Feeds

Neo1973: long-distance contender to Apple and Google?

Inside the mobile matrix, part 1

High performance access to file storage

This is quite a contrast to the Neo1973, which started life as a Windows Mobile device built by Chinese mobile manufacturer FIC. In other words, this device is not a Linux-specific phone built from the ground up with an open architecture in mind; far from it. While Linux does handle the device's phone specific operations, Daniel Dilger of RoughlyDrafted.com eloquently describes it as a "small handheld computer connected to a GSM phone interface via a serial port". Ouch.

Does this mean that the Neo1973/OpenMoko is all hype? I'd have to say the jury is out but it does remain a possibility, even as new capabilities find their way into a growing family of devices.

Going back to our key questions, a few facts emerge that are telling in their own right.

Clearly there's not a big installed base right now. Further, it doesn't seem likely that this platform will be the beneficiary of any big marketing push from a Western (or even Far Eastern) company. Thus the number of units in circulation is likely to remain fairly small - not what you really want to hear if you hope to make money off your development efforts.

The license terms are very open but a significant portion of the operating system - the part that runs the GSM/GPRS module - is a proprietary operating system called Nucleus, which is bad news for the developer that wants access to the full code base.

It is likely that the core group of users and developers that migrate to this phone will be passionate and adventurous, but it is unlikely that there will be enough of them to make this platform financially rewarding. Further with other more attractive options on the horizon, the Neo1073/OpenMoko platform could be a relatively short-lived device, making it all that much more risky an intellectual investment.

The bottom line: there are better options coming down the road in short order. I'll be reporting on two of them, Android and the iPhone in subsequent installments of this series.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.