$300 Linux Open Phone Arrives. How will it fair against the iPhone market? ~ Ask The Admin

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

$300 Linux Open Phone Arrives. How will it fair against the iPhone market?

Finally the OpenMoko phone is here. The first version of the NEO 1973 mobile phone, which carries the Linux kernel inside and is not locked to a specific network, is available for purchase from OpenMoko.com. It's not as jaw-droppingly pretty as the iPhone, but it shares a design philosophy -- no buttons, just a screen -- and it's ready to be loaded with any number of open-source software applications. (Though, according to Gadget Lab, so is the iPhone).

The base version of the NEO sells for $300. It has a 2.8" VGA touch screen, a micro SD card slot, a USB port (Yup thats 1.1) and 2.5G GSM quad band capability. (2.5 Why No 3G??) And from the lack of specs I shall assume no storage on board - so how could this be a iPhone killer - or even compete in that market?

Keep in mind that this unit (the GTA01) was pushed out early so developers could begin writing device drivers, custom GUIs and some cool apps for the phone. The next revision (GTA02), which will be available starting at $450 in October, will be ready for the mass market.

So the one dropping in October will have wi-fi, 3-D motion sensors and improved graphics accelerators. So this phone isn't exactly an iPhone killer -- the next one might be a contender. AptUsTech has a nice comparison of the NEO 1973 and the iPhone. Posted Below.

When it comes to devices, more choice is almost always "a good thing." (We are talking to you iPhone (No MMS No A2DP?? WTF?)

But will consumers respond to the NEO? We all know developers are going to dig this phone. But what's more important to consumers -- a super-sexy status item that's locked to one carrier and one set of functions, or a less sexy look-alike with a fully free and open software system?

I hate to think its the first one!

Post was adapted using original work By Michael Calore on July 09, 2007

Iphone Vs. NEO

Even if you live in a cave, you heard about the iPhone--a masterpiece of technology and
also a marketing blitzkrieg made by Mr. Jobs.

At the same time a very
interresting phone has been launched on the market : the Neo 1973From an user point of view, the two phones share the same design -- no more buttons only a tactile screen. While the iPhone has a wonderful user interface that is very polished (as usual from Apple), the Neo 1973 is more conservative with a more traditional interface comparable with an existing PDA. The main feature of the Neo 1973 is openness.

All the hardware is documented, and the software is open source. This contrasts
greatly with the iPhone which is as closed as a bank vault. The only way to
develop software on iPhone is to build web services designed to fit well on the
screen or to use javascript with limited access to the iPhone resources.
Trillian just did this and developed a chat application for
the iPhone. But without access to the bare metal, the applications will be
limited, and the control remains in the hands of Apple.