Open Phones

Screw you, iPhone. I want one of these.

I stumbled across a blog post about the OpenMoko platform today. I’d heard of it before, but never really looked into what it was.

I’m not sure I’m quite ready to give up my insistence on a small flip-phone in favor of a more multi-function device, but if I did, this would be what I’d want. Sadly, I’m afraid it won’t gain much traction in the US without some kind of deal with a major wireless carrier. US cellular customers aren’t used to buying a phone, and then later finding service for it. Hell, most US cellular customers aren’t used to buying a phone, period: the phone comes free (or at a very low cost) with a service contract.

And the carriers won’t like this phone. The end-user can modify any aspect of the software that runs on it? That’s a big no-no. The carriers love their closed systems, and love controlling what you can and can’t run on the phone.

But still, I remain optimistic. It might start out as a geek toy, but that’s how most popular tech advancements begin to enter the mainstream.

I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on OpenMoko to see where it goes.