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Linux-based OpenMoko touch phone ships

updated 11:05 am EDT, Wed July 2, 2008

OpenMoko Ships Friday

OpenMoko today said that it will start selling the Neo FreeRunner to the US on July 4th, marking its first phone release in the country. The touchscreen device is positioned as an unusual competitor to the iPhone whose strength is in its open access: based on a strictly open-source version of Linux, the device includes just the basic software for calling and SMS but is freely modifiable down to its core functions. Users can write or install apps that extend the phone's features without paying royalties.

Although the initial software is limited, OpenMoko gives the FreeRunner hardware that can take advantage of future code from either OpenMoko or outside developers, including 802.11g Wi-Fi, assisted GPS, and an iPhone-like accelerometer that lets it respond to motion; 128MB of RAM lets it multitask, while 256MB of flash provides permanent storage.

Features will be added to the phone over time through software updates, OpenMoko promises, including an August update with location-based services.

The Neo FreeRunner will be priced at $399 in unlocked, tri-band GSM versions that support either 850MHz North American networks (including AT&T and T-Mobile) as well as 900MHz networks in Europe and elsewhere. Sales take place both through the company's website on Friday and will see the handset show up at a handful of early resellers on July 7th.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. UnCal

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    256 MB of flash?

    That's a bit weedy, isn't it?

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Sync software?

    Nice, but how is the synchronization to a desktop? Or do I have to write my own.

  1. bauhaus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003



    There's a microSD slot to expand memory.

  1. G4_Kessel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003



    It's butt-ugly!

  1. DentalMac2

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    no 3G

    Without 3G it's already outdated. Also, no included wifi and USB is not 2.0

    I like the concept but this device is severly lacking.

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