Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Sat Apr 18 19:22:29 CEST 2009

Am 12.04.2009 um 07:50 schrieb Werner Almesberger:

> Steve Mosher wrote:
>> or more generally what is the next Open
>> source/open hardware phone that the community can build?.
> I think "can" is the key word here. A lot of the discussion
> I've seen so far reminds me of what we did with GTA01: blissfully
> ignorant of what it means to mass-produce something, we treated it
> as if all it took was to make an engineering prototype. Once that
> one "worked", we'd be okay, right ?

Well, here I think the community could also bring in experience.

 From your words I read that you have tried to do the best *for* the  
what you could do. This was great!

But now I think we need an approach to do the best *with* the community.

> Unfortunately, a lot more is needed to make a real product. It
> starts with finding parts that are actually available throughout
> the whole product lifecycle [1], that are available at a tolerable
> price in mass quantities [2], and that are supported by the vendor
> [3].
> A lot of the problems Openmoko had to deal with weren't even
> publicly visible. E.g., Sean must have spent months negotiating
> with LCM vendors.

Here I don't know what the best balance is. On one hand we should be  
but if we are too open, this makes negotiations with the closed world  

And, we must never forget that we are surrounded by a closed world...

> And once you have the parts, you need to find a factory that can
> actually build the device. Some parts had yield rates as low as
> 50%. Quite obviously, while this may be okay for an engineering
> prototype, you'll have a hard time being profitable if you have to
> bin half of your hardware.
> And that means that you have to find the bad apples in the first
> place. In GTA01, we just proudly presented the factory with the
> bringup and testing process process we had cooked up in
> engineering and expected them to use this. In fact, they did as
> they were told. So the factory workers plugged in debug board
> cables and then manually ran the devirginator. If it failed, they
> did it again. (In GTA02, things were a little smoother.)

In this situation, I usually come with (please forgive me!) Windows.  
What is the first
version that people really remember. Windows 1.0? Windows 2.x? No.  
Windows 3.11.

Which means that MS did have long enough breathe to trash everything  
twice and
then come with version 3.0. Which needed 11 smaller improvements.

With GTA02 we are now at the move from 2.x to 3.x...

> There's a lot more. The bottom line is that it's hard to
> mass-produce something and that the experience one gets from making
> some prototypes or small "hobbyist" runs doesn't really prepare for
> industrial production. It's very easy to overlook this difficulty
> but reality will catch up when things enter the production stage.
> Naturally, that is a really bad time for "surprises".

But there is good news in your words. You and your team knows much  
better now! And this experience should not be lost but saved and  
transformed into new products.

There is also a completely different approach to this problem that  
wasn't IMHO discussed before.

The different approach would be to go to HTC, Samsung, other ODM/EMS  
and ask them if they want to mass-produce a *variant* of the device  
they already have.
With enough funding (community $$$) and the GTA experiences, we could  
have a much better backing than if individuals are knocking at their  

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