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OpenMoko In Stores On July 4

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the 20080704 dept.

Handhelds 212

ruphus13 writes "July 4 will be day when OpenMoko's Neo FreeRunner will be available to US consumers. Being Open Source, it is modifiable down to the core. From the article: 'The FreeRunner is based on a GNU/Linux, and it will initially ship with basic software to make calls, send and receive SMS, and manage contacts. But the company is encouraging users to write and install their own applications. Software updates will add features to the phone over time, and the company said an August update will enable location-based services.'"

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Damn, that was quick (2, Informative)

Planky (761118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055933)

The online store has already run out of the GSM 850 model.

Re:Damn, that was quick (3, Funny)

Planky (761118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055955)

And by that, I mean the 900 model. Ergh.

With a name like that, how can it NOT succeed ?? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056469)

Opem Moko Caca Loco

I hear Ricky Martin doing it now !!

Re:Damn, that was quick (4, Informative)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056009)

It is not sold out - it's just not in stock yet.

Dear All, Sorry for delay long time!!! So far, only GSM850 Freerunner is available in stock, Debug board and spare also!!!

http://lists.openmoko.org/pipermail/community/2008-July/020394.html [openmoko.org]

Re:Damn, that was quick (0, Flamebait)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056195)

Dear All, Sorry for delay long time!!! So far, only GSM850 Freerunner is available in stock, Debug board and spare also!!!

How come they write like retards?

Re:Damn, that was quick (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056253)

Can't say much for a group that named their phone after the Spanish word for booger (moco).

Wonder how well these will sell in South America and other Spanish speaking countries:
"Hey Pedro, nice phone, that the open booger one?"

Re:Damn, that was quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056435)

Dear All, Sorry for English very bad!!! I don't know why three exclamation marks needed!!! But maybe two not enough!!!

Seriously, though -- this sort of amateur rubbish doesn't give you much hope for the product's technical support ...

Re:Damn, that was quick (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056525)

It's an open platform, so hopefully support will come from the community. As long as the hardware works, I'm sure we (the Open Source community) will be able to collectively work it all out. After all, we reverse engineered DRM, emulated Windows and support non-documented protocols like CIFS/SMB and MSN.

Re:Damn, that was quick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056861)

Me love you long time!!!
Sucky sucky 5 dollah???

Re:Damn, that was quick (1)

karthikkumar (814172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056407)

I had preordered one :-) thanks to a slashdot post

Re:Damn, that was quick (1)

Clueless Nick (883532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057191)

So have I - from IDA Systems! Phone expected to ship today or tomorrow from their side.

The screenshots look good enough - we'll need to see what comes preinstalled and what we have to force in. I use the MotoRokr E6 now, which is good but not open, and lacks an application universe.

freaking is back ... (3, Interesting)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055943)

Can I ask the powers that be ...

Could I run a program that can make calls the world over and charge to my account ? ... if so, we have a problem

G

Re:freaking is back ... (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056979)

Most likely the GSM functionality of the phone is completely seperate. You can buy embedded modules today that are basically a phone minus the screen and keypad. They have serial digital audio links and the process of making calls is done via AT commands.

A phone that allowed the user to modify the GSM stack would never get type approval.

Re:freaking is back ... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057223)

You don't need to modify the GSM stack to make calls, you just need to use the top layers. To answer the grandparent's question, yes you can. You are the user, you are in control. That's what Free Software means. You can run any program you want and it can do anything you allow it to. If you don't want it to be able to make calls, don't run it with permissions to access the GSM hardware.

Re: PHreaking is back ... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057143)

You misspelled phreaking.

Authorization (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057209)

Could I run a program that can make calls the world over and charge to my account ?

Yes, which is why you don't add programs to a group that can connect to the GSM module unless you want them to make calls.

Re:freaking is back ... - SPOILER FOR DOCTOR WHO (2, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057239)

No, but it will let you make all sorts of crazy calls and let you communicate with the Doctor...

