Reactions From Other People to News of OpenMoko

Peter A Trotter peter.trotter at
Thu Jan 25 17:20:06 CET 2007

Hi Bryan,

That's quite interesting feedback. I have only really brought this subject
up with developer mates and one gadgetophile.

The heavily windows leaning developers have expressed a cool enthusiasm but
that will warm when they can see a product and get an idea for the sort of
apps that are being developed. All of them without exception have been
infuriated by their locked down win mobile 5 phones when they have tried to
customise or even make the most basic layout changes. One of the more
adventurous has gone as far as flashing various bits of firmware at
reasonable risk to achieve these results. They are certainly interested in
the openness aspects but only really have reservations about windows(read
exchange etc) compatibility.

I reckon I'll get a few developer converts for the phone if not to a desktop
flavour of linux.

>From what you've said I think it would be fair to predict a uniform
indifference to the phone from non developers since they are already
bombarded daily by a deluge of new must have handsets. Once we reach general
availability and hopefully have a few more fun apps put together I think
that plenty more people can be swayed.

With some of the ease of use ideas floated here, given that the hardware and
software implementation live up to the hype, we should be able to hit quite
a reasonable size target market. However, any serious market penetration in
the UK is going to depend on carrier subsidy since nearly all upgrades here
are free/low cost + contract - even on relatively cheap contracts. If Sean
and the team can make that a reality it certainly puts us on a level playing
field price wise allowing us to push the obvious advantages ;)

I found the truly negatively-excited person pretted amusing actually since
I've had entirely the opposite experience of Windows/Linux with high end
cards, some games even get a better FPS in linux. Guess that's the downside
of such a diverse hardware eco system. Always going to be tough to put a
really stable system together. Anyone who's been running an acer laptop with
one of the newer ATI graphics cards must know what I'm talking about because
the gcard takes win xp down all the time...


On 25/01/07, Bryan Fink <bryan.fink at> wrote:
> Hi all.  I've been talking up OpenMoko to everyone I know, and I felt
> like there may be some people around here who would be interested in
> the reactions I've gotten.
> The main camps are as you would expect: positively-excited,
> negatively-excited, and indifferent.  What I think is interesting, is
> why people put themselves in those camps.
> Surprisingly, few of the positively-excited people I've "recruited" so
> far are coders.  They're actually more interested in the fact that
> it's open, and not "controlled" by some faceless corporation.  They're
> excited that they won't have to be stuck with Nokia's/Motorolla's/etc.
> crappy software and forced upgrade path.  As I'm in the U.S., they're
> also surprised and excited to hear that it's naturally "unlocked" so
> they can choose whatever provider they want.
> I did have one person who ended up positively-excited, but hesitated
> briefly before that.  I had been talking up the "freedom to tinker"
> line, and they got worried that you would *have* to be a tinkerer to
> even get the phone working.  Assuring them of out-of-the-box
> functionality and the "OpenMoko Certified" download center was
> crucial.
> Also surprisingly, the one truly negatively-excited person I met said
> exactly this, "Great, so I'll have a phone that just randomly crashes
> for no reason."  I know that he has run Red Hat Linux, and codes for a
> living.  But, he has had poor experience with linux stability -
> specifically around crappy drivers for new graphics accelerators.  So,
> just as a warning, mentioning linux in an OpenMoko discussion will not
> automatically win you friends.
> Finally, by far the largest camp is the indifferent class.  Many
> people are quick to ask, "Why would you want an open source phone?"
> Answers of the, "So I know exactly what my phone is doing at all times
> - no secrets," variety typically get you labeled paranoid.  Answers of
> the, "Because I will be able to modify absolutely anything about it,"
> yield further questions to which further answers like, "I don't know,
> but *something*," are not enough.  And, there's always the, "Well, I'm
> perfectly happy with what I have now," people.  My feeling is that
> these people won't be convinced until there's considerable buzz from
> many people who have actually tried OpenMoko and like some specific
> feature about it.
> Has anyone else had a different variety of reactions?
> -Bryan
> _______________________________________________
> OpenMoko community mailing list
> community at
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