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Comment Re:Cost (Score 4, Informative) 134 134

"According to current calculations, the cost of the motherboard should be somewhere around 990 EUR. The cost should go down as more people place pre-orders. The complete device will cost about 150 EUR more, depending on prices and availability of N900 spare parts."

Holy cow, freedom (at least partial freedom) comes at a seriously hefty price. That's five times the cost of a half-decent Samsung Galaxy (S4 or S4 Mini, not network-locked), where I'm from.

That's what it costs when you are unable to mass produce. The cost estimate is based on the production of 500 devices only which in turn was based on the number of donations over 100 EUR. The Neo900 is as close to freedom and privacy as you're going to get at this moment in time. If you're comparing this to a Samsung Galaxy then it looks like you don't understand the reasons for why the Neo900 is being built.

And for 1GHz, 1Gb RAM, 0.5Gb storage. That's not even close to the spec of the above Samsung.

You are incorrect on the 0.5GB storage. The Neo900 will be at least as feature complete as the N900. This means that it will have at least 32GB eMMC storage plus mircoSD expansion. Otherwise it will have 64GB if they are able to source the part. The 512MB refers to the SoC's NAND (double that of the original N900).

Pay five times the cost, get less back, and the possibility of component shortage making repair/replacement impossible.

The cost estimation page (which you appear to have read) indicates that they have considered failure rate and will be sourcing additional components to account for repair/replacement. This contributes to the overall cost of the device.

How do this stack up against the $9 CHIP project, etc. with its processor? I can build a GSM "phone" with Wifi, SD, touchscreen etc. from Arduino shields for way, way, way less than this costs on top of that.

I'd love to see you do that. I'll be the first in line to purchase one.

I mean, for God's sake, they've bothered to put IrDA and FM radio on it!

These are available on the original N900 and I still find them incredibly useful. To remove these would be a regression.

Niche doesn't even begin to cover it. When you're more expensive than Apple, and can't do anywhere near as much, you know that you're onto a loser.

Can't do nearly as much? Are you serious? I'm still using my N900 from 2009 because they is no other mobile phone available that what the N900 can do. Basically it's a full Linux computer in your pocket with a hardware keyboard and stylus for precision. I even have it dual booting with Debian.

Go and buy an Apple if you feel it's appropriate to compare it to one but please stop spreading misinformation on stuff that you are not interested in.

It's no wonder I rarely visit Slashdot these days posts such as yours get modded +5 Insightful.

Comment Re:resistive touchscreen Luddites. (Score 1) 109 109

I'm not apologising for Nokia, in fact I have no interest in them, Blackberry nor any other corporation for that matter. What failure is there to excuse? The backers of this project want the device to be built for their own personal use. It's a niche product, there's no other agenda. Now that the 200 pre-orders milestone has been met, the devices will be built so this project is already a success.

Comment Re: resistive touchscreen Luddites. (Score 1) 109 109

The primary reason why it's resistive is that they are reusing the screen from the N900.

I wouldn't refer to the N9's screen as a rectification. A resistive screen is a good choice for an Internet Tablet and a capacitive screen is a good choice for a smart phone.

IMHO, a resistive screen plus stylus is the better choice to replace a desktop mouse in a mobile device that aims to be a fully functional computer.

Comment Re:This is the beginning (Score 1) 109 109

It might be different from the typical Android vendor but the Neo900 is not aiming to be an Android replacement.

Have you ever tried running normal Linux tasks on Android such as compiling a C program, "ssh -X", running strace, etc.? Ever tried running X11 or Wayland instead of SurfaceFlinger? I think you'll find that Android's environment is not very well suited for these kind of tasks. Google's chose to use Bionic libc making Android makes it largely incompatible with the desktop and server Linux we know and love. Firefox OS is based on Android and also uses Bionic libc. Most regular Linux apps require extensive modification if you want to build them to run Android. These same apps can be recompiled for Debian ARM or Maemo 5 with little or no modification at all.

Of course if Android is your thing, the Neo900 is expected to run the Replicant variant which is already running on the GTA04 that it is based on.

Comment Re:Price. (Score 1) 109 109

The price of motherboard without the case expected to be in the 500-700 EUR range. Yes it's expensive compared to devices of similar specifications but that's due to the low production volumes. That's the price you must pay if you want a fully featured Linux computer in your pocket.

Comment Re:This is the beginning (Score 2) 109 109

If you think you can compare the Fairphone to the Neo900 then you have failed to understand the concept behind the Neo900. The Fairphone is just another Android phone. The Neo900 is for people who are fed up with the closed, walled garden approaches of Android and iOS and want the power of a general purpose computer in their pocket. The device is expected to ship with Debian GNU/Linux with support for Maemo 5 coming later when it's ready. The hardware keyboard and stylus also help to give it that desktop feel.

Comment Re:200+ == Mass Production? Really????? (Score 2) 109 109

That's "mass production" as in producing in bulk, i.e. not producing one-off prototypes which is very expensive. 200 devices is the minimum they need to produce the boards in bulk. This is a niche, community project aimed at FOSS and/or open hardware enthusiasts who want the flexibility of a general purpose PC on their mobile phones. There are many of us so these numbers are to be expected.

Comment Re:resistive touchscreen Luddites. (Score 5, Informative) 109 109

Have you actually used the N900 touchscreen? There are many bad resistive touchscreens but the N900's is not one of them. The FAQ explains why the resistive touch screen is the superior choice for the target audience of this device. Remember that this device is not trying to compete with Android or iOS but it's aim is to provide functionality that you would find in a general purpose computer, hence multi-touch in not a priority.

Submission + - Neo900 hacker phone reaches minimum number of pre-orders for production 2 2

wick3t writes: The Neo900 fundraising campaign has already achieved the milestone of 200 pre-orders which means that mass production is now feasible. This follows a successful first prototype that was showcased at the OpenPhoenux-Hard-Software-Workshop 2013. Their next target is 1000 pre-orders as they aspire to reduce the production costs of each device.

Submission + - Neo900 reaches its fundraiser goal in less than week, now heading for 100k EUR 4 4

dos1 writes: The OpenPhoenux Neo900 project, which wants to create open successor to the Nokia N900 has reached its fundraiser goal of 25 000 € in less than week.

However, it's not over. The project has decided to continue the campaign, as they need as many "preorders" as possible in order to lower the price of the device (by producing more than just 200) and make production of some custom parts more feasible. Therefore their next goal is set to 100 000 €.

Submission + - Fundraiser for Neo900 open smartphone-> 1 1

JoSch1337 writes: Golden Delicious Computers (creators of OpenPhoenux / GTA04 openmoko replacement board) is announcing a fundraiser to produce first prototypes and kickstart mass production of the Neo900 open smartphone. Based on the electronics of the GTA04 open smartphone platform, the Neo900 will reuse the Nokia N900 case but contain a motherboard with a faster CPU, more RAM, an LTE modem and other additions when compared to the original Nokia N900 smartphone. In the Openmoko spirit the device will be fully hackable, supporting QtMoko, SHR, Debian, Replicant and any other operating system ported to it like Maemo, Ubuntu or Firefox OS. Visit http://neo900.org/specs for more detailed specifications or http://neo900.org/faq for a general FAQ.
Here is a video presenting the idea: http://youtu.be/EJHMXQ3nSt0
If your donation is above 100 eur, then that amount will be deducted from your purchase of the final version of the Neo900. The final motherboard is expected to be in the range of 500-700 eur depending on the amount of orders and availability of components.

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