No GSM 1800? (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055961)

Anyone know why they only have GSM 850 & 900? Atleast half of the networks in Europe are 1800 and we're now in theage of tri-band phones. It's nice it has WiFi and everything but it seems that this is more like a PDA with a (not very capable) cellphone tacked on, it does n't even have EDGE support.

Re:No GSM 1800? (5, Informative)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055973)

They are triband 850 or 900 /1800/1900

Re:No GSM 1800? (4, Funny)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055993)

You're right of course, on the BUY NOW section it lists the phone as 850 & 900 left me dazzed and confused.

Note to self: Don't comment first thing in the morning.

Note to self(2): Dont leave note to self on slashdot.

Re:No GSM 1800? (1)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055997)

The GSM 900 version supports GSM 1800.

Re:No GSM 1800? (1)

dubloe7 (966214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056011)

as does the GSM 850.

Woops, My Bad (5, Informative)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055979)

Sorry, I went straight to the BUY NOW section, where it offers "GSM 850" & "GSM 900" which what they mean is 850/1800/1900 & 900/1800/1900.

Note to OpenMoko: You could make this a bit clearer.

Note to Moderators: Please be gentle :)

Although I stand by the EDGE comment.

Availability (3, Interesting)

bugg_tb (581786) | more than 6 years ago | (#24055983)

When will UK carriers pick up these open source phones and supply them to contract customers is what I want to know! :)

Re:Availability (1)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056029)

Most likely never ;)
Unless you want an rather ancient tech phone which is also locked down and crippled to no end by your network provider.

Re:Availability (5, Interesting)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056117)

Most likely never ;) Unless you want an rather ancient tech phone which is also locked down and crippled to no end by your network provider.

The UK isn't terribly bad for crippling and locking phones. We have a healthy unlocking market, and some stores (namely CarPhoneWarehouse) insist on selling unlocked phones. Admittedly, sometimes the phone will come with awful branded firmware (I'm thinking P990i and N95 here), but it's quite simple to reflash it with a world generic firmware that has all the features and none of the branding. It's .us that is renowned for ruining phones in the above fashion.

Re:Availability (4, Funny)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056369)

It's .us that is renowned for ruining phones in the above fashion.

Did you just identify a country by its TLD instead of its name?

Re:Availability (5, Funny)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056553)

nah, else he would have said .com

Re:Availability (1)

dodecalogue (1281666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057353)

The Future is Now!

Re:Availability (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056873)

Well, they sold the locked iphone in the carphone warehouse...

Re:Availability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056093)

Probably never. At least for this model of OpenMoko. It doesn't support 3G, which is what most of the European networks are now flogging for mobile video/audio/broadband/etc

Still tempted to buy one though

Re:Availability (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056209)

Probably never. At least for this model of OpenMoko. It doesn't support 3G, which is what most of the European networks are now flogging for mobile video/audio/broadband/etc

Flogging? Is that a British idiom?

In any case, it looks like you can still can get gsm access in the UK, and will be able to do so in the near future.

http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_gb.shtml [gsmworld.com]

Re:Availability (5, Funny)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056313)

Flogging? Is that a British idiom?

Yup, flog is slang for sell. Interestingly, it is also Australian slang for steal. Could lead to some unfortunate misunderstandings.

  • Australian immigration office: "So how do you plan to support yourself in Australia?"
  • British immigrant: "Flogging cars"
  • AIO: "Visa application denied!"

Re:Availability (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056963)

But don't forget how Australia came to be, as a British prison colony...

Re:Availability (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057295)

3G usually means UMTS, and most UMTS phones will fall back to GSM for voice and fall back to GPRS for data if a UMTS signal is unavailable.

Most of the UK is covered in GSM signal, and most of the urban areas are covered with UMTS which is increasingly being upgraded to HSPA. From the page you linked to, take a look at this map [gsmworld.com] . Most of the 'middle of nowhere' type places are covered with GSM and all town, cities, and a lot of the 'not quite the middle of nowhere' areas are covered with UMTS.

