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Trolltech Woos Developers with 'Open' Linux Phone

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the toys-for-penguins dept.

213

An anonymous reader writes "Trolltech, best known for its Qt graphics framework and toolkit that form the basis of KDE, will ship the Greenphone, an open Linux-based phone in September. The working GSM/GPRS mobile phone features a user-modifiable Linux OS, and is meant to jumpstart a third-party native application ecosystem for Linux-based mobile phones. Users will be able to re-flash the phone with modified Linux-based firmware, via a mini-USB port. The device is based on an unspecified Linux kernel along with Trolltech's Qtopia Phone Edition (QPE) application framework and mobile phone stack. Gosh, this has gotta be the perfect phone for KDE lovers!"

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213 comments

Wow... (1, Redundant)

welshsocialist (542986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910246)

It seems like there's a phone for everyone now...

Re:Wow... (0, Redundant)

tocs (866673) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910272)

Think this makes it a phone for supper geeks.

Re:Wow... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910296)

It seems like there's a phone for everyone now...

Think this makes it a phone for supper geeks.

There are phones with spell checkers for those you can't spell!
There are phone for those geeks that like to eat supper!
The parent is right, there are phones for everyone!

The mission is not complete (0, Redundant)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910336)

There may be a phone for everyone, but we don't yet have a phone for everything.

obligatory... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910253)

But does it run Linux...oh.

nevermind then.

No details (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910269)

Of course, there's no information about where in the world this will be available (although suggestions of both Aisa and the US) or how much it's going to cost you.

I'd like to get hold of one, but it looks like vapourware to me.

Re:No details (4, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910299)

It doesn't matter -- it's a development device intended for developers, not a product for the general public. You'll likely not be able to get hold of one... unless you have a Qtopia License and/or are an active developer.

--
Evan

Re:No details (2, Informative)

slashflood (697891) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910470)

t doesn't matter -- it's a development device intended for developers, not a product for the general public. You'll likely not be able to get hold of one... unless you have a Qtopia License and/or are an active developer.
It'll be available in September for about 690 USD [heise.de]. The Qtopia license is included.

Re:No details (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910549)

Yes, buying a Qtopia license will get you one -- after all, it's part of the QPE dev kit. Didn't mean to imply that you had to have a Qtopia license in the past to get one.

Actually, I've been curious as to if you get a dev license for Qtopia or just QPE. I've been ignoring the QPE stuff, and almost ignoring Qtopia; our shop only really uses Qt (although my iPaq runs Opie).

--
Evan

Re:No details (3, Informative)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910691)

For those of us whose German is rusty, I google-translated the page the Parent links to:

Trolltech places Linux mobile phone for developers forwards [updated]

Linux Anwendungsentwicklern for mobile telephones was missing so far a suitable hardware environment for the continuous tests during the development phase. At this gap to close Trolltech presented now the Qtopia Greenphone. Mobile phone is offered as part of the Qtopia Entwicklungsumgebung of the Norwegian enterprise and should be available starting from September for a price of presumably approximately 690 US Dollar. Trolltech is above all admits for the platform-spreading C++ Framework Qt, on which for instance the Unix/Linux Desktop KDE develops, and which development environment Qtopia for mobile devices.

In the package with the Qtopia Phone edition of the Trolltech SDK is to help that mobile phone to clearly shorten the development cycles for arbitrary uses of business applications up to plays. The Greenphone is equipped, among them also in addition with the today usual functions of a Smartphone a camera. Mobile phone can be taped over a mini USB haven directly with applications, which is Linux Kernel pre-installed.

The Greenphone is manufactured by Trolltechs Chinese partner Yahua Teltech. It is equipped with a dual core XScale processor with 312 MHz clock frequency of Marvell (before times Intel) and the baseband processor BCM2121 von Broadcom. Beside 64 MByte RAM 128 MByte Flash memory and a MiniSD Karteneinschub are available. The Touchscreen display offers QVGA dissolution. Beside GSM and GPRS the Greenphone supports also WiFi and is prepared owing to SIP middleware also for VoIP telephone calls.

Trolltech owes to manufacturers such as Motorola, ZTE and Cellon that world-wide already approximately 4 million mobile phones were sold, which are based on Qtopia. With the Greenphone, which is to become only the first model in a whole row, the Norwegians want to further set the spreading in motion of Linux mobile phones. Last Trolltech had announced in May in addition to aim at a stock exchange quotation which was in the meantime carried out.

