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Cellphones Communications Handhelds Hardware

Openmoko Phone Not Dead After All 101

Posted by timothy
from the tut-mir-leid dept.
In response to the report I posted a few days ago that the Openmoko FreeRunner phone had been discontinued, Pat Meier-Johnson writes on behalf of Openmoko to say that this isn't so. "Some bloggers have been misinterpreting a presentation by Openmoko CEO, Sean Moss-Pultz last week in Switzerland to think that the company is getting out of the phone business. That's not true. In fact, the Openmoko FreeRunner (their current model) is alive and well. (Also in Switzerland, Sean announced another project — not a phone — that they are calling 'Project B.' No details yet.) The next version of the phone, codenamed GTA03, has been suspended and there were some associated layoffs, but the GTA03 was in constant flux as a design. So the company is being prudent and focusing on the FreeRunner which has lots of open source community and most recently, embedded developer support." Glad to hear this, because the FreeRunner is an interesting phone.
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Openmoko Phone Not Dead After All

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  • Interesting? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @07:36PM (#27526463)

    Considering the chaos in the software end, the only really interesting aspect of it was that you could get a debug board that plugged right into the thing. Other than that the only notable aspect was the fact that the schematics and mechanical designs were open, which is nice but largely only interesting to other corporations with the resources to spin and assemble PCBs.

    Maybe if the company had better direction, they would have been able to forge ahead to the GTA03 instead of it constantly wobbling. With focus they could have pushed the software stack to stability and usability, as well as solve the power management issues and gotten an actual 3G radio into the thing. Instead they've shrunk and moved on to some unnamed project.

    Sad, but not suprising. Glad I kept my $400.

  • SCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday April 09, 2009 @08:00PM (#27526687) Homepage
    SCO claims to not be dead too.

    So did Infineon (behind the Phantom console).

    I'm sure we could all come up with a ton of other examples.

  • I think the only open aspect of the iPhone is an API for developers to produce apps on that platform.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@b[ ].org ['eau' in gap]> on Thursday April 09, 2009 @08:26PM (#27526893)

    I like the idea but everything I have read about the product says it is a lousy phone. And if it can't do that basic function well it doesn't matter what other neat things it can do, whether it is open software, open hardware, whatever. A phone that sucks is no sale.

  • Damnit! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GF678 (1453005) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @08:27PM (#27526903)

    It's annoying because the zealots will be happy that their "phone" (which isn't even a good phone to begin with) will still be around. We need an actual product that you won't be embarrassed showing to non-geek folk. Now all we'll get are smug idiots.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2009 @12:10AM (#27528219)

    And use it how without a Cell Phone company with a monthly plan?

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:07AM (#27528917)

    When you decide to get a phone that does what you want instead of what you provider wants go and buy a freerunner

    No he's right. I used the FreeRunner for 5 months on a daily basis and it's a crappy phone. Damn cool handheld touch screen linux machine with WiFi, BlueTooth and GPS though.

  • Re:Last post! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:48AM (#27530081) Homepage Journal

    The public just isn't ready for it, yet.

    The public will never be ready for a phone that doesn't make phone calls properly. If instead of working on various UI toolkits and abandoning them they focused on making the phone work maybe they could sell a few more.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:53AM (#27533355)

    The project was dead before it started. The management of the project is horrible. The software is constantly attempting to copy someone else and doing it poorly.

    This is pretty typical of an OSS project. Its not about innovation or breaking the mold, its about copying what someone else did and releasing the source in a sad attempt to reap the benefits of someone else's work without really contributing anything new. Very few OSS projects actually break out of this mold. Linus did it by accident, when he started it was nothing more than a copy of another Unix, that was the plan. Obviously that changed as Linux grew far beyond a 'copy' in the late 90s. But Linux is a shining start in OSS world and is very hard to duplicate, there simply aren't enough people that care about most OSS projects the way Linus and his original crew did to get it to the point that it had momentum.

    I'm not saying thats always a bad thing, but lets not get delusional when talking about this device, it is in no way impressive unless you're comparing it to those fake phones you give little kids.

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