Feeds

Is your phone free?

OpenMoko sets Open source handset loose

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The OpenMoko project has debuted what could be the ultimate geek handset: a Linux-based mobile phone, complete with an open-source operating system and application suite.

The Neo 1973 handset, which starts at $300, has been under development for the last six months. OpenMoko encourages developers to get their hands dirty by supplying a complete software development kit along with the phone. The advanced edition even comes with a Torx T6 screwdriver for those whose hacking isn't limited to software.

Manufactured by First International Computer, of Taipei, the Neo 1973 is intended to be a hacker's mobile phone, an open platform that anyone and everyone can programme and play with. The idea is that a multitude of small-scale tweaks and developments will create something with which large companies can't complete, the same way that Linux has proved successful.

OpenMoko Neo 1973 OpenMoko Neo 1973
OpenMoko's Neo 1973: in black and orange

Some are calling the Neo an anti-iPhone - a reference to the fact that Apple controls all applications deployed on their phone platform, and tries hard to conceal the hardware from which it's made. It's a comparison that the manufacturers of the Neo don't try to dissuade.

Symbian and Nokia are willing to share their source code to their OS and UI application suite respectively, though reading it is something of a challenge, and there are various consortia looking at taking advantage of Linux on mobiles. But there's a world of difference between allowing someone to look at the source code, and encouraging them to modify it to add their own features or fixes.

This isn't the first of its kind, mind. Linux-for-phones developer Trolltech launched the coder-friendly Greenphone in August 2006 before offering it for sale a month later.

The Neo 1973 isn't intended for mass consumption until the end of the year, but if you want to get your hands dirty then there's a basic starter kit at $300 and an advanced set (with screwdriver) for $450. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable
Don't worry, it'll be cheaper when they use drones
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?