Re:No details (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910437)

September is a "detail" in my opinion. Out of every possible day in the history and future of the world's timeline, "September" represents only a miniscule 30 days. Of course, they don't say if they mean September 2006 or not...

Skype (2, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910294)

Cool! Can it run Skype [skype.net]?

Re:Skype (1, Insightful)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910357)

It is much harder than you think. Running skype over wireless networks requires TCP/IP or its equivalent over CDMA/TDMA/ or GSM. Ever tried surfing the web on your cellphone? You need a faster processor, a fast network, and a router that knows what its doing.

Skype over wifi (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910636)

Using Skype over the cell network would be kinda pointless, even if it were possible, wouldn't it? But the point seems to be that the device supports Wifi, which is fast enough for Skype. So if the 312MHz CPU is fast enough, you could have one phone device which can use the regular cell network, but can also use Skype to avoid cellphone charges whenever you're somewhere that has decent Wifi - offices, college campuses, coffee shops, bookstores, wifi'd buildings, wifi'd neighborhoods...

Re:Skype (2, Informative)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910676)

Insightful? Geesh, someone read the article please. The 'phone' has builtin wifi and bluetooth radios too. So, to spell it out, it'll have a TCP/IP stack and IIRC it also already has a VOIP client kit installed but not sure if it's Skype compatible.

LoB

Re:Skype (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910706)

Ever tried surfing the web on your cellphone?


Yes. Almost daily in fact. It's a great way to help out during those boring commutes. Works quite well in fact. I'm using Nokia 9300 Communicator for it, although the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is better for the task.

SIP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910678)

Who cares? It's got SIP!

Trolltech I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

I fear it is destined for failure... (2, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910295)

Sounds like a nifty gadget. I want one, really. I'll take a dozen if they'll work with my provider. I break phones on a regular basis :(

Problem is, I just don't see these taking off. The big boys (Cingular/Verizon/Sprint) aren't going to want something like this on their lineup. What they'll see when they look at it is a massive increase in support calls as people flash their phones with something they downloaded of the interweb only to find out it's essentially spyware for a phone. The ability to flash a cell phone is downright frightening when I think about the sheer number of users I support who aren't capable of selecting the correct printer 30% of the time.

If these phones make it to market, expect to see the package offerings somehow disable their flash ability, or at least make it difficult to flash the phone and risk rendering it useless. That would be entirely too much of a headache for the providers.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910320)

Problem is, I just don't see these taking off. The big boys (Cingular/Verizon/Sprint) aren't going to want something like this

Of course it's destined for failure. Linux can't compare to the big boys! It's tooo complicated! Who's side are you on anyways? :-P

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (3, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910327)

Problem is, I just don't see these taking off. [...] If these phones make it to market

If they make it to market, then a mistake was made... these are for developers, not the market. These are a reference model for QPE (Qtopia Phone Edition).

--
Evan

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (3, Informative)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910330)

The mobile phone market in Europe is completely different from that in the US. Here it will have a chance. The subscriptions here are very much independant of the type of phone you use.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910333)

hey man. don't knock the printer thing. i cant select the correct printer ever. there are 10 in the office and the one i print to is always broke, jammed, or out of ink. why cant programs query the printer before they print. so the user can get their document faster. it would also be nice to know things like eta to finished printed document so if two printers have 20 pages printing and 1 pritns 4 pages a min and the other 6 pages a min i can get my document faster.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910440)

hey man. don't knock the printer thing. i cant select the correct printer ever. there are 10 in the office and the one i print to is always broke, jammed, or out of ink. why cant programs query the printer before they print. so the user can get their document faster. it would also be nice to know things like eta to finished printed document so if two printers have 20 pages printing and 1 pritns 4 pages a min and the other 6 pages a min i can get my document faster.

They can, most places never implement anything like this though. even CUPS has some pretty advanced features that I rarely see used.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910363)

If this phone went mass market, 99% of the people wouldn't even know what flash means, let alone try to reflash it. How many Grandma's out there reformat their PC and reinstall their OS?

It's also easy to disavow support if the software is modified, as in 'sure you can modify and reprogram this phone. your warranty and support is then null and void.' In other words, 'do this at your own risk'.

There are other reasons it might not make it, but yours isn't one of them.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910396)

Well, it's not intended for the mass market -- it's a reference implementation of the standard, a developer tool for testing. Somewhere out there you can buy Wii development hardware with flashable memory and all sorts of debuggers and such wired into it. I don't think that's comparable to what the Wii will be when it is released.

