Openmoko Declares Independence for the Mobile Phone

Openmoko, developer of the first open mobile computing platform today announced that on Friday, July 4, it will open the online store for purchase of the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner, a mobile device that the company says will help to enable ubiquitous computing for the 21st century. Shipping to customers will commence on July 7, 2008.The Openmoko Neo FreeRunner utilizes GNU/Linux and comes with core software for dialing, SMS and recording contacts. Openmoko will supplement these features with periodic downloads beginning with a software suite that takes full advantage of the phone’s hardware platform. The new software, debuting at Linux world in August, will provide exciting new location based applications.Two versions of the phone will be available: 850MHz or 900 MHz Tri-band GSM to match frequencies in different countries. Black, oval-shaped and weighing 6.5 ounces, the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner features a 2.8″ 480 x 640 VGA touchscreen, Wi-Fi (802.1 1b/g), AGPS, GPRS 2.5G, Bluetooth 2.0, two 3-axis motion sensors and comes with 128MB WSDRAM and 256MB NAND Flash.
Open Mobile Free
Openmoko frees developers from constraints of closed mobile architectures so they can apply the power of mobility and a flexible development platform to create mobile applications for specialized markets. Using the Openmoko mobile platform, the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community and developers can create unique versions of the FreeRunner phone, modifying the way the phone operates and even the way it looks. CAD files publicly available under a Creative Commons license make it easy for industrial designers to change the appearance of the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner and select alternate materials and finishes to tailor the phone’s look and feel.
Distributors in the EU have already received shipments of the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner.
Openmoko will be at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, August 5-7, 2008 in booth 1625 and in the Linux Garage Pavilion booth 1234 in the Moscone Center North Hall.
Pricing and availability
The Openmoko Neo FreeRunner has a suggested retail price of $399. Openmoko will sell the phone directly from it its webshop and via distributors in the EU, India and North America.
About Openmoko
Openmoko is the commercial and community driven effort with a mission to create open mobile products that empower developers and consumers to personalize their devices, much like a computer, in any way they see fit. Openmoko is dedicated to helping innovators bring freedom and flexibility to consumer electronics and vertical market devices. For the latest information about Openmoko, visit

BlackBerry KickStart to sell on TMobile for $49.99?!

You may want to take this news with a grain of salt. I know the first time I heard this information I was skeptical. Then I heard it again, and again and again. And now that I’ve heard the same bit of news from multiple sources / informants / ninjas / tipsters / little birdies I can’t help but believe it to be true. So to the best of my knowledge… the BlackBerry KickStart will sell on T-Mobile for $49.99!
50 bucks on a standard 2-yr contract and T-Mobile is apparently aiming for an early-September launch. We’ve known for a while now that the KickStart will be a low-cost entry into the smartphone market with a real consumer focus (lots of accessories and doodads to dress it up), but I for one wasn’t expecting the low-cost to be quite that low. At $50 the KickStart becomes a Palm Centro killer and a viable option to all of those current feature phone users out there looking to upgrade but are not quite ready to endure the $100 – $200+ sticker that is typically attached to a full-blown smartphone. $50 is CHEAP. Let’s hope this info holds true as it will mean GREAT things for RIM. As
more photos of the KickStart have surfaced in recent weeks, it seems to me that people have become a little less excited about it. This pricing makes it a whole new ball game, so allow me repose the question… At $49.99, is the BlackBerry KickStart a Yay or Nay? Beauty or Beast? “ via

Matias Duarte, designer behind Sidekick and Helio, now developing Palms next gen UI

Engadget is reporting late today that Matias Duarte is now employed at Palm and is part of the team driving the design and UI of Nova, Palm’s next generation operating system. Matias was formerly the Director of Design, at Danger where he was responsible for the user experience and interface design. He also held a similar position at Helio. According to his public LinkedIn profile, Duarte has been working at Palm since September 2007 and his own job description field is teasingly vague at quote “something new… :-)” Palm CEO Ed Colligan has been talking up Nova for a quite some time now. In the last quarterly conference call he enthusiastically remarked the new system software combined with the new “game changing hardware” designed for it, will usher in a “new era for Palm.” The latest hints from executive comments point to a end of year developer unveiling of some kind, with products to follow in early 2009. ” via

2G WiFi less WM smartphone from Samsung approaching

“According to latest reports, Samsung is preparing a new Windows Mobile smartphone, which seems to be aimed at those who leave Web Browsing to the Desktop, given that 3G, nor Wi-Fi is present in the handset.
However, everything else you’d expect from a smartphone is still present – the specs are as follows:

  • Connectivity: Quadband GSM 850/900/1800/1900, with GPRS/EDGE support
  • OS: Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Screen: 2.8″ QVGA – 320 x 240 touchscreen, with haptic feedback support
  • Camera: three megapixels
  • Memory: MicroSDHC slot – up to 4GB supported
  • Extras: GPS, Bluetooth and USB 2.0 connectivity, FM Radio
  • Dimensions: 107x59x13.8mm” via

Motorola Napoleon Q9: Verizon’s World Phone

“Man, Motorola just can’t keep a lid on anything anymore can they? We’ve got a hold of a phone codenamed the “Napolean” and it’s a CDMA EV-DO Rev. A Q9 with full GSM world roaming capabilities. This even includes the U.S. 850MHz/1900MHz bands! Even though it’s Verizon branded and will launch on Verizon, we loaded in our AT T SIM and away we went. We’ve found the following specs on the phone so far: fingerprint scanner (seriously, on the back), Windows Mobile 6.1, EV-DO Rev. A, quad-band EDGE, 2 megapixel camera with flash, stereo speakers, 320×240 resolution screen, Wi-Fi, and a 1500mAh battery. The keyboard isn’t as good as the first Q9 or Q9m, and the d-pad is incredibly stiff and difficult to use. Sound sounded good though, and the screen seems to be the same as the original Q9s. We’ll keep diggin’, but in the meantime, take a look at a gallery, ok?” More photos here: