meal
> out if it every day.

Exactly.  The various "Free Hardware" communities need to pool
their resources.


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