[openmoko-announce] Re: New Oceans

Fred Leeflang fredl at 3dn.nl
Sun Jul 1 11:30:02 CEST 2007

Sean Moss-Pultz wrote:
> On Jun 30, 2007, at 5:05 AM, Ian Stirling wrote:
>> Sean Moss-Pultz wrote:
>> <snip>
>>> We've had a particularly challenging time trying to setup the online
>>> infrastructure and figure out how to ship these phones. Sometime later
>>> today or early tomorrow we're going to make another announcement asking
>>> for some advice.
>> Leaping in before being asked, and perhaps not exactly what you're 
>> announcing.
>> On store stock.
>> I'd like to see the basic, advanced, but also accessories.
>> Something like:
>> Basic $300
>> Advanced $450
>> Debug Board $120 (inc lunchbox)
>> Battery $20
>> Guitar Pick $5
>> Case (black/silver, front and back) $20
>> Replacement screen $120
>> Pouch - $15
>> I personally would also like to see
>> Motherboard alone - $150
>> GPS antenna - $20
>> Internal subframe - $20
>> This is both for cases where you damage your neo in some manner that 
>> is clearly not covered by any warranty, and for the cases where you 
>> might like to use the Neo for something it is clearly not suited for 
>> in its existing case.
>> For example, glue a couple of webcams a USB hub, wifi, into a 
>> waterproof  container, and do stuff with it.
> We are planning on selling this kind of stuff, but I really don't 
> think we'll have the bandwidth before phase 2. Or at least another two 
> months. 
> Thanks a lot for letting us know you're interested!
> -Sean
Sean, List,

The announcement and developments are extremely exciting to me too.
I haven't participated in this list much as I am trying to run and grow
my own business, which isn't easy to do :-) I do however love opensource,
maybe even more so open standards, and pretty much thank my career
to the existance of opensource/standards.

So I'm thinking to myself 'how can I earn some money with doing what
I basically like most: writing opensource software'. Being the author of
an opensource tool called 'Usertracking' I see some synergy with openmoko/
neo. My experience so far is that making money on opensource software
is excruciatingly difficult. If it 'buys' you anything, it's a reference 
that you
can show to a potential client or, much further down the line, something 
you can become a consultant for.

The only venture at this point that I can see from participating in the 
platform is that I could, for example, be selling phones to clients, 
perhaps even
install my own custom made gadget on it to make the phone I sell 'unique' to
my clients. I'm thinking for example an integration with Usertracking. Down
the line, provinding services to Neo users would be a great want-to-have 
could generate revenues.

But, and here is the big problem with that idea, I live in the 
Netherlands and
the cellphone market here is completely controlled by the big telco's. When
you want a really cool phone, all you need to do is go to one of the telco
resellers; they'll give you the phone for free as long as you get their
phone plan for so many euros a month for 2 years or so. I'm guestimating
that close to 99% of people get their phone this way and would NEVER even
consider paying $350+ for their phone.

It's kind of hard to compete with virtually 'free' phones. Is something 
to what I describe here the case in most countries? If so, what's the 
silver bullet
to be able to sell Neo's in a marketplace like that? I'm inclined to 
think that
FIC should be approaching these big telco's as resellers. This would be good
for FIC as they could guarantee large sales #'s but it would not be good for
developpers looking to make some profits on sales as well for obvious 

So after this long intro, a question for FIC employees in specific and 
the whole list in
general: How, in your opinion, can participating in the openmoko project
benefit developpers (financially or otherwise) ? Besides facilitating you as
FIC employees with your own department and resources, will FIC facilitate
independant developers in their endevours to make the Neo bigger than
the iPhone (ok, wishfull thinking although I think the Neo *could* beat
the iPhone hands down :)?

Ofcourse there's no need to get really as specific as giving away company
strategy and secrets, but it would be real interesting IMO to share some 
ideas and
see if a large concern like FIC could help some (mostly small) companies
grow their business and by doing so helping FIC grow their product.

Fred Leeflang                                           3DN
Tel. 06-46182773 / 036-5467838                       Almere
http://www.3dn.nl     http://www.politicap.eu  fredl at 3dn.nl

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