OpenMoko - Does the Neo1973 Challenge the iPhone?

No - this is not an iPhone

OpenMoko is not a cell phone - yet it may be considered a threat to the iPhone. With this information should Apple worry about the iPhone's popularity? In all reality, they are probably not a bit worried. But there is an interesting project going on that could change the way we all look at cell phones.

Confused yet? That is not my intention. Read on and learn more about what could possibly be the most revolutionary happening concerning the future of cell phone technology.

Openmoko, was recently announced as a software project based on the open-source Linux platform. Sean Moss-Pultz, the architect of OpenMoko, and developers around the world plan to replace the software used on all cell phones in the future or as they say "free your phone".

Software running cell phones today is pretty much proprietary. For most however, there are numerous 3rd party applications that can be downloaded that works seamlessly along with it. But, developers do not hold out much hope for contributing their talents to the iPhone.

Hence the Neo1973 Smartphone which has the iPhone looks. That is where the similarity pretty much ends. Once OpenMoko perfects the software on this phone it is believed that the same software will be able to run any cell phone on the market. In fact, they say that someday we may change cell phones but keep the same software much like we keep our cell phone number now. If the software is updated or personalized it will move completely intact to the next phone.

The Neo1973 was to premier in March 2007 but was delayed. Sean Moss-Pultz announced plans to launch 2 models of the Neo1973 - the GTA01B_v4 and the GTA02. Developers are so excited to receive these phones that they pay $350.00 and up for a phone that will not even boot on its own. Sounds a lot worse than it is - they know what they are buying and they cannot wait for the chance!

UPDATE: OpenMoko has a new cell phone entry that some compare to the new iPhone called the Neo ForeRunner. It too is meant more for developers than for the general public. It is an international unlocked cell phone and costs around $399. Subcription rates are right at the same as for the iPhone 3G.

As an ordinary consumer that just wants the latest and greatest cell phone available today, the OpenMoko seems like something that may happen someday but I won't hold my breath. However, once they get it perfected I would seriously consider it as long as I could use my favorite applications. Until then, we all have the same dilemma - do we buy the iPhone or not????

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