Networking

Open source cell phone

OpenMoko, the first manufactured open source cell phone, is now shipping to developers from the Taiwan electronics manufacturer FIC. The Neo1973 model (so named in honor of the year of the first cell phone, as per Linux Devices) has:

  • 640x480 2.8" VGA TFT 283 dpi color display with a stylus/finger-friendly touchscreen
  • 266MHz Samsung ARM A9 System on a Chip (SOC) with 128MB RAM, 64MB Flash and Micro SD for expansion
  • USB 1.1, switchable between Client and Host (unpowered)
  • Integrated Assisted GPS
  • 2.5G GSM – quad band, voice, CSD, GPRS
  • Bluetooth 2.0

and in addition, it includes these accessories, standard, in the $300 basic kit:

  • swappable 1200ma Li-ion battery
  • 512MB MicroSD card
  • stereo earset
  • Stylus/Pen/Laser Pointer/Flashlight
  • Pouch, lanyard and USB to mini-USB charge/sync cable

The Neo Advanced kit for $150 more adds an extra battery, extra 512MB MicroSD card, extra USB cable to connect the phone to the included Debugboard (debug port with complete access to JTAG and a serial console as well as 2 additional USB-A ports via an internal USB hub), a padded hardshell carry case for it all, and even a Torx T6 screwdriver and a guitar pick to open the phone.

This is the kind of gear the Homebrew Phone Club I mentioned in my Linux thumbdrive PC article last week that have been replicating with off-the-shelf parts, but it surely does speed the software development process having it all bundled together.

Developers, hackers, and mobile programming fans: Does the thought of creating on a packaged platform appeal to you, or do you enjoy the hardware integration as well as creating the software? Or, on the third hand, is this just a neat cell phone? Join the discussion.

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