I’ve been watching this since I first heard about it last year on a linux forum. It’s an open source phone/pim/pda/catchyphraseofthedayforphone. There was a lot of speculation whether anything would come of it, but I thought they had a spectacular chance at making it, since they were avoiding the common pitfalls that other startups were falling into with little hesitation.
Well, Openmoko released the second gen phone to five distributors in France, Germany and India. If you’re wondering why the US hasn’t seen it, it’s because they’re embracing the markets that show an open mind. I-Sheep need not apply.
What does this mean? Well, unless you’re a nerd, chances are great that you won’t notice the subtle changes. Further, if you do notice them, you won’t care. But for those of us paying attention, this provides an alternative to the developers that lock you into proprietary hardware, software and contracts. Where Apple releases updates simply to squash hacks that their users have created to make the hardware work the way they want it to(i.e. for them), the open model hands all the necessary information over and asks that you share your work if you come up with something cool or useful. It’s a community that not only allows you to make your hardware work for you, it helps.
Maybe Mr. Wozniak should pick one up.