Upgrading from GPRS to UMTS was the reason for my last phone upgrade, three years ago, and so a phone that would require a downgrade is simply not interesting to me. I could live without HSPA support, since UMTS gives around 50KB/s real-world speeds (possibly more - that seems to be the peak throughput for my current phone's bluetooth chip), and that's enough for the moment, but it would be nice to have an upgrade path.

No one is investing in GPRS networks anymore, since anyone who cares about data access has been on UMTS for years and is thinking of moving to HSPA with their next upgrade, so you are likely to have worse coverage in the future, while UMTS and HSPA networks are being upgraded constantly.

Nice to see GSM technology still around (1, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056007)

The rest of the world has moved on, but it's good to see third world countries (and the United States) clinging to this ancient technology.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056127)

What are you getting at? I can tell you're not trolling, but what do you mean?

This isn't like Europe and developed parts of Asia, we've got relatively low population density and spend far less money on cell phones than typical customers in those areas. As a result the time tends to be longer.

Of course we're also fans of bureaucracy and corporate malfeasance so it'll take even longer than it would in a sanely managed geographic region of similar specifications.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (2, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056899)

Of course we're also fans of bureaucracy and corporate malfeasance so it'll take even longer than it would in a sanely managed geographic region of similar specifications.

Yes, I believe that's what he's getting at.

The rest of the world has moved on? (4, Interesting)

ya really (1257084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056211)

Oh really?

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. Its promoter, the GSM Association, estimates that 82% of the global mobile market uses the standard.[1] GSM is used by over 3 billion people across more than 212 countries and territories.[2][3]wikipedia.org [wikipedia.org]

Verizon, a CDMA carrier, is starting trials using LTE, a GSM (4G) variant this year, eventually they'll switch over leaving only Sprint as the main provider of CDMA

I like CDMA, but I'll welcome GSM with Verizon if it means I can try out the OpenMoko. Oh yeah, what were you saying again about GSM?

Re:The rest of the world has moved on? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056599)

Oh really?

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. Its promoter, the GSM Association, estimates that 82% of the global mobile market uses the standard.[1] GSM is used by over 3 billion people across more than 212 countries and territories.[2][3]wikipedia.org [wikipedia.org]

Verizon, a CDMA carrier, is starting trials using LTE, a GSM (4G) variant this year, eventually they'll switch over leaving only Sprint as the main provider of CDMA

I like CDMA, but I'll welcome GSM with Verizon if it means I can try out the OpenMoko. Oh yeah, what were you saying again about GSM?

Some more precision

GSM is the 2G standard, and still used in so called 3G networks. In fact when making a phone on your 3G phone, most of the time you use the 2G network. In fact if your phone allows you to select which network takes the priority, you'd better choose GSM than 3G: better quality, and less drain to your battery.

Now, 3G (UMTS) is actually a CDMA based technology, so not very efficient. It is funny that 3G+ (HSDPA) is in fact a going back to TDMA type technology (like GSM).

4G (LTE or even WiMax) are definitely based on OFDM

Re:The rest of the world has moved on? (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057141)

Wow... my head is exploding with acronyms.

Not your fault, since that's just how the mobile network names seem to be.

It has however given me some insight into what people must feel like when our floor full of developers, sysadmins, and network engineers goes to the pub on a Friday night.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (3, Insightful)

Mark Trade (172948) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056213)

Point is, this isn't an internet tablet. It's a phone. GSM is sufficient for this task.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (4, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056295)

it's good to see third world countries (and the United States) clinging to this ancient technology.

Give us a break. We're still trying to convince people that our species is older than a few thousand years.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (4, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056643)

We're still trying to convince people that our species is older than a few thousand years.

Not to be disagreeable, but there's asbolutely no viable evidence of the geek species prior to the 20th century. Greek, yes; but geek, no.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056781)

How about Ada Lovelace [wikipedia.org] , someone so geeky she was programming for computers before they existed.

