Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Jan 2007 23:47 UTC, submitted by alcibiades
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "This may seem like a bold statement. Apple's just released iPhone is not only very attractive as we would expect from an Apple product, but includes some impressive features and specifications. It's probably unrealistic to claim that anything currently available on the market competes with this offering. However, is it really a revolution in mobile communication devices? Maybe not if there still is something that can overshadow it, and do it very soon."
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certainly looks better
by Terracotta on Wed 17th Jan 2007 00:12 UTC
Terracotta
Member since:
2005-08-15

than the one I saw:
http://tweakers.net/nieuws/45921/Eerste-samples-open-Linux-telefoon...

This one actually looks cool. The green one looks out-dated.

Reply Score: 1

actually
by broken_symlink on Wed 17th Jan 2007 00:32 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

i think the nokia e61 is very close to the iphone. sure it doesn't have a touch screen or camera, but it has the rest and a qwerty keyboard. the browser is also built off of webkit. the openmoko looks cool though. i'm kinda glad that the phones are doing away with keyboards and adding touchscreens. i personally think the scroll thingy on the e61 is annoying to use when you have to go through a bunch of screens. but i wish they just incorporate both like the treo does.

Reply Score: 1

OpenMoko <= 2.5G
by ormandj on Wed 17th Jan 2007 00:36 UTC
ormandj
Member since:
2005-10-09

The biggest issue I see with the OpenMoko is the fact that it will be 2.5G at best (plain GPRS, not even EDGE). What's the point of such a fancy phone with such slow network access?

From their site: http://www.openmoko.com/press/index.html#preliminary_specification

Hardware

* 120.7 x 62 x 18.5 (mm)
* 2.8" VGA (480x640) TFT Screen
* Samsung s3c2410 SoC
* Global Locate AGPS chip
* Ti GPRS (2.5G not EDGE)
* Unpowered USB 1.1
* Touchscreen
* micro-sd slot
* 2.5mm audio jack
* 2 buttons
* 1200 mAh battery (charged over USB)
* 128 MB SDRAM
* 64 MB NAND Flash

Reply Score: 4

RE: OpenMoko <= 2.5G
by butters on Wed 17th Jan 2007 01:10 UTC in reply to "OpenMoko <= 2.5G"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

You know, I completely agree with Eugenia on this issue of smartphones and their network connectivity. That is, all of the current cellular data networks are painfully slow, costly, and locked-down--and that encouraging the build-out of wifi/802.11 networks it the only clear path to a wireless data utopia.

Putting out smartphones that become more than 10x slower when they stray too far from a WAP is a good step. If a lot of people have these kind of phones that support wifi but not the under-built 3G networks, eventually these high-end customers will drive demand for wifi build-out.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: OpenMoko <= 2.5G
by ormandj on Wed 17th Jan 2007 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE: OpenMoko <= 2.5G"
ormandj Member since:
2005-10-09

You know, I would completely agree as well, except not all of us live in the USA, and even some of us that do travel abroad.

However, my point was merely the phone has *no* good network connectivity. I didn't even see 802.11x in the specifications.

EDGE is usable to me in Hawaii, 3G is more than usable for me throughout a lot of Europe. I'd be happy with Wifi and EDGE, if nothing else.

I mostly use data for email, not much else. EDGE is plenty fast for that kind of usage. Yeah, it's not great for surfing and sending huge files around, but I have no intention of doing that on a tiny little phone, regardless.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: OpenMoko <= 2.5G
by atomicplayboy on Wed 17th Jan 2007 02:47 UTC in reply to "RE: OpenMoko <= 2.5G"
atomicplayboy Member since:
2006-04-28

EVDO is pretty quick on Sprint, and not very expensive. Makes the Treo 700p a joy to use. Locked down? Probably. I haven't run into any issues yet, but I've mainly only done web on it. Part of the speed issue comes from the devices themselves, though. If you've ever used builtin wifi on most PDA's, a lot of it comes down to rendering/parsing time.

Wifi is far from the simple answer that everyone makes it out to be. It's quite tough and costly to saturate an area with a reliable network, and that cost is either going to be passed on to you by the companies who roll it out, or to your taxes by municipal wifi projects.

