updated 01:50 pm EST, Fri November 7, 2008
OpenMoko's recently mentioned Android phone is effectively the company's Neo FreeRunner with a different operating system, the company has confirmed. Instead of a custom-built but basic Linux distribution, the GTA02 uses Google's Android to both give it a native touchscreen interface and access to all the features of the phone, including its 3D-capable ARM processor, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and GPRS data.
It also includes 256MB of built-in flash and a microSD slot for storage; a 2.5mm headphone jack provides wired headset support. When the Android handset will be available is unknown. OpenMoko is said to have already launched the device but hasn't set a release date or price for the US. However, it plans to start selling phones directly to the public in 2009.
Despite the Android move, the cellphone maker has no immediate plans to join the Google-backed Open Handset Alliance that supports Android and is primarily adopting it since it follows the same free, open-source philosophy as the existing OpenMoko software but in a more publicized form.