Linux phone to call in down under

Community effort trumps multinationals

Multinational mobile handset makers may be dabbling with Linux-powered phones for Asia and the US, but the Australian market has been largely ignored, that is until OpenMoko arrives later this year.

The brainchild of Sean Moss-Pultz, OpenMoko is a Linux-based mobile phone operating system which allows open application development, in contrast to the proprietary nature of many of today's mobile handsets.

The first phone to ship with OpenMoko will be the Neo1973 by Taiwanese manufacturer First International Computer (FIC).

Worldwide sales of the Neo1973 will begin from the OpenMoko.com e-commerce site in March for $US350. Moss-Pultz assured Computerworld the device can be purchased by Australians.

In addition to global sales directly from OpenMoko, the company is in discussions with local mobile carriers for possible resale agreements.

When asked if OpenMoko has had interest from Australia's mobile operators, including the big names like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin Mobile, Moss-Pultz said "quite a bit".

"We're talking with the big ones now," he said, but could not elaborate on which carriers, only saying "right now, no. It's all under NDA."

Only time will tell Australian consumers will get the option of buying a non-proprietary phone from their local Telstra or Optus reseller.

The OpenMoko release cycle will be divided into three "phases" which will repeat annually.

The first phase will be the developer preview in early February when free phones will be given to selected members of the developer community. The full source code to the OpenMoko Linux distribution will also become publicly available, and the openmoko.org Web site will go live.

In March the next phase will begin with the official developer launch and the Neo1973 will be sold worldwide directly from openmoko.com. In September, the third phase will be the mass market sale where the Neo1973 will be available in a retail stores and selected carriers around the world.

The second generation OpenMoko device will also be introduced at the third phase.

The device itself features a 2.8 inch VGA TFT touch screen, a Samsung 266MHz chip, Global Locate GPS, USB 1.1, microSD slot, 128MB SDRAM, 64MB flash, and Bluetooth 2.0.

Recharging via USB is also supported.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rodney Gedda

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?