Posted by: Sam Carson | 9 July, 2007

OpenMoko, the Linux/Open Source Phone

I’m clearly showing my inner geek, but I am becoming more and more excited about the prospect of the OpenMoko Neo 1973 mobile phone. By looking at the OpenMoko web site alone, we see it’s the anti-iPhone, and is the start of a new, mobile, open source movement. And it goes on sale today for $300USD for the base model ($450 for the developer kit).

The Register summarizes why this is an exciting idea:

While the hardware may be similar, the strategy is a complete reversal of Apple’s closed platform and proprietary hardware. OpenMoko is an open Linux-based mobile application development platform that’s designed to help operators and developers build innovative applications on top of a basic phone platform.

So, that means less control by the phone manufacturer and wireless service provider.

The philosophy behind OpenMoko is interesting – by providing capable hardware, with a good UI and basic software, the project intends to quickly build a library of available applications. Existing Linux code can be ported to OpenMoko, while an SDK means that existing development tools (and skills) can be used to create new phone-centric applications.

Their tag line is perfect: Free your phone.



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