Marie Curie also falls into this.. can't get geekier than playing with radioactive materials out of pure interest.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (2, Funny)

ShadowEFX (152354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057075)

And she did that mov....no, waitaminute, that's the other...no wonder I can't find the LINDA programming language!

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (4, Insightful)

iLogiK (878892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056419)

The thing is...when I first heard about the OpenMoko project, I loved the idea, I thought it was great, I couldn't wait for it to be released. But it took them so damn long, that by the time it get's released, you've got a better iPhone (not much better, but I'd still rather have it than the Freerunner), and you've got Android which should be out this year. Also the specs for OpenMoko which looked really good 2 years ago aren't so hot right now. I for one am sticking with my Nokia E51 for know, and will probably get an Android phone when they're released. Sorry, OpenMoko, you're just too late for the party.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056803)

Well, with an attention span like that, I recommend you head on back to digg. The phone isn't supposed to be an answer to the consumerists.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1)

iLogiK (878892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056871)

the point I was trying to make is that it took them so long to finish the damn thing that the specs got outdated and companies with more resources managed to make a better one. Don't get me wrong I hate the way Apple does business and their products but the iPhone SDK is a step in the right direction on better hardware.
As for Android, I think it's what openmoko should have been on the OS side.
The only thing openmoko has that android doesn't have is open hardware.

I'm sorry I gave you the impression I read digg.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056759)

Tell this to the operators auctioning for the CDMA spectrum.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1)

imroy (755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057081)

If by "third world" you mean most of the world [coveragemaps.com] , then yes. Otherwise you're a stupid troll.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057167)

To use an analogy. GSM is a 56k modem, 2.5g/3g is broadband. Everyone with a phoneline can use 56k but the vast majority of people choose to use broadband. 56K is (usually) only used when people have no other option.

GSM is very old technology and unsuitable for modern phone users who want to use anything other than fundamental basic phone features.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1)

imroy (755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057343)

While GSM started many years ago, it is not a single technology. It has been enhanced with new technologies over the years - GPRS [wikipedia.org] in 1997 and EDGE [wikipedia.org] in 1999. These provide 2.5/2.75G services. UMTS [wikipedia.org] is a proper 3G technology - it uses a new W-CDMA modulation but still uses the GSM protocols and networks. GSM lives on.

Re:Nice to see GSM technology still around (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057351)

Not really. GSM is a phoneline, GPRS (2.5G) is a modem, and 3/3.5/4G (UMTS, HSPA and so on) are broadband. GSM is really only of use for making calls. Using it for data is insane - you won't get more than 9.6Kb/s and you will be charged a huge amount. GPRS gives you a maximum of about 5KB/s with 2 second latency in the real world - it's worse than a 56K modem (which had similar bandwidth and better latency). UMTS gives me around 50KB/s with around 200ms latency, and so is comparable to the broadband connection I had back in 2000. USPA can give a very similar broadband experience to the one I have now (although it's still much more expensive).

Actually, I just looked at the prices for HSPA. For about £5 more per month than I currently pay for my home broadband connection, I can get a HSPA connection with a 10GB/month fair use policy (not huge, but not too bad). Combine this with a phone that I could drop into a docking station when at home to charge and share the connection with my home network and I'd be very interested.

Just to clarify (5, Insightful)

kombipom (1274672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056049)

The 900 model isn't really sold out it's not arrived at the distributors yet so it's not currently available.

Also the reason it uses GSM is that the team have tried as far as possible to use OPEN HARDWARE ie fully documented and not lumbered with proprietary closed-source drivers. GSM was the only option as all 3G hardware is completely closed.

Also please everyone, don't start the "it's not as good as the iphone" flamewars. If you want an iphone you don't want this and if you want this you probably don't want an iphone.

Re:Just to clarify (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056749)

If you want an iphone you don't want this and if you want this you probably don't want an iphone.

