An idea for an advertisement

Kyle Bassett kylebassett at
Sun Jul 22 11:59:34 CEST 2007

The Neo1973 phone and OpenMoko software are two different solutions. The Neo
is a solution for a closed-hardware phone. As of right now (Phase 1), it is
a developer's phone. Developers do not have to run OpenMoko on it, they
could run whatever piece of software they see fit as long as they write it.
I think the Neo is a gateway, the premiere, for an open-hardware

OpenMoko is the solution for a closed-software phone. If someone can get
OpenMoko to run on the device they have, those individuals are free to
develop any software they see fit that will run in the OpenMoko environment.

So, who is our (current) audience? The Neo has a high appeal from the
hardware hackers, the debuggers, the core software programmers, and also
those who want to jump head first into the world of a completely open
system. OpenMoko has appeal from virtually any individual that is aggravated
by the software running on their mobile devices or has a niche need which
currently is not filled, and wants to help fix it.

I think a good example is the Asterisk PBX and Digium relationship. Digium
develops the PBX specific hardware and (linux) drivers, while the Asterisk
community develops the software. Digium wins by selling their hardware, and
the Asterisk community wins by gaining a foothold in the corporate market.
Might be a good idea to keep their relationship in mind...
Both the Neo and OpenMoko provide open access to the hardware and software
of a mobile phone. This open platform gives consumers and developers
rightful access to what they own. I see the Neo as the hacker's iPhone. Did
I dare say it?

As the customer or end-user, this open development platform might seem
similar to Firefox in a way (no bias intended). As a community of users
developing a product everyone can use, from tech-geek to grandma. The
Firefox community also has an extensive library of open source extensions,
and if that type of community could be developed for OpenMoko programs, good
things will happen. :)

Palm has even come to a realization that Linux might have some benefits, as
they are developing (or having developed) a version supporting Palm devices.

Random thoughts:

--I believe a pre-paid or "open" plan is different than having an "open"
phone. A pre-paid plan means that a user may not have to pay a monthly fee,
but the user still has the "locked" restrictions in place from their

--There are still many people who also think that their phone is a permanent
part of their carrier contract.

--Which mobile phone carrier is the lesser of the evils? (I currently have
Verizon, but they don't support GSM.)

As for advertising, the Alltel commercials are appealing, making the other
carriers look hostile just like the Apple commercials make "PC" look
complicated. A humorous spin might be an idea. "You're have to
BUY a ringtone?!" "You make me laugh... what's all this SEEM editing about

Unique selling point? I don't think there's just one, but if I had to
choose, it would be the guitar pick for the Neo and penguin-in-you-pocket
for OpenMoko.

Now only if we could throw together a NPO for mobile internet/telecom...


Kyle Bassett

Martin may have forced me to write one of my longest responses yet!  ;)
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