Like most Mac-owning, right-thinking individuals, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Apple iPhone, despite living in Canada, where mobile data rates are unfortunate, to say the least. Also, the whole “closed platform” thing. That and the “how do you dial this with gloves on?” bit. And the fact that there’s no word of any Canadian release date, and there’s only two GSM carriers in Canada anyway… and they both use the same network. But hey, it syncs well with iCal and has a real web browser! I want one already!
So enough about products whose chief value is making its user look cooler and more affluent than non-owners! There’s a far more geeky smartphone just over the horizon!
Behold, OpenMoko! It’s made of Linux! FIC (not that FIC) has spearheaded the open smartphone platform with their currently-almost-released Neo1973 phone being the first capable of running OpenMoko. The actual handheld looks… cute, actually. Kind of 70s retro, like a non-translucent clamshell iBook.
“The 2nd generation OpenMoko device will be introduced at this time. We have something special in the works, but again, you will help shape this device.”
That sounds like a camera to me, since one’s missing, but who knows?
The UI seems somewhat dated, which is not altogether unheard of with Linux, though it will obviously be skinnable in some way — a feature I’d definitely want to make use of. I’m not totally impressed by the look of the dialer in particular. I’d like to see something a bit higher-contrast, personally.
Personally, I find the most important feature of a phone or PDA is ease of use and how well it can sync with my computer. I’m eager to see how well the OpenMoko platform does among the early adopter crowd, but for now, I think I’ll be holding off on that preorder.