OpenMoko has been getting some good attention lately, with a recent slashdot post pointing out that the release schedule for the open source, Linux-based Neo1973 smart phone had been posted to the community mailing list. Developers will be able to buy an OpenMoko for $350+ shipping on 2/11, and a mass-market release is planned for six months after that, when presumably we’ll be seeing the fruits of their labors and some pretty sexy little phone apps. Check out Sean Moss-Pultz’s Free Your Phone post to get some background and an overview of this potentially revolutionary project.
Surj Patel, program chair for our upcoming Emerging Telephony conference, has a long history and interest in open source phones, and it’s these kind of open and disruptive technologies that really interest us here at O’Reilly. So of course we’ve invited the OpenMoko project to be a part of ETel. They’ll be leading the first ever developer workshop for the OpenMoko. If you’re a developer with an interest in open telephony, you’ll want to get in on this early.
In his radar post Fancy an open iPhone-like device in the meantime?, Surj points out that the OpenMoko has the potential to be the anti-iPhone, as it’s a truly open phone device with a touch screen, and third-party development is being actively encouraged. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the success or failure of the OpenMoko project will depend largely on how interesting and productive the developer community around it becomes. So for everyone who’s been lamenting the lack of openness of the iPhone, here’s a powerful, touch-screen-based phone that’s practically begging you to get your hands dirty hacking on it. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of this one.
If you’ve been waiting for a developer-friendly phone, your wait is about over. Don’t miss checking out OpenMoko, along with some of the other most exciting developments in telecom at next month’s Emerging Telephony conference.
Important Reminder: Early Registration ends January 29, for those looking to cash in on the great early registration discounts. We are also offering a special friends and associates discount. Spread the word, share the love, bring along a colleague and you can each save 40% when you register for ETel by using discount code etel07FNF40. Register today.