Are you kidding me? They've both got:

  • An antenna
  • run on a battery

EVERYTHING that fulfills both requirements will be mine.

Everything?

EVERYTHING.

Re:Just to clarify (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057299)

The 900 model isn't really sold out it's not arrived at the distributors yet so it's not currently available.

The 900Mhz version is available from resellers in the EU.

What network? (2, Interesting)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056087)

Even though I readily admit I hate the shape of the case they put this thing in, I am otherwise quite interested in this phone from the "open" standpoint.

But assuming I were to buy one of these, what carriers in the US will let you put it on their network without grief or a number of hoops to jump through?

Re:What network? (2, Insightful)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056141)

Uh, I would imagine any that support GSM/SIM. My cell phone company has no clue what phone I am using on their network (HTC Hermes) and it works just fine.

Re:What network? (2, Informative)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056175)

AT&T and T-Mobile run GSM networks. There may also be regional ones using GSM service.

Re:What network? (2, Informative)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056179)

Hear, hear! I'd like to see the breakdown of what it would actually cost to use this on a U.S. network and what kind of service to expect.

I did find this list of U.S. GSM providers [gsmworld.com] by following a link from OpenMoko's Q&A page, but it's not all that helpful.

Since this device has wi-fi, what I'd really like to do is to use it as a Skype-like phone over wi-fi when I'm at home, and then have it switch to regular cellular when I'm on the road. Since I make most of my phone calls from home, I should theoretically save a lot of money this way. Realistically, I don't know if this is possible.

Re:What network? (1)

FreeForm Response (218015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056285)

T-Mobile HotSpot @Home [theonlyphoneyouneed.com]

T-Mobile has several handsets that support this very feature, they connect over wi-fi whenever possible and handoff to GSM the rest of the time (hopefully) without dropping the call in progress.

My apologies for the Flash site behind the link. =(

Re:What network? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056855)

That's part of the point of a wifi/GSM phone. The only question I have is if the Freerunner can do this right now with the software it has or not, but even if it doesn't, since it's just a software deal, it's only a matter of time until it has it.

Re:What network? (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057165)

Realistically, I don't know if this is possible.

Isn't the whole point? It's Open Source.

The question isn't whether it's possible, the question is whether you know how to write the software to do it, or happen to know somebody who'd be interested in doing it.

Re:What network? (3, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056367)

Even though I readily admit I hate the shape of the case they put this thing in

Feel free to download the plans [openmoko.org] , modify it however you see fit, and fabricate the result!

AT&T, probably any other GSM carrier. (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056545)

I just had to bite the bullet a few months ago, retire my AMPS/TDMA phone and switch to GSM. (AT&T is the only cell carrier that covers my vacation/eventual-retirement home and they're shutting down the TDMA option.) Had hoped OpenMoko would be in time for me but they missed by about 9 months.

With them in mind I got one of the "free" locked phones - and checked what the unlocking and phone switching policies were. AT&T claimed:
  - The PHONE is locked to the CARD, but,
  - The CARD isn't locked to the PHONE (either by the card or by the network refusing to accept calls with that card and any other phone.)

Story is likely the same for any other GSM carrier. So just pull the GSM smartcard from any and shove it into your OpenMoko phone.

If you're signing up for new service, ask them if they'll credit you with the phone allowance if you bring your own phone rather than making them give you one of the "free" ones. Might not work but won't hurt to ask. (And if there's another GSM carrier in your service area, you might try hinting that you'll see if THEY'll credit you for the phone...

  Of course don't tell them that it's an OpenMoko phone. I bet they're scared you - and thousands of others - will download some hack that lets you bypass some part of their service model. B-)

Re:AT&T, probably any other GSM carrier. (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057177)

I should have been more clear in my original question, so the fact that I got some poor answers is my fault.

But your answer here is what I was looking for, thanks!

What I should have initially asked is what US providers that use GSM will allow you to bring your own phone to the table and shove one of their sim cards in it and make calls.