Presumably the actual mass market release will not have as malleable a system and be locked to a provider, etc. This, the phone intended for developers, isn't.

--
Evan

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

astralbat (828541) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910468)

If this phone went mass market, 99% of the people wouldn't even know what flash means, let alone try to reflash it. How many Grandma's out there reformat their PC and reinstall their OS?
But what's going to happen when enthusiasts get hold of it? They'll start developing cool, open source applications for the benefit of the masses.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

DumbRedGuy (218259) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910421)

It doesn't matter if the phone companies won't stock it. With Cingular, you can put your Cingular sim card into any GSM phone and use it right away. (...as long as it can operate on the frequencies used in North America. Usually these phones are called "Quadband", as opposed to Europe-only "Triband" GSM phones.) I think Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular all use a different network and their phones are incompatible.

You pay more because your phone isn't subsidized by your contract, but you get a nicer and more advanced phone without all the extra charges to use the phone's features.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910485)

"With Cingular, you can put your Cingular sim card into any GSM phone and use it right away"
you can put your sim card into any *unlocked* GSM phone. I can do the same with my T-mobile phone, the problem is unlocking the phone.

It's GSM. Stick your SIM card in it!... (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910526)

Or are you one of those "backwards" users stuck using CDMA and thus (in North America and most other CDMA-using places (except Korea)) locked by phone and provider?

One of GSM's major features (and less so in Korea) is that your subscriber info is stored in a tiny chip. That chip came on a credit card sized piece of plastic a la a "smart card" (if you've used GSM phones in the 90's, you'd know that there were phones that accepted the entire card as is). That chip enables you to take it out of your current GSM phone, buy a new phone (unlocked or same carrier), stick the chip in the new phone, and voila, you have a new phone, with your existing subscription info!

And look, you can get those 10 phones for $1 contract deals and use those chips in different phones than what was provided (depending on the provider, this route may be more economical than just buying the activation kit).

This is one reason why I went GSM looking for a new phone - so I can use it with my phone, but then stick it in a PC card modem when I wanted to use it with my computer. One subscription. Two devices. Only one can be used at a time, of course, but I have the freedom to change phones willy-nilly, or in this case, surf the web using the modem's faster GPRS modem. (The provider can tell, since the IMEI number changes, but there's little they can do).

Korea is special for CDMA because they force CDMA providers to do the same thing ("RUIM" cards) but in North America, most CDMA phones are locked and activated by carrier. But from what I can tell, Cingular and T-Mobile both provide GSM service, and thus would work just fine.

All you have to do is make sure the phone supports the frequencies of your local area. "Quadband" phones (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz) work pretty much anywhere. Triband phones are often 900, 1800 and 1900 and work in most places in North America (850 being the old AMPS frequency, and isn't in widespread use where a Triband phone will leave you stuck vs. a quadband phone).

Backwards is relative (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910782)

Or are you one of those "backwards" users stuck using CDMA and thus (in North America and most other CDMA-using places (except Korea)) locked by phone and provider?
The way CDMA is marketed in the U.S. may be "backwards" from a consumer choice perspective, but technology-wise, CDMA has a much better story for data services - 1xEV-DO, implemented by Verizon and others, can give DSL-like speeds, up to 700kbps, whereas GSM's GPRS and EDGE systems are still closer to dialup modem speeds, maxing out in practice under 200kbps. So for data, GSM is backwards right now.

Re:It's GSM. Stick your SIM card in it!... (1, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910852)

I stuck my SIM card in a Verizon phone once. It didn't work. GSM phones have to be unlocked before they'll work on any service but the provider that originally sold it.

You're missing the point. (1)

DCGregoryA (993060) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910573)

Corporate phones with customized features that suit the corporation, things of that nature.

I think if you're considering it for "Your average Joe", you're missing the point. Its for both Linux/mobile buzz and IMHO, where it will shine is for large corporations.

Lock-in (0)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910576)

More importantly, the service providers (especially Verizon) wouldn't want to allow people to mess with the phone because it would give them a chance to load software, ringtones, etc. themselves instead of paying exhorbitant prices to buy them from the provider.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910734)

I doubt it will show up in any provider's package offerings, so it won't go mass market that way. But it could go mass-market perfectly well as a device that users just buy and use with service bought separately. I mean, lots of people bought PDAs for a while, and lots of people buy mp3 players, and neither of these get packages offerings from anybody.

