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Cellphones Communications Handhelds Hardware

Openmoko Phone Not Dead After All 101

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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  • by linhares ( 1241614 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @08:42PM (#27526517)


    Google PageRank: 7

    Google BackLinks: 526

    Live Search BackLinks: 6

    Technorati Links: 1,230

    Compare that to http://code.google.com/android [google.com]

    Google PageRank: 8

    Google BackLinks: 1,880

    Live Search BackLinks: 164

    Technorati Links: 7,980

    And... the google site has been replaced by http://developer.android.com/ [android.com], which will soon capture the original's statistics, and then some.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09, 2009 @09:12PM (#27526777)

    "Interesting" in the sense that it's a phone that can neither make nor receive phone calls reliably. That a company would try and sell something like that is pretty "interesting", for certain values of "interesting".

  • by Running Pinata ( 1166015 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @10:06PM (#27527113)
    http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Distributions#Hardware_Support [openmoko.org] has pretty current info. From my experience: Using At&t atm. Distros: Om: Usable, no bluetooth gui. FSO: Usable, no bluetooth gui. Androd: Panicking cupcake. Usable, somewhat. Phone goes to sleep after receiving a call. FDOM: based off of Om 09. Still has suspend issues that was resolved in the Om 12. QTExtended Improved: Trying this one out this week, so no clues. Well for voicemail I get a text message with "50". For SMS I haven't tried since it costs me to send messages.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by linhares ( 1241614 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @10:09PM (#27527131)
    interesting..., you know, interesting [wikipedia.org].
  • by rampant mac ( 561036 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @10:51PM (#27527395)

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

    And look how badly that has affected them. 30 million devices (iPhone & iPod Touch). Over 500 million downloads from the app store?

    How does OpenMoko compete? What's their app store strategy? Is there a strategy? At the moment, it looks like Apple is on the verge of running away with the handheld market. What is OpenMoko doing about it?

    These are the questions I wonder about. More so, than, *if* API is free or not...

    It boils down to: Can I make money on this handset?

  • by irockash ( 1265506 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:04AM (#27528191)

    The best chance of an open software platform for a phone is for manufacturers to all jump on the Android bandwagon but allow 'unlocked' phones to be bought in stores as with traditional GSM phones.

    "Unlocked" in that case would have to mean more than it does with traditional GSM phones. You can use an unlocked phone on any carrier, but that doesn't mean you can flash whatever firmware you want.

    This probably isn't exactly what you want, but check out XDA-Developers [xda-developers.com]. Limited to HTC phones, but firmware from carriers and the manufacturer. Sure you're mostly limited to Windows Mobile, but they've had luck getting Android and Debian working on some models.

  • by Cyclops ( 1852 ) <rms@NoSPaM.1407.org> on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:26AM (#27528771) Homepage
    So your point is that a very popular non Free Software phone, backed by Google and major phone makers has more fame? You just won the Sherlock Holmes award!
    BTW, OpenMoko is the first Free Software Android Phone....
  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @09:45AM (#27530633) Homepage

    I'm sorry. I like the idea of the phone as much as the next person. For a while, when I was in Iraq, I seriously considered getting one of the dev versions. How cool is a phone that I can analyze all the specs on, and run any OS I want, blah, blah, blah. In the end though calling a phone (and it is, by all claims from its manufacturer, a "phone", not a "portable device") that cannot reliably make or receive phone calls a "wonderful device" is just disingenuous. I might be "cool", or "interesting", or any of a dozen other adjective, but any device that cannot reliably perform its stated purpose is not "wonderful"

    The fact that it performs well as a somewhat under-powered PDA doesn't change the fact that it was never able to do the primary thing that "phones" are supposed to do: make and receive calls. It seems to me (and maybe I'm just silly) that when designing a new Open Phone the checklist should have read:

    1) Is able to actually call people
    2) Is able to be called
    3) Whatever other cool shit we'd like to be able to do
    4) ...
    5) Profit

    I apologize for the overused meme, but in this case it's perfect. As evidenced from the vast numbers of shitty smart-phones out there that sold at least a decent number of units, people will buy a phone with a crappy UI, buggy software, and a crash prone OS. What they won't buy is a phone that can't (reliably) call people.

  • Re:Just ugly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @09:52AM (#27530733) Homepage

    New iPhone OS will allow MMS (and copy/paste thank fricken' Gods) not sure about multiple SMS though. Which doesn't help you now of course, but they're saying June/July time frame which isn't to far in the future. I know you can display spreadsheet/word procession documents, but I've never had a great need or desire to edit them on my phone, so I can't speak to that.

  • Re:Just ugly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vegeta99 ( 219501 ) <rjlynn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:57AM (#27532631)

    Already using 3.0 Beta 2, MMS works fine, and sending multiple SMS messages has /always/ worked just fine. Bluetooth A2DP works too, FTW!

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.