Currently I have a Verizon CDMA phone, and my current contract (my 5th with them) ends in September. I've been with Verizon for going on 10 years now, and have no real complaints. The iPhone is not enough to make me consider switching to AT&T. But OpenMoko is.

Re:What network? (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056695)

I've decided to put up with two more years of closed phones to have Verizon's nationwide CDMA coverage area. AT&T and T-Mobile are making gains, but still aren't quite to the point of GSM/3G coverage that serves my needs. Let's see what the next two years bring. OpenMoko may play a role in my future cell phone usage, but not this year.

Re:What network? (1)

Gori (526248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057031)

Well, of you hate the shape :
1. get the CAD files : http://downloads.openmoko.org/CAD/ [openmoko.org]
2. Modify them
3. Find a CNC shop to build them (solid brushed alumunium case anyone ?)
4. ?
5. Profit !

Sweet. (4, Interesting)

NaishWS (1263540) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056097)

Though I am not a fan of the appearance, it is quite a powerful phone, with a 500mhz processor, which is not quite as powerful as the 700mhz processor on the iphone, but still decent nevertheless. Ofcourse, the benefiting factor being that it is open source, where as the iphone is not. It will be a great time when we are able to buy a phone, with the basic functionality installed, then choose what particular software we want to add on the phone, for free. The main problem with phones today is that there is really no way that the community can fix or improve the software without complications, but if the company is actually encouraging open source software to be developed they will provide the necessary tools (APIs etc) for the community to do these improvements themselves, saving them money in the process. It also appears that more phone companies are starting to follow this open source trend, but will probably still keep their strangle hold on their customer base by using DRM and SIM locks, you can read the article here [zdnet.co.uk] . Openmoko are definitely in the right direction, I wish them much success.

Re:Sweet. (1)

bjmoneyxxx (1227784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056165)

After seeing some comments after the news about Palm a few days ago, I'd have to say I'm happy with my treo 650. Their are countless programs available online for it, though it is not open.

Re:Sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056291)

please read this

before giving specifications

Re:Sweet. (1)

NaishWS (1263540) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056397)

I got my information from here [openmoko.org] . "400/500 MHz Samsung 2442B Processor/SOC (400 minimum, ARM920T core, ARMv4T)" I may also be incorrect about the processor speed of the iphone, for the 3G it may only be 620. Anyways point wasn't to get the exact specs of the phone, was just stating that they were quite close.

startup time? (0)

Luke_22 (1296823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056171)

I've seen some videos on youtube...
it seems it takes about 2m.30secs to startup (not from standby, that is actually fast)

was it an older, developer version or what?

funny, the thing that keeps me from buying a nokia n810 is the lack of gsm/normal phone support, and the thing that keeps me from buying this is the lack of a real keyboard...

well, since it has a usb host i supporse i can always plug in a little keyboard, but it will never be like the e70 :,(

Not exactly a hard sell, are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056241)

"buy our phone". No screenshots. No list of apps on the phone. I'm okay with open source, but I need something that actually works without having to write it all myself. Sorry no thanks.

Re:Not exactly a hard sell, are they? (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056507)

Yeah considering I bought a XDA2 many years ago to take advantage of all the homebrew based on that (Win Mobile, .net compact). Only homebrew I run is my crappy timesheet program I wrote.

Turns out I couldnt be fucked installing (cracked = free) commercial third party stuff with nice installers. Doubt it being OS is going to make my experience any different

Re:Not exactly a hard sell, are they? (3, Informative)

shani (1674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056915)

If you clicked on "gallery" then you would have seen screenshots:

http://www.openmoko.com/product-gallery.html [openmoko.com]

A list of applications is a bit harder to find, but it is on the wiki:

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Openmoko_Core_Applications [openmoko.org]

Of course, this is just the "core applications". Since it is an open platform, there are quite a few more, in the usual mixed states of maturity. :)

And since this phone is targeted at developers, if you don't want to write apps then no reason you should get one.