If the device comes with a CD of the original firmware, a bootloader that can't be modified and can reflash the firmware regardless of what you do to the device with software, and a good way of backing up your personal data before trying out potentially-broken firmware, I think it would be fine for the general public.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910750)

Problem is, I just don't see these taking off. The big boys (Cingular/Verizon/Sprint) aren't going to want something like this on their lineup


Maybe they will sell it in Europe, where the phone-market is less retarded than it is in USA? In Finland (for example), the operators have zero say as to what phone the customer uses. The customer buys a phone, and he subscribes to the cellphone-service separately. The user can change operators at will (and keep his number AND the phone, since it is, after all, his phone), and the phones are 100% uncrippled. Here, this phone (or something else like it) would just appear on store-shelves next to Nokias and the like. User buys it, and puts in his SIM-card and he's all set. No need to beg for the operator to allow him to use some specific phone.

Few years ago Benefon sold a phone which had slots for two SIM-cards, which meant that the user could switch networks at will. And there was nothing the operators could do about it.

To be honest, I find it quite surprising that consumers elsewhere put up with bundling of phones with service. Sure, it might SEEM like a good deal, but you get poor competition, crippled phones and the like in return.

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910767)

The phone itself is not destined to become a great success, but QTopia sees the various projects people are making in order to make an open source or free phone. They want to provide an attractive alternative to the phone companies should such open source projects gain a critical mass.

If a good platform is developed that is very modular and very compact (ie, add what hardware features you want, leave out what you don't) then one could make a good, marketable phone that has a slighter wider appeal than just geeks. Put that together with a flat rate data plan using VOIP for voice calls, and you'll suddenly expand your user base a magnitude or more.

I just got the Verizon xv6700 (the data evdo rate is significantly faster than tmobile's edge) and am reasonably happy with it - but it is terrible the way they cripple the platform - no java, no data access to a computer, etc. You can get around these things, but people want functionality for a low cost. Only teeny-boppers are willing to rent their ring tones, and as they age they are going to be less willing to do so (Let's see, eat ramen noodels for a month, or get rid of my ring tones). The current and next generations are already getting used to enabling phone features and getting things for free.

Most major cities have flat rate unlimited cell phone plans. We're going to see some drastic changes in the cell phone industry over the next 5 years.

This isn't the phone to get and use, but it is a start, and if priced cheaply ($500 or less including dev kit) then it could make significant inroads into the developer community.

-Adam

Re:I fear it is destined for failure... (2, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910776)

I don't think the intention is to have Average Joe/Joan flashing their phone with new kernels or apps. From what I see of what this is, it's a way for Trolltech to try and get some more apps and maybe some fixes to the phone stack they provide FROM DEVELOPERS. And if someone comes up with a multiplayer volleyball game which sucks up airtime/minutes/data then the carriers will be all over this as their profits go up.

I also think that this is more like a tech demo / dev kit than something to expect to see at Walmart. But it sure would be nice if the phone is of good quality such that the press gets ahold of this and praises it. I don't expect ZiffDavis/Cnet/etc to do anything but pan it but there are others who'll review it for what it is or can be.

And for goodness sake, I hope the PIM apps are opensource instead of closed like the Sharp Zaurus was. It'll do no good to have 4 different addressbooks for the thing and 8 different calendars. IMO.

LoB

If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (2, Insightful)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910302)

Wait, wait... How will the manufacturer get ridiculous fees for one of a kind chargers if it just uses a USB connection? If it's just a linux build, won't it make it easier for games & applications to be made? We would theoretically only have to buy games once, even if we reflash the rom. Quarter VGA touch screen? Now won't that make things easier?
It is based on a dual-core Marvell (formerly Intel) XScale processor clocked at 312MHz. It has 64MB of RAM, and 128MB of flash, expandable through a mini-SD card slot. ... The device also includes WiFi, and comes with SIP middleware supporting VoIP calls.
Now hold on a second. This means, if it works right you could use your cell phone to make voip calls via your home wifi connection (or your neighbor's). I don't get it... This just makes sense. Why would the phone companies cooperate? Oh wait, they don't have to. We have the money they want.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (3, Informative)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910381)

Cell phone companies don't need to cooperate, this phone is being released as part of a development kit (look, it's even under the developer's section of /.). You buy it then put your sim card in. It'll probably cost a lot of money because of the lack of a network provider to pay for most of it.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (2, Interesting)

Uncle_Al (115529) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910427)

Now hold on a second. This means, if it works right you could use your cell phone to make voip calls via your home wifi connection
Sadly the article is mistaken. There is no wifi [qtdeveloper.net] in the greenphone.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910483)

Then it's probably not worth owning. I refuse to spend money on a mobile phone unless it comes with WiFi. So far I've had a long wait, although I hope to own the new SonyEricsson P990 at some point.