Municipal wifi is great and all (I wouldn't mind my tax dollars going towards this), but I don't think it will ever become mainstream in the US. There's just too much pressure from the telecomms and mobicomms (not to mention cable operators, satelite [the one's who aren't all the same company, anyway] and anyone else who makes money off of the transmission of data) for this to get off the ground. I fear that wifi will always remain a niche technology.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: OpenMoko <= 2.5G
by butters on Wed 17th Jan 2007 03:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OpenMoko <= 2.5G"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Agreed. The only reason we have the Internet is because the "comms" didn't realize how important digital communication would become. I fear that all wireless data networks will remain niche technologies, or at least carved up by geography and corporate interests.

Reply Score: 2

Maybe it's me...
by The Baron on Wed 17th Jan 2007 01:18 UTC
The Baron
Member since:
2005-07-06

but calling the iPhone just released is really off base. Just announced yes, but the only way the iPhone is just released is if they are posting that from 6 months in the future.

Reply Score: 5

Wi-fi...
by hobgoblin on Wed 17th Jan 2007 01:58 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have spent some days watching the openmoko mailing list, And there are already people talking about add-on's. I think one is a wi-fi attachment of some sort. No hard plans yet. but as this phone have a (unpowered) usb port, it can in theory use existing wi-fi chips and a battery pack of some sort. Maybe a sleeve or similar?

Browser: Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/3.0.6540/1558; nb; U; ssr)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wi-fi...
by atomicplayboy on Wed 17th Jan 2007 02:51 UTC in reply to "Wi-fi..."
atomicplayboy Member since:
2006-04-28

It's always good to have phone add-on's that make the phone more awkard to handle. I don't even like having a dongle sticking out of my laptop, and I don't keep that in my pocket.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wi-fi...
by hobgoblin on Wed 17th Jan 2007 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Wi-fi..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i dont know if you read that sleeve part...

as in, it would hardly stick out at all, it would be like a extra layer around the phones back area most likely.

i recall a IPAQ pda having a similar system to enable it to connect to GSM phone networks some years back.

and with a seperate power supply for wifi, the phone would still be operational when the wifi is drained...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wi-fi...
by atomicplayboy on Wed 17th Jan 2007 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wi-fi..."
atomicplayboy Member since:
2006-04-28

With a phone, sometimes even the slightest bit of bulk can make the device cumbersome. You have to figure that this is something that most people will want to put in their pocket. Add to that the need to carry around extra peripherals and it becomes even worse.

I had a Handspring Visor back when the company had just started. It was great to have a PDA that had room for expansion. Some of the peripherals didn't even add any bulk. I ended up leaving the modem in it at all times, and left the rest at home. It was just too much of a bother to carry around multiple perhipherals.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wi-fi...
by hobgoblin on Wed 17th Jan 2007 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Wi-fi..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

im double posting because i cant edit in a example (20 min gone):

http://www.mobiletechreview.com/tips/ipaq_sleeves.htm

this shows what i hope will be the solution.

and this may even solve stuff like camera and other "missing" functions. and with a camera that have its own power supply, one could get a proper flash even ;)

sure it adds to the bulk of the device but there is always a cost to flexibility...

Reply Score: 2

In sweden all major operators build out 3G
by riha on Wed 17th Jan 2007 02:26 UTC
riha
Member since:
2006-01-24

So, phones that does not handle 3G is nothing these days.

Sure, kids will use them, but not people that needs them in work.

Reply Score: 2

Wiki page
by PowerMacX on Wed 17th Jan 2007 04:00 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

Linuxtogo wiki has this to say in their MoKo/iPhone wiki comparison page:

Software
[iPhone]
Basic PDA + PMP software included. Software can only be created by authorized companies ( Source)
[MoKo] Basic PDA included. Software can be created by normal users.


Now, I as probably every developer out there hate the idea of the iPhone adopting the iPod development model (only accessible to large companies), but claiming that "Software can be created by normal users." in the case of the MoKo phone is a bit optimistic... ;-)

http://www.linuxtogo.org/gowiki/OpenMoko/iPhone

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wiki page
by hobgoblin on Wed 17th Jan 2007 09:45 UTC in reply to "Wiki page"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

sure, normal users may not be a bit optimistic. but that depends on the definition of normal...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wiki page
by Sphinx on Wed 17th Jan 2007 15:19 UTC in reply to "Wiki page"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I'm relatively mutation free and would likely write something for it. Isn't the goal of IT really to empower everyone to make their ideas happen? Doesn't have to be C, could be something like hypercard or notes or flash or higher even.

Reply Score: 2

Sweet
by Sphinx on Wed 17th Jan 2007 04:05 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Is it priced under $700?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sweet
by the_leander on Wed 17th Jan 2007 11:25 UTC in reply to "Sweet"
the_leander Member since:
2005-07-01

@Sphinx

From what I've seen they're aiming to sell this at around the $350 mark.

