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Fancy an open iPhone like device in the meantime?

Yes I know that was sensationalist but not completely unfounded.

In my piece on the iPhone and in my request for a developer kit for it, I have been getting rumor, hearsay and little concrete fact. Apple is understandably tight lipped about it all. What I am hearing doesn't sound positive at the moment (i.e locked down harder than Fort Knox), but colleague Phil Torrone commented "They have six months to go. That's a long time to get things right and they always do". It's not essential that a product like the iPhone have a developer program, just a nice "like to have" that may establish it as a platform rather than just another (albeit sexy) gizmo.

In the meantime any developers or hackers looking to do some rock and roll demo's or try ideas that you simply cannot do on the locked phones out there would do well to look at the FIC Neo1973. It has OpenMoko on it.

The thing runs standard Linux. It'll work on the Cingular and the T-Mobile networks.


I called Sean, my contact at FIC and he laid some facts out. The team developing it are hard core open source activists and hackers. Harald Welte (Lead Software Architect -System level. Famous for hacking Motorola phones to run Linux) on the core kernel and Michael "Mickey" Lauer (Lead Software Architect -- Application Framework) on the graphic systems.

They have borrowed code from TomTom for the SD card support and currently have all their core libraries in C. The C part is actually very cool as it implies a possibility for bindings to other languages particularly, Python and Ruby. When asked about these he willingly chirped up in a happy tone "Yep. They are being worked on". My mind boggles if someone comes up with a code generation framework for rapid app development like Rails for it.

Something this potentially sexy has to be at Etel. That’s the rules. So I've roped them in to do their first ever Developer workshop at Emerging Telephony this year and they will also be demoing it on stage. Hopefully you'll be able to get your grubby hands on one there.


I am glad that this is finally coming about (having conceived and advocated Tuxphone) and when I can get my hands on one to do some hacking on it, there will be a full report here. In the meantime I hope they also consider releasing an emulator or an image of the OS for people to hack with.

Also here's a kickass presentation (2.3mb) that you can look at that they did just before christmas in Holland.

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Jacob   [01.25.07 03:21 PM]

So is there a time frame for releasing this phone? When can we get our hands on one? I am a developer and would be very interested in seeing what I can get running on it. In particular I have written a shipping application that could be used on this with drives to be able to remotely track fuel and progress.

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