Seriously though, why make something without WiFi? I want connectivity on a phone, especially if it's going to run the same OS as my laptop and router.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (2, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910688)

I just shelled out around $600 for a Nokia E70. [nokia.com] It's got wifi and sip software on, bluetooth and the usual PDA functionality. In addition, T-Mobile has an unlimited GPRS data service for another $30 a month on top of your current bill (That also gets you access to T-Mobile hotspots.) The phone is unlocked so I can take it from cell provider to cell provider. I haven't tried installing Asterisk on my OpenWRT wifi router yet, since I need more space than the router has for voicemail, but if all I needed was VOIP call routing, the router would be a neat option.

When I'm at home, the phone registers as an extension on my Asterisk server with its sip software. When someone calls me, the asterisk server rings the phone plugged into my computer and the Nokia simultaneously. If I don't pick up after a few rings, it initates a cellular call and tries to patch the call through to my cell number. Finally it drops into voice mail (I Had T-Mobile turn my voicemail box off so asterisk could handle the voice mail.)

The phone does have a couple of quirks. It seems that I have to turn it off and back on when I get home for it to register on my wifi network correctly. I also have to toggle it to make an internet call -- it doesn't seem to have an option to default to Internet calls and only use the cell network if sip software isn't connected. Those are just software problems which Nokia will hopefully overcome.

So if you want a smartphone that's actually smart and you want it now, you might want to start checking out the European market. They're way ahead of what we have here in the USA and the phone seems to work quite happily on the US network. I just slapped my SIM card in and was ready to go.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910747)

Good thing I'm in the UK! Sounds like you've got a sweet setup there, just the type of thing I'm holding out for.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910611)

Wait, wait... How will the manufacturer get ridiculous fees for one of a kind chargers if it just uses a USB connection?

FYI, the Motorola RAZR (a really common phone) charges using a USB (mini-B) port. Of course, a charger comes with the phone anyway...

As for the rest of what you said about lock-in to the service provider (as opposed to the hardware manufacturer), I completely agree. It'll never take off in the US because of that, unfortunately.

Re:If it works, it sounds great. Quad Band? (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910641)

The way cell phone sales go currently is that just about nobody actually goes out and buys a cell phone. What people do is get a package deal on a cell phone plus service, where there's not much up-front cost, and they make up the cost of the device from the price of the service (which is spread out over time). In this case, chances are that the providers won't carry these, so customers would have to actually buy an expensive phone themselves, with a high up-front cost and probably no discount on service.

On the other hand, it's a perfectly reasonable device for Trolltech to produce, and they're not going to pull the usual annoying tricks because they're going for a savvy market segment and they know their device is not competitive on price. The phone companies only cooperate to the extent that they let people use GPRS/GSM modules with their networks; they're not going to be any more or less supportive of this than of GSM PCMCIA cards for laptops. Just because the system is presented to the user as a cell phone instead of a laptop or a PDA doesn't mean that the phone company has anything to do with it.

GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910303)

If only it had GPS hardware built in.

Re:GPS (2, Interesting)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910412)

It would not be hard to make a program for a device like this that talked to a GPS receiver. I bet there are several compatible programs already out there that could be ported over.

Re:GPS (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910800)

A lot of those "GPS" phones don't use the GPS satellites at all, they just triangulate your position using cell towers. All mobile phones can do this but only a handful allow the user to get to the data.

Carriers won't stock it (0)

Aurix (610383) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910305)

Yeah sure, a nix phone, with KDE, great idea. But what's this "user modifiable" stuff? That pretty much guarantees carriers won't sell it. Can you imagine trying to support it when little Johnny can't make a call out?

Re:Carriers won't stock it (2, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910345)

It doesn't have KDE... it has Qtopia, or QPE (Qtopia Phone Edition) to be specific. Very different from KDE.

--
Evan

Re:Carriers won't stock it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910791)

Can you imagine trying to support it when little Johnny can't make a call out?

Can you imagine trying to support it when little Johnny can't be billed for every nitpicking little feature on the phone that you want him to pay to unlock?