Re:Not exactly a hard sell, are they? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056925)

I think the software so far is pretty basic on the OpenMoko but the main stuff is there. Comparing it to Android for example, I think Android has more software right now due to the emulator and SDK Google pushed out. Android has a much bigger base of course, but then again, OpenMoko will have more apps too once Android phones finally come out. I'd like to know in what ways if any Android is more locked down than the OpenMoko software, and you also have to keep in mind that the Neo Freerunner itself is built as an open hardware device, while the phones that Android will come on will be less geared towards openness I'd assume, but since times are changing, who knows for sure.

With so many open mobile groups gearing up for action aside from Android and OpenMoko, like LiMo [limofoundation.org] and Moblin [moblin.org] and others, the future will be an interesting and good one.

Reasonable Plan (-1, Offtopic)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056245)

I have about $20 a month to spend on a cell phone - anyone know of a plan for that? Links(please!!)

gps software? (2, Interesting)

Luke_22 (1296823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056247)

I see it has built-in agps device...
does anyone know what software it uses? map coverage?

and... what do you slashdotters suggest as alternative? :)

Wow (0, Redundant)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056279)

'The FreeRunner is based on a GNU/Linux, and it will initially ship with basic software to make calls, send and receive SMS, and manage contacts.'

Paying that much for a phone with a feature set not unlike a cheap phone from 10 years ago...

I fail to see the point of this phone for the general public, most people will never touch the OS source code and Windows mobile already has plenty of free and commercial aps around plus it's on much cheaper phones.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056317)

On the otherhand compiling, installing readline, telnet, and tintin so I can mud from my phone is going to be comparatively straight foreward, as compared to say an iPhone. For an outlandish and silly but also in my case perhaps all too likely example.

Re:Wow (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057301)

'The FreeRunner is based on a GNU/Linux, and it will initially ship with basic software to make calls, send and receive SMS, and manage contacts.'

Paying that much for a phone with a feature set not unlike a cheap phone from 10 years ago...

Those are just the software features that are part of the core package. The hardware specs are much more impressive (includes a touchscreen, Bluetooth, WiFi, and a GPS receiver). The software will come soon, as developers write applications to use the hardware.

but...what does it DO??? (4, Interesting)

soundguy (415780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056417)

The website is remarkably information-free. "Basic software" doesn't tell me a damned thing. I'm all about x86 pizzabox servers and CentOS. I don't know anything about these mini-platforms or ARM processors to start with. Does it come with a compiler or does all development have to be done externally? Does it have any shell tools? Does it have a Perl interpreter? SSH? Is there any graphical internet stuff at all yet for the platform (browser, ftp, email?) or is this an entirely new "ground up" environment.

I'd love to have a Linux phone just on principle, but I don't want to have to build the whole damned thing from scratch.

Re:but...what does it DO??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056833)

The software stack of the phone is still under development. You can make and receive calls.

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/ASU_Feature_Plan

Re:but...what does it DO??? (3, Informative)

shani (1674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056931)

Go to the Wiki:

http://www.openmoko.org/wiki/Main_Page [openmoko.org]

And all will be revealed.

Re:but...what does it DO??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056971)

At the moment there isn't a lot of software to install, even the general phone functions are at the alpha stage but progressing rapidly. It can be used as a basic phone, don't expect it to be 100% stable just yet. It definitely has a terminal and ssh. If you want to know more look at the wiki (http://wiki.openmoko.org), it's a bit disorganised but there is a lot of info there. The "New Framework" stuff will let you know where the project is headed.

If you want a phone that just works, wait until the OS stabilises but if you are excited by the idea of mobile hacking and you want to shape the OS from the start, dive in.

