Openmoko: Plan B Instead of New Smartphone

Apr 06, 2009

The Openmoko FreeRunner smartphone, with its open platform, will remain the company's latest hardware product, at least for now.

Openmoko CEO Sean Moss-Pultz had already spoken at the OpenExpo in Bern, Switzerland, about an altered strategy for Openmoko. Steve Mosher, responsible for marketing, followed up with some clarification. Key points: Openmoko will no longer develop the already announced GTA03 smartphone, successor to FreeRunner. Instead, Openmoko will focus on support for FreeRunner itself and pursue a yet to be determined Plan B for a non-mobile device. That's about as far as he went. Details on the ensuing workforce lay-off were also unclear; Mosher talked of a restructuring in development, sales and marketing.

The subsidiary of First International Computer (FIC) from Taiwan had to concede to some errors in the GTA03's abrupt development stop. Mosher admitted that the hardware design presented more difficult hurdles than anticipated. Too many design changes had led to delays. Openmoko had approached the hardware solution from the software development side, where things can simply be reprogrammed, which has since proved a fallacy.

The options finally fell on two out of three pursuits: support FreeRunner, develop a successor to it via GTA03, or pursue a Plan B. The decision went with supporting FreeRunner and the still mystifying Plan B. Mosher designated the GTA03 as an aborted effort, seeing that development had already stretched way too far.

Details on the Neo FreeRunner that will continue to be supported are here.

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