For the lack of the ability to nickel and dime customers alone, you'll see service providers not just avoid supporting or selling these. I'd wager they actively block them and set up TOS banning them. Get a cell phone with truly useable jabber (i.e. the phone can notify you when you receive a message through the data connection) instead of be billed for every little SMS you send and receive? Heresy!

Phone companies make tons of money on all the little fees and services they charge you for. The more they're marginalized as just providing us the connection, the more you're going to see them fight devices like this. It's time for cell phones to just run an encrypted voice conversation over a data connection. It's time to just use a person's e-mail address to dial them via VoIP. Why can't we do it? Because phone companies can't bill for every step of the way if they're just passing generic data regardless instead of controlling every discrete feature.

While I would love a phone like this, I have a feeling it's going to be rough getting them out there. Of course, once stuff like this becomes the easy-to-use standard and just sends everything as generic data, that's when the really 21st century stuff will start happening in mobile communications.

Until then, if the phone's not just a brick that providers try to treat like a traditional house phone with no wire, they won't want it on their network.

The interesting possible uses thread (3, Insightful)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910315)

Keep adding to this.

Automatic encryption of calls.
Powerful scripting: at [date], call [number], playback [message1], record [message2]...
Lots of games.
It does run Linux!

Why green? (1)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910317)

It's not like the phone is environmentally friendly, but I guess they're trying to insinuate that it's good for the [software] environment.

The irony would be if this phone were released in the US bound to a single carrier.

-- n

Re:Why green? (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910379)

Considering it's a reference implementation, not an actual product, it makes sense to use the color as a version. Greenphone, a la Redbook (CD-audio standard). It makes it easy to refer to it in testing situations, which is what this phone is intended for (it's not a phone for users, just developers).

--
Evan

Jack of all trades... (0)

NETHED (258016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910332)

...master of none.

This phone looks like it trys to do everything. WiFi, GPRS, and make phone calls too. The battery life on it will be HORRIBLE, or it will be huge, quite possibly both. I had two Sharp Zauruses, (Zauri?) and I tried using the Qtopia desktop on both. No, I have not tried a recent version of it, but the version I used was NOT ready for a generic user, much less in a semi-mission critical application like a cellphone.

I see this crashing and burning. No consumer (read "average 20 something") will want this. It just doesn't look good, and the OS doesn't inspire confidence.

Re:Jack of all trades... (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910366)

How can you conclude all this from what you've read? Besides, Joe User doesn't give a rat's ass about the OS the thing runs on. If it looks cool and has nice features, he'll buy it. so what's your problem?

Re:Jack of all trades... (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910436)

Read the damn article. It's not available for "average 20 something" -- it includes *all* features because it's the developer's reference, and they need all the available features so they can develop for and test them. You won't be able to buy it alone... it's part of the Qtopia Phone Edition development kit. They will not, nor are they intending, to sell this to any member of the general public: This is for developers only; it is part of their developer kit.

--
Evan

Cool, but useless IRL (2, Insightful)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910349)

From TFA: The Greenphone appears to be a working GSM/GPRS mobile phone

However, the important (and missing) bit of information here is, which carriers will let you use it? Around here (Arizona, USA) its all but impossible to get a carrier to take a phone you didn't purchase from them, even when it is locked up and in essence still 'owned' by them.

Who's going to let me use a phone they not only aren't making a profit from, but don't control and can't use as a lock-in tool to increase the hassle factor of changing providers? No one, and this device, for as cool as it is, will be useless as a result.

By all means though, if you can find evidence anywhere that any US carrier will accept this phone without 6 months of battle against staff trained to say it is "not compatable with our network"; I'd really love to be wrong.

~Rebecca

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (1)

mortalic (534464) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910368)

I might be wrong though I'm somewhat sure I'm not, but if it's GSM can't you just buy it and sign up with any GSM carrier? Please correct the newb

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910408)

It's a GSM phone, which means that if you buy the phone outright, and then get your phone company (in this case, Cingular or T-Mobile) to give you just the SIM card, then you can use any phone you want. Literally, they won't even know it's theirs. I had an old Nokia text-mode phone that I hadn't bothered throwing out... just for the hell of it, I tried taking out my current SIM card and putting it in the old phone, and it worked perfectly.

Even if the company forces you to buy one of their phones, just take the free one, and then take the SIM card out of that phone and put it in yours.

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (1)

zolon (605240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910471)

Do what I do with T-Mobile.

