OpenMokos – now available at PariSoMa!

OK, so this is pretty cool – and I’m pretty proud of this one. The OpenMoko FreeRunner, the 2nd Gen completely open-source, Linux-based phone is now available through PariSoMa.  We at PariSoMa (essentially faberNovel, Inc) put in the time, paperwork and sweat to get these phones for retail through our office.

The FreeRunner is not a consumer-ready phone – it is still in development, but it’s is a great phone / Linux-device that allows people to completely hack it.  While a lot of development needs to happen among the various software distributions out there for this phone in order for it to be a reliable, everyday phone, it’s still a great leap forward in this arena.

Oh, and why go with this phone instead of the yet-to-be-released Android? Well…

  • Currently, the Android phone tethers you to T-Mobile. Though this will change once other service providers and mobile phone manufacturers come aboard.
  • Android – as far as we’ve seen so far – does not give you low-level access. It’s also unclear how open or closed the actual device drivers will be (wifi, for example).
  • The OpenMoko FreeRunner allows you to not only choose service providers, it allows you to pick software distros, providing a wider range of open source choices.

In reality, on the spectrum of iPhone to Android to OpenMoko, the latter is at the far end of the open-source lineage, where the ease-of-use terrain gets pretty shaky. This means it will not be – anytime soon – a mass-market consumer phone. But it will be the tool of choice for developers keen on innovation, and people who want complete freedom to develop specialized functionality to incorporate into these mobile devices.

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