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