That's just the phone - no sim card or network tie in. Which imho isn't that bad really.

Personally I intend to get one of these.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sweet
by Sphinx on Wed 17th Jan 2007 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Sweet"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I'd jump at $350 right now for an open platform with an SDK, truly a bargain. Thought $700 for the green trolltech linux phone was way out of range. This is a much better looking product, great screenshots linked to in the article, got that ubuntu motif thing going for it, very nicely done. Can't figure out where the two buttons are, looks like there might be room for a D-pad at the bottom?

Reply Score: 2

no wifi or 3G - BUT
by scooviduvoctagon on Wed 17th Jan 2007 04:18 UTC
scooviduvoctagon
Member since:
2007-01-16

... come on people - this is a COMPLETELY OPEN SMART-PHONE we're talking about here! Take a moment to consider what a huge feature that is, and how disruptive this will be after a years worth of momentum. This is the first rollout. The next version, which will begin to be developed soon as the first one is released, will have wifi and likely 3G, maybe even a camera as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: no wifi or 3G - BUT
by Cloudy on Wed 17th Jan 2007 05:56 UTC in reply to "no wifi or 3G - BUT"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Take a moment to consider what a huge feature that is, and how disruptive this will be after a years worth of momentum.

Tiny feature, not at all disruptive.

OpenMoko isn't available yet, and all of the major cellphone makers already have Linux plans in the work, in addition to which there are at least four players providing Linux-based alternatives to OpenMoko in various states from shipping to "available real soon now."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: no wifi or 3G - BUT
by alcibiades on Wed 17th Jan 2007 07:04 UTC in reply to "RE: no wifi or 3G - BUT"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Tiny Feature....

Yes, as an end user feature its nothing, just like "licensed under the GPL is nothing" for most end users. But the features that it gives rise to, like the availability of apps, the lack of constraints, are huge. Just like increasingly the ability to install it on as many machines as you want and not have WGA or similar checking up on you as you do it: that too is huge.

And getting bigger all the time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: no wifi or 3G - BUT
by Cloudy on Wed 17th Jan 2007 07:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: no wifi or 3G - BUT"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Yes, as an end user feature its nothing, just like "licensed under the GPL is nothing" for most end users. But the features that it gives rise to, like the availability of apps, the lack of constraints, are huge

To the end user, to the developer, to the carrier, to the ODM, it's nothing.

Look at the impact that Linux has not had on the PDA space, even though it's been around on the Zaurus for years.

Now imagine it having less than a tenth that impact on the cellspace because it's even more difficult to be a player in the cell market than it is in the PDA market.

Then realize that that the tenth is going to be split among a dozen players all wanting to be the linux cellphone provider.

OpenMoko isn't a drop in a bucket, it's a drop in a 50,000 gallon storage tank.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: no wifi or 3G - BUT
by renox on Wed 17th Jan 2007 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE: no wifi or 3G - BUT"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

>Tiny feature, not at all disruptive.

For the features, it has GPS (nice!) and removable batteries which iPhone won't have: a device which doubles as a phone and a music player *must* have removable batteries, otherwise you don't dare using it as a music player for fear of loosing the phone functionality.

For the being not disruptive part, I agree: open source dev haven't shown that they could produce a software system as polished as Apple do.

Reply Score: 2

It's a version of the Mac Mouse
by tyrione on Wed 17th Jan 2007 04:37 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

on the bottom side.

Reply Score: 1

Apple's phone is obsolete
by rover on Wed 17th Jan 2007 04:43 UTC
rover
Member since:
2005-08-07

It's probably unrealistic to claim that anything currently available on the market competes with this offering.

Only someone either completely disconnected from reality or in Apple's marketing department payroll could have said that.

I'm not saying it won't sell. But if you think Apple's phone is somewhat unique or revolutionary you know jackshit about mobile phones.

"an overpriced, underpowered, over-hyped, vendor-locked in, beautifuly designed and easy to use Apple device..."

Someone posted that here a couple of days ago and I liked his description.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Apple's phone is obsolete
by yak8998 on Wed 17th Jan 2007 06:18 UTC in reply to "Apple's phone is obsolete"
yak8998 Member since:
2006-07-28

"easy to use"

I think that might be the reason it can be / is described as "unique/revolutionary." If it is as intuitive as the rest of Apple's product lineup...

And how is it underpowered?

