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Thread: OpenPhoneux / GTA04 Still Going As Niche Phone

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  1. #1
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    Default OpenPhoneux / GTA04 Still Going As Niche Phone

    Phoronix: OpenPhoneux / GTA04 Still Going As Niche Phone

    The GTA04 is still being worked on and sought after by a small community of open-source enthusiasts and Linux developers as the next-generation OpenMoko platform. Unfortunately, the project has yet to really take off with success. As part of this there is the OpenPhoneux as "the future 'independent mobile handheld' project aiming at complete devices." Tomorrow also marks the four-year anniversary of the Neo FreeRunner launch...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTEzMjI

  2. #2
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    While it's certainly admirable what they are trying to accomplish, it feels they are missing the boat and failing quite hard.

    First off, the price is extensively high. Paying a price premium can be understandable, prototype like 'runs' etc. On the other hand, the design would be 'free as in beer', while costing much time to do, they wouldn't charge you for it?

    It hardly compares to devices out there. It's faster then my current smartphone I'll give them that, but again, at what cost? The free-runner case is ugly as hell and the phone isn't even really much more 'free' then most devices out there.

    Modem firmware? Closed.
    GPU drivers? Closed.

    though I didn't RTFA, I would not be supprised if the GPS, Accelerometer and Compass be also closed drivers as seen with many other devices.


    So what does this phone give me, others don't? It's really just the same. Really, a shame.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliver View Post
    While it's certainly admirable what they are trying to accomplish, it feels they are missing the boat and failing quite hard.

    First off, the price is extensively high. Paying a price premium can be understandable, prototype like 'runs' etc. On the other hand, the design would be 'free as in beer', while costing much time to do, they wouldn't charge you for it?

    It hardly compares to devices out there. It's faster then my current smartphone I'll give them that, but again, at what cost? The free-runner case is ugly as hell and the phone isn't even really much more 'free' then most devices out there.

    Modem firmware? Closed.
    GPU drivers? Closed.

    though I didn't RTFA, I would not be supprised if the GPS, Accelerometer and Compass be also closed drivers as seen with many other devices.


    So what does this phone give me, others don't? It's really just the same. Really, a shame.
    Your stances are understandable, however they are not justified. The price is due to it being manufactured in a German factory. When you pay your workers a fair living wage and operate within safety standards the cost goes up. This is what all devices would cost if they were not made in factories where workers are underpaid, overworked, and treated improperly (eg many Chinese factories). They could've gone the cheap route, but they have a stronger moral compass than other manufacturers.

    The GPS, accelerometer and compass drivers are 100% FOSS. The only other thing that is closed besides the modem and gpu drivers is the wifi firmware. However when the device was being built, there were no SoC's at the time which provided a GPU with a FOSS driver. There is no working open modem firmware out there; osmocomBB comes very close requires one to telnet in to make calls. If you're interested in the choices they made, it is all on the mailing list. The fact is that this is the most FOSS device on the market.

  4. #4
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    Default Michael Larabel please pay attention

    I sincerely thank you for covering the GTA04, but I (and some others apparently) found some of your points unfair. http://lists.goldelico.com/pipermail...ly/002556.html has written a very good response, please read this. I would really appreciate knowing what parts you disagree with.

    For the future, what can the GTA04 community do make a better case for people who are writing about it? I'm trying to collect marketing material at http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Marketing_GTA04 and have added a section for good points about the product so future writers can have an easy list to pull from. The mailing list post I linked to is attempting to find more good reasons for a GTA04. Do you think this is sufficient? Can you make any other suggestions so the community can present the GTA04 and itself in a better light?

  5. #5
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    The OpenMoko started as a nice 'idea' (I even got one of them) then the real mess started when hardware bugs were discovered and
    users like me had to solder smd capacitors etc in order to fix them... the device was not even useful as mobile phone, as I clearly remember the battery life was very short at first...(not to mention bad reception etc).

  6. #6
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    ^ and thats the reason why open software works and hardware doesn't. HW needs money and a lot of them.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: OpenPhoneux / GTA04 Still Going As Niche Phone

    The price on the GTA04 is 666.66 , or about $840 USD, for hardware that's slower than a $100 iPhone.
    There's no such thing as a $100 iPhone. You can buy contract free Android Phones for less than 100 though. But you being an Apple fanboy...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousCoward View Post
    There's no such thing as a $100 iPhone. You can buy contract free Android Phones for less than 100 though. But you being an Apple fanboy...
    You can get iPhones for around 100 when you get something like a 2 year contract, but it is quite clear that Android phones are much cheaper, and that is the reason why they are used so much more all around the world.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toby76 View Post
    You can get iPhones for around 100 when you get something like a 2 year contract, but it is quite clear that Android phones are much cheaper, and that is the reason why they are used so much more all around the world.
    You can get it for 1 too, but when you're done paying, you've payed 1000.

  10. #10
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    There is no such thing as a $100 iPhone. It does not exist (I'm sure you can find an iPhone 1 for $100, but we're not talking stupid here).

    What happens is, you make a deal, like with the mob, with your carrier. Your carrier charges you anywhere from $30 to $40 a month for your plan. $20 to $30 may be used to pay off the phone, where as the rest goes to actually paying for the minutes/data.

    Hence, after 24 months, you have payed $20 - $30 * 24 months = $480 - $720 for the phone. In the first case, this doesn't cover the phone and thus you have to pay an extra $100 up front. This makes it seem like the phone costs only $100, but alas. You have now payed $580 for the phone. The phone probably costs without a contract only about $550 so the carrier STILL made some profit over your dumbness. If you go for the second option, and pay $0 (or $1) for the phone, you have actually payed $720 (or $721) for the phone and the carrier is extremely happy to have you as a customer, the phone still only costs $550.

    Carriers do not EVER give you anything for 'free' because they love you. Not ever. You pay for it. It's called a payment plan or load. Call it as you like.

    Android phones actually do come for about $70 for the really cheap ones. Samsung sells some cheap ones for $99. But yes, the Galaxy S3 and the like do cost in the $500 to $700 bracket.


    Disclaimer. I have made up these numbers, but should be close enough to be accurate. It should be quite obvious what this little math example is supposed to show.

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