TMobile - What kind of phone do you have?
Me - I-Mate SP3
TMobile - We don't support that phone.
Me - oh, sorry. It's a TMobile SDA.
TMobile - You just said it was a...
Me - I know I know. Close enough, anyways.

If the SIM card works in the phone, they can't stop you from using it.

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910498)

These are intended for the phone companies themselves. This is the development model to allow, say, Verizon to stamp their preferences and apps onto it. It is also for companies that develop cell phone applications. It's only available as part of the development kit... not for general use. That said, if you pop your SIM card in, it will likely work. Developer's reference models tend to be very non-carrier specific. Of course, you'll be gambling on that and also getting a phone that isn't intended for use by actual users.

Your call.

--
Evan "I wrote this just for that pun"

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910515)

If you are talking about GSM phones, then just swapping sim cards in should work fine, just so long as the phone you are swapping into is not locked.

For CDMA, any provider should be willing to take the phone, unless they are complete jerks! It sounds like you might be in that situation. Interoperability is one of the few advantages of GSM over CDMA.

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910618)

... that makes no sense. If they use GSM and are using SIM cards, they have no choice. You put the SIM into the phone and that's it. I've used countless unlocked phones with my cingular plan that I never purchased from them, and they were never aware I owned. I've also given old phones to my girlfriend many times, and she's done the same.

Re:Cool, but useless IRL (2, Informative)

hankwang (413283) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910813)

used countless unlocked phones with my cingular plan that I never purchased from them, and they were never aware I owned.
Technically, GSM providers do know whether you use the original phone. Each handset has an identification number (the IMEI number [wikipedia.org]) that you usually can retrieve by punching in the code *#06#. The phone sends the IMEI number to the network whenever it is switched on. The provider can - in theory - use the IMEI information to block stolen phones or to ensure that SIMs are only used with the original handset. AFAIK not much is done with the IMEI numbers over here in the Netherlands, apart from an occasional experiment to flood stolen handsets with text messages "This phone is stolen" and to prove that a suspect was at the place of a crime when he thought he was smart by changing the SIM chip.

um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910669)

it's for development.
De-VE-LOP-MENT...

Get it?

SHeesh. Besides what to you care? I'm sure there is a phone in the kithen.

Buda-bing.

Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910351)

If only it had a keyboard. I have been looking for a non-vaporware phone that I can develop my own applications for for quite some time now. There are many possibilities.. But lacking a keyboard(thumbpad style is fine), I don't see this particular model as being very useful.

touchscreen (1)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910409)

It has a touchscreen. You could write your own keyboard app, assuming it doesn't already have one.

Re:touchscreen (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910451)

Touchscreen keyboards don't take the place of thumb keyboards unless you rarely need a keyboard at all (then T9 works). Furthermore, they take up precious screen real estate. Besides, why doesn't this device come with one already?

Re:Keyboard (1)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910497)

Keyboard? It's got bluetooth. You can use a bluetooth keyboard with it if you really want it to be a PC.

I just want it to be a phone. I'm glad it doesn't have a keyboard. I'd even be glad to ditch the camera.

KDE lovers? (0, Flamebait)

thedak (833551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910356)

"Gosh, this has gotta be the perfect phone for KDE lovers!" All 6 of them? Karma--;

Does anyone get it? (3, Informative)

TheRunningBoard (727291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910390)

All the comments about carriers not supporting it, or not feeling like they will start selling seems to be missing the point. The phone's primary purpose is to be sold as a development environment, along with Qtopia a license to spur development of 3rdbased party applications to run on Linux mobile devices. Trolltech does not appear to have any desire to partner wtih Verizon, or Sprint or anyone to sell this to consumers. Maybe I am wrong, but this is how I read it. It is called the Greenphone because that fits nice wtih Trolltech's marketed image they have been building over recent years.

Re:Does anyone get it? (1)

outlineblue (472351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910586)

The beauty of GSM is that, whatever the phone, as long as it works on the frequency used by the carrier, is that you just buy a SIM card from the carrier and plug it into the phone and voila, no problem. Of course, here in North America, we are being screwed over since the phones the carriers sell you are locked to their network, but that has brought along a nice buisness of unlocking phones making them able to function on any network.

Verizon, Sprint or whoever will never support the phone, or sell it in their stores since they wouldn't be able to lock it. But that doesn't stop you from using it.