Re:but...what does it DO??? (2, Insightful)

belgian_embedded_ (1319675) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056977)

OpenMoko uses OpenEmbedded for setting up the toolchain/filesystem... You can use OE to build the entire enviroment without much effort [we all know what that meens in embedded :-) ].
OpenMoko Wiki [openmoko.org]
OpenEmbedded [linuxtogo.org]

Re:but...what does it DO??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057275)

dunno how good the info is but try http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Main_Page [openmoko.org] and click on 'current software stack'

Caveat emptor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24056479)

IMHO, The software very much in the rough, and I would not recommend anyone to use this as a primary phone yet, unless they seek motivation to contribute to and improve the project.

Camera (0, Troll)

dinker (1272682) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056573)

Is there a camera on this baby? If not it has no chance.

Re:Camera (0)

bergwitz (702715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056717)

Yeah, it won't go well in European markets without a camera. Even business customers expect a camera on their phone these days. No EDGE or 3G is also serious flaw.

Like somebody else said: it's a PDA with some phone features.

I recommended people interested in an open source phone to ask Nokia when they will have one ready. Linux isn't made for mobile phones, Symbian is, and Symbian will be released as open source soon. If(when) I can hack the Symbian software on my E65 I'll have a top notch smartphone. Without camera, EDGE and 3G, the Neo Freerunner will never be a top notch smartphone.

Re:Camera (2, Insightful)

shani (1674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056937)

Indeed, that was the missing feature that made me decide to go with the iPhone, even though the closed nature of the iPhone makes me grumpy.

quite nice, but... (1)

whtvr (1213658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056653)

I have to say it looks kinda slick, the same way as iphone does. I also like the default menu theme. Whole idea of open source is nice; even though I am not OSS idealist there should be a lot of decent software written for it. Well, maybe not a lot of decent software but a lot of software and some of it should be decent... or something like this.

On the other hand I am not a big fan of phones without hardware keyboard. Sure it's nice thing to show off, those on-screen keyboards (and other input methods) but I always picture myself running in the rain trying to get to the meeting that I am late for and to type an sms on such screen-only device... SE P1i which I have now with all it's drawbacks has a fantastic (almost) full QWERTY keyboard. 2.5mm audio jack is a PITA as you have to get one of those converters. Also it can't be used as HF since there won't be no mic on the cable. Does it at least have a loud speaker?

Other thing is already mentioned lack of 3G support. 3G networks are quite common here in Europe and while I don't really video-call people fast internet while on the go is a nice thing to have. Even EDGE would do but it's not present... Well, at least it has wifi - I find myself using it rather often on P1.

120x62x18mm - slightly bigger than iphone but still acceptable. 185g - a bit on the heave side but I could live with it. All in all for 250euro + shipping it's not a bad deal (I paid 450euro for P1 last autumn) - do they ship to Europe? I'd still wait for Android based phones and perhaps new smartphones form Noika (typo deliberate) but I hope those will come with touch screens (and hardware keyboard).

As a side note: it's tough time for buying a smartphone that "has it all" right now...

Re:quite nice, but... (1)

whtvr (1213658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056683)

no camera? no camera?! c'mon... i don't take a lot of pictures but at least i could take one if i really want/have to... openmoko for 250euro + shipping it's a rip-off, disregard what i wrote previously

*sigh*

Re:quite nice, but... (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057193)

If you want a camera, buy a camera.

I'm getting really sick of the fetish for everyone taking their photos with shitty cameras built into mobile phones.

Sigh.. (1)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24056903)

As usual with lots of OSS projects, the device may be grand and all but there's little to no documentation about it in terms of marketing. Why would I want this? What applications does it come with? What do they look like? Can it play youtube videos? Can I listen to MP3 while I surf the web? Etc...

yoU insensi7ive clod! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24057139)

Be treated by your pracftical purposes,

Lacking (1)

speakerbomb (1319693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057147)

The website desperately needs more product screenshots, a downloadable video showing the OpenMoko in action, more helpful feature descriptions and an overall friendlier tone. I wanted to buy, I really did, but the website is a killjoy bigtime.

Alright fanboys, (1)

A3aan (1142205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24057331)

Put your money where you keyboard is! Personally, I don't have a keyboard. I prefer to dictate via windows vista, because I can.
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