Reply Score: 1

v whatever
by kefkathecruel on Wed 17th Jan 2007 05:15 UTC
iphone is a copy
by madko on Wed 17th Jan 2007 08:54 UTC
madko
Member since:
2006-03-08

have you seen the LG ke850?

Reply Score: 2

no camera
by agepee on Wed 17th Jan 2007 09:32 UTC
agepee
Member since:
2005-10-11

Seems like the Neo1973 will have no camera

http://lists.openmoko.org/pipermail/community/2006-November/000015....

I think that is a big downside, at least for me.

Reply Score: 1

Sweet!!!
by brostenen on Wed 17th Jan 2007 09:33 UTC
brostenen
Member since:
2007-01-16

Another linux enabled handheld, music playing app-running, cellphone...
How many are there out there???? 3, 4, 5???

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sweet!!!
by gustl on Wed 17th Jan 2007 10:16 UTC in reply to "Sweet!!!"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Not quite correct!

It is not the only Linux-Phone out there, but it is the first Linux phone where the whole development platform (and with it the ability to modify it easily) is open.

Not just some badly documented hacked up Linux kernel source code at some obscure webserver without anything that actually would let you change the software on the phone itself with ease.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sweet!!!
by Cloudy on Thu 18th Jan 2007 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Sweet!!!"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

It is not the only Linux-Phone out there, but it is the first Linux phone where the whole development platform (and with it the ability to modify it easily) is open.

I'll lay you odds that the radio software is a binary blob.


Not just some badly documented hacked up Linux kernel source code at some obscure webserver without anything that actually would let you change the software on the phone itself with ease.


you mean a server like http://www.openembedded.org/ which, you'll find, is the basis of and will eventually contain all of openmoko?

I have to admit that of all the Linux development environments I've ever tried, OE has been the most frustrating and using it is a strike agains OpenMoko, as far as I can tell.

Reply Score: 3

Vaporware
by Governa on Wed 17th Jan 2007 11:33 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

Sorry to say... but only one word comes to mind:

VAPORWARE!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware

Its just like the 'open game console' and such.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vaporware
by Riba on Wed 17th Jan 2007 13:00 UTC in reply to "Vaporware"
Riba Member since:
2006-02-12

Well, the "open" model kind of worked for GP2X thingie, but it truly is a niche product, and it in no way caused a disruption in the handheld console market. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Vaporware
by Sphinx on Wed 17th Jan 2007 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Vaporware"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Don't count the GP2X out, it's only just begun to catch on. Software is now starting to catch up, first opengl app released just the other day, it may become a force to be reckoned with in the handheld console market yet.

Reply Score: 2

FIC Logo
by Clinton on Wed 17th Jan 2007 16:57 UTC
Clinton
Member since:
2005-07-05

The "FIC" logo at the bottom of the phone sort of looks like the two Katakana characters for "Moko", only backwards (モコ).

I shouldn't post things first thing in the morning...

Reply Score: 3

RE: FIC Logo
by Sphinx on Thu 18th Jan 2007 03:28 UTC in reply to "FIC Logo"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

good eye.

Reply Score: 2

Comparison to iPhone
by ashan on Wed 17th Jan 2007 20:30 UTC
ashan
Member since:
2006-06-12

I compared this to the iPhone in the comments section of an earlier article, and besides price/aGPS, this phone gets the smack down by the iPhone. Consider:

>iPhone has a larger, multitouch screen(don't need a stylus & new UI possibilities)
>iPhone has built in memory (4/8GB) Moko you can buy 2GBMicroSD for $70 more. Otherwise 64MB free
>iPhone is almost half the thickness, smaller in every dimension, & metal casing instead of Moko's plastic.
>iPhone has vastly better data connectivity, with 802.11b/g, bluetooth 2.0EDR, and EDGE
>iPhone has a lot of convenience built in, with sensors for saving battery, stoping accidental input during a call, automatic widescreen to portrait screen switching, etc. & easy syncing ala the iPod.
>Visual voicemail; no other phone has this yet.
>iPod/iPhone connector on the bottom is vastly better than unpowered usb1.1 !?!?! on the side. How do you dock a Moko for easy sync & charge?
> Tied into industry leading, proven software that works without needing a degree in CS. You better be a developer or married to a developer if you have an OpenMoko.
>Forgot the camera. 2MP vs. Missing Feature
/startFlame/ OS X has vastly more consumer appeal than Linux /endFlame/

Edited 2007-01-17 20:33

Reply Score: 2