For goodness sake, actually READ the article (5, Insightful)

IEEEmember (610961) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910435)

The phone will not be available standalone, but rather as part of a development kit. The kit will be offered under separate licensing terms to open source developers, educational institutions, "major" software vendors, and to "phone designers and manufacturers," Trolltech says.
Comment: No carrier is going to stock this phone.
Answer: This phone isn't intended for commercial use. It sales will be limited. It is intended to allow developers to create content so that when real phone manufacturers consider QPE there is a suite of software to make it competitive.

Comment: Carriers won't allow this phone on their network.
Answer: It is a GSM phone. If it is certified, it will work on GSM networks.

Comment: Users will screw up their phone reflashing it.
Answer: It isn't intended for the average Joe cell phone user, it is intended for developers.

Comment: "Jack of all trades" ...
Answer: For a development platform having all the functionality you may need to test against is critical. Actual real world usefulness, not so much. This phone could be considered as a piece of test equipment, the fact that it looks like a phone is probably just to spur innovation.

Re:For goodness sake, actually READ the article (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910663)

Thank you... as you can tell, I tried to pepper the discussion with this info. Nice summation.

--
Evan

No WIFI (1)

devils_taco (827882) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910456)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I couldn't find any specs which say this phone will actually have wifi built in. Only GSM/GPRS.

Re:No WIFI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910492)

You are wrong, it states int eh article that it has wifi, and bluetooth

Re:No WIFI (1)

Uncle_Al (115529) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910599)

You are wrong, it states int eh article that it has wifi
Well, if it is in the article that doesn't make it right...see here from at the source [qtdeveloper.net]

Carriers (1)

musawilliams (750285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910503)

Anyone in the states who buys the phone just needs to make sure that the phone is either quad band or, if it is a tri-band only, make sure that the area you are in has the 1900MHz coverage and pop your SIM in. Once that's done, there may be an issue configuring voicemail, WAP configs and the like but that's a 2 minute job. Course this requires one of the GSM based carriers (Stingular or T-Mobile).

My only beef with the linux based phones is the lack of useful apps (yeah, like spell-check). I own the Motorola e680i which is a good phone to listen to radio or mp3s but as far as business apps go, the choices are non existent.

Re:Carriers (2, Insightful)

TheRunningBoard (727291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910597)

My only beef with the linux based phones is the lack of useful apps (yeah, like spell-check). I own the Motorola e680i which is a good phone to listen to radio or mp3s but as far as business apps go, the choices are non existent
That is the reason they are releasing this phone and development environment.

exactly which parts are open source? (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910627)

Except for the components that interface with the baseband processor, everything in Qtopia Phone Edition necessary to develop applications is available under an open source license
I'm a little worried about that "except"; does this mean they're using a kernel with proprietary drivers?

Cell Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910680)

All the new cellphones coming out trying to be Video Game Centre/PCs/iPods/Cameras.

The fact is- they don't do any of the above tasks as well as the real thing.

I wish phone companies would work on improving reliability and lowering the cost of the phone rather than adding a bunch of mediocre "add-ons".

Seems phone companies have lost touch with the people that want to use their phone to talk to people.

Developers! Developers! Developers! (4, Insightful)

jtwronski (465067) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910751)

Ok, I want one. I don't care if its meant for the "masses" or not.

Trolltech is making a smart move here. Once these phones are sold out, and nerds everywhere are hacking on it, they'll have a ton of good software to choose from when they start pushing their stack onto the major carriers.

Here's what I want:

1. Apt. I want to fire up a telephone version of synaptic (on my phone and/or my computer) and have debian style repositories to pick and choose from for software.

2. Real calendar/todo/whatever syncing with Evolution/Kontact. My current Sony/Ericsson Z520a can do this pretty well over bluetooth with multisync, but its not perfect, and the native PIM software on the phone blows goats.

3. Nethack. Had to say it :)

4. SSH - no nerd is complete with a ssh terminal in front of them at any time. Sadly, that includes me.

5. A stable API for companies like Opera, Yahoo, AOL, etc. to port their software to.

6. Push style email would be nice, but then Trolltech would get sued, a la RIM.

Dual core? (1)

WouldIPutMYRealNameO (874377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910799)

I work with the latest Xscale stuff, and I've never heard of a dual-core Xscale. Either Marvell have done major work in the last few months to make a PXA chip dual core, or there is some sort of marketing goof here.
ARM does design some multi-core chips for their very cutting edge stuff, but PXA chips are not doing that.

I'd love to get some links to this "dual-core Xscale" if I am wrong though!

Cheers
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