iPhone-like Linux Phone Delayed

One company's plans to challenge the iPhone with a Linux-powered, touch-screen phone of its own has been significanlly delayed.

As Apple launches its iPhone today, a company attempting to build a similar touchscreen-based phone around an open, user-extensible Linux OS has acknowledged significant delays. OpenMoko now hopes to ship its first "mass market" model in October.

The announcement came June 27, in an e-mail from OpenMoko leader Sean Moss-Pultz to several OpenMoko.org mailing lists. OpenMoko expected to ship its first Neo1973 phone in March, but "critical hardware bugs" resulted in delays "expensive for us and annoying for you," Moss-Pultz acknowledged.

Points made in his lengthy post boiled down to:

  • OpenMoko will spin out as a separate company from Taiwanese OEM/ODM giant FIC
  • An OpenMoko.com Web site will launch next month
  • Through an OpenMoko.com online store, about 1,000 prototype Neo1973 phones will be available, including:

—A "base" model (GTA01B_v4) for early adopters will cost $300

—A $450 "Neo Advanced" model that adds a JTAG/serial board, development cables, and second MicroSD slot

  • In October, OpenMoko.com will offer a second-generation phone, codenamed "Mass Market Neo 1973," featuring:

—Samsung S3C2442 SoC (system-on-chip)

—256MB of flash

—802.11b/g WiFi

—SMedia 3362 graphics accelerator

—2x "3D accelerometers"

  • Next year, OpenMoko.com hopes to offer three separate phone models.

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