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Old 02-15-2007, 07:01 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Open source Linux phone will beat iPhone to market

FIC's Neo 1973 phone will go on sale for $350 online starting March 11, 2007 and has already shipped for free to prominent open source developers. It is hoped to be an iPhone killer. More phones in this family are expected to become available in the future.

The hardware is GPS enabled, and has no keypad. It is quad-band GSM/GPRS and will charge via the USB cable. The first model will not have wi-fi or bluetooth, but "is based on a Samsung S3C2410 SoC (system-on-chip) application processor, powered by an ARM9 core" and has 128 meg plus 64meg flash and a 64MB MicroSD card. The touchscreen is VGA 2.8-inch, which is quite high resolution for a phone.

Despite the "1973" model designation, this phone seems thoroughly modern! Read more at LinuxDevices.
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:43 AM   #2
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It lacks one important detail: the Apple trademark. I already lost count of all the so-called iPod killers out there.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:30 AM   #3
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Thoroughly modern - and thoroughly ugly.
(Not that I'm interested in all singing and dancing phones anyway. All I need from a mobile is phone calls and texting.)
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:38 AM   #4
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OpenMoko open-source Linux software platform

The FIC Neo1973 is the first phone to run the OpenMoko software platform. This platform is Linux based. You can find the OpenMoko wiki here.

This page tells what OpenMoko is intended to do -- be the first open-source GSM phone software stack. They say, "OpenMoko is supposed to run on all kinds of Linux-capable mobile phones. The first fully supported OpenMoko phone is the FIC Neo1973." Also see here for inside and outside photos of the Neo1973.

Interestingly, under the section Applications/Reader, there is the skeleton of a set of design criteria for the e-reader software. See here for details. You may want to contribute. I entered some of my thoughts about file format support.

As this software platform runs on a capable processor and has a PDA-sized screen (VGA 640x480, 2.8") one might consider it as a software platform for an e-reader. I wonder if there is a company out there who is thinking of building a generic reader hardware unit. At US$350 for the Neo1973, some of us might want to pick one up to use as just that.

The idea of an open-source embedded linux platform for small devices is not unique to OpenMoko. See here for more similar approaches. The beauty of the Neo1973 is that it is designed from the ground up to be open and hackable. Are you listening iRex?

Last edited by mogui; 02-22-2007 at 02:56 AM.
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:25 PM   #5
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FBReader can probably be made to work on the Neo 1973. See FBReader for OpenMoko on FBReader's Google Group.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:50 PM   #6
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Latest news from Linux Devices, is that the "mass market phase" is now set for September with a "hacker's lunchbox" in March. This includes a link to the 50-slide presentation by Sean Moss-Pultz and Mickey Lauer at the O'Reilly's "Etel" (emerging telephony) conference, which is the basis for the updated time line.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:54 AM   #7
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As much as I love Apple and as much I apreciate the free linux devers challanging the big ones I must say that Alex is right. IPod should be dead by now, after all these anoucements. Another good example is Nintendos Gameboy. Take a look at the handhelt history and there's no reason why that dull, little, greyscreen thnigy was number one - despite Tetris (its killerapp) and good promotion. Both is always missing on free projects and so only the geeks know about. Even the gamepark devices, that are open source and beat every gameboy by far considering the techside, failed to attract broad masses - and they do promote quite heavily.

Seems to be the same as with big artists and bands: If you got a name everyone knows you and no matter what you do, they like it. If not... welll... you get lost.

I am quite keen to see the final device, though. Apple limited its iPhone right from the start and I hope that this is not the case with this device and hopefully it will work with my mac.
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
It lacks one important detail: the Apple trademark. I already lost count of all the so-called iPod killers out there.
...and they're all dead!

--ryan
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:26 PM   #9
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iphone sales seem not to have been effected...

-bowerbird
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:56 PM   #10
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They did not beat the iPhone to market, but it is now available. See iPhone-like Linux phone ready for hackers from LinuxDevices or go directly to openmoko.com.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:39 AM   #11
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i wish them the best of luck, but they're
up against a whole bunch of juggernauts.

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