Cell phones are for the most part proprietary in their platforms. Sure you can write J2ME applications for them. BlackBerry phones also have an API which you can utilize to write custom applications. It’s the actual operating system though that you really can’t get too. Don’t care? Well, then this review isn’t for you. However, if you like to slice and dice things and hack your way to hardware euphoria then read on.
OpenMoko.com is building an open platform for cellular phones. Why? To support what they are calling ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous computing means more than computing wherever you wander: It means knowing the locale, weaving seamlessly into the local fabric, and vanishing.
So how can you jump on the bandwagon and begin to help building the next open cellular platform? You’ll have to actually buy a Neo1973 phone (pictured above)… boo! Yeah, it would be nice to be able to get a software simulator so that you can poke around for free. Not only that but at the time of this writing they were sold out of the phones so you’d have to wait until they became available again.
The consumer hardware is reported to become available “by years end.” I certainly hope so. Why? Well, I’m not so sure I’ll be jumping on the OpenMoko bandwagon, but I fully support openness in technology and competition. Openness means that more people all over the world can participate and help to make better products. Competition means… cheaper for me! If you want to check out the hardware and software specs and see some more pictures of the new open phone (Neo1973) you can go here.