Feeds

Is your phone free?

OpenMoko sets Open source handset loose

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?