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OpenMoko leaves smartphone market

OpenMoko leaves smartphone market

The OpenMoko FreeRunner open source smartphone never really took off - and the company is shelving plans for a follow-up.

Anyone who had high hopes for OpenMoko's ambitious open source smartphone hardware is in for a dissapointment with the news that the group is ditching mobiles in order to concentrate on a new project – minus the majority of staff.

According to The Register, the group has blamed poor sales of its FreeRunner open source smartphone handset – which saw a mere 10,000 sales during its lifetime – for the decision not to go ahead with plans to create a next-generation 'phone dubbed the GTA03.

While the GTA03 handset has not been officially nixed – with the company choosing to call the project “postponed” – the company has confirmed that it will, for the mean time, be concentrating on a new venture known only as “Project B.” Although details on the project are currently hard to come by, the group has let slip that it will take less than a third of the resources to complete than the GTA03 project.

Although OpenMoko looks to be moving away from the 'phone market – at least in the short term – early adopters will not be forgotten. With FreeRunner owners complaining of a constant buzzing noise being emitted from their handsets, vice president of marketing Steve Mosher has stated that the group will try to fix the FreeRunner issues “in the field” via a “volunteer approach” that will see “volunteers with soldering irons ready to do their best” at trade show booths. If you can't make it to a trade show, then you're sadly out of luck.

Any of the 10,000 FreeRunner owners out there who are sad there won't be a revision two in the short term, or are you all just dying to find out what the secretive Project B might entail? Angry that the only way to get your FreeRunner buzzing fixed is to attend trade shows manned by volunteers? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

3 Comments

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Sparrowhawk 8th April 2009, 04:29 Quote
Honestly, I'm really disappointed. A very different, pretty stylish smartphone that's completely open and has none of the retarded phone-carrier restrictions? All this needed was a good sugar daddy, and it'd be everywhere.
War-Rasta 8th April 2009, 14:38 Quote
I hadn't really heard of this before, but it seems like it would have been great if it had worked.
alecamused 8th April 2009, 15:21 Quote
looking at the big picture it makes me sad. there was enormous potential behind the idea. i even kind of invested into the company (i bought a sd-card for an owner of the freerunner :))

looking at the small picture (screen of my jesusphone) i'm glad i decided against the dev-sample, but i hope for a comeback or that their plan b is at least equally appealing..
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