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Trolltech Woos Developers with 'Open' Linux Phone 213

An anonymous reader writes "Trolltech, best known for its Qt graphics framework and toolkit that form the basis of KDE, will ship the Greenphone, an open Linux-based phone in September. The working GSM/GPRS mobile phone features a user-modifiable Linux OS, and is meant to jumpstart a third-party native application ecosystem for Linux-based mobile phones. Users will be able to re-flash the phone with modified Linux-based firmware, via a mini-USB port. The device is based on an unspecified Linux kernel along with Trolltech's Qtopia Phone Edition (QPE) application framework and mobile phone stack. Gosh, this has gotta be the perfect phone for KDE lovers!"
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Trolltech Woos Developers with 'Open' Linux Phone

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  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:12AM (#15910330) Homepage
    The mobile phone market in Europe is completely different from that in the US. Here it will have a chance. The subscriptions here are very much independant of the type of phone you use.
  • by solevita ( 967690 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:20AM (#15910381)
    Cell phone companies don't need to cooperate, this phone is being released as part of a development kit (look, it's even under the developer's section of /.). You buy it then put your sim card in. It'll probably cost a lot of money because of the lack of a network provider to pay for most of it.
  • Does anyone get it? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRunningBoard ( 727291 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:21AM (#15910390)
    All the comments about carriers not supporting it, or not feeling like they will start selling seems to be missing the point. The phone's primary purpose is to be sold as a development environment, along with Qtopia a license to spur development of 3rdbased party applications to run on Linux mobile devices. Trolltech does not appear to have any desire to partner wtih Verizon, or Sprint or anyone to sell this to consumers. Maybe I am wrong, but this is how I read it. It is called the Greenphone because that fits nice wtih Trolltech's marketed image they have been building over recent years.
  • Re:No details (Score:3, Informative)

    by slashflood ( 697891 ) <flow&howflow,com> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:34AM (#15910470) Homepage Journal
    t doesn't matter -- it's a development device intended for developers, not a product for the general public. You'll likely not be able to get hold of one... unless you have a Qtopia License and/or are an active developer.
    It'll be available in September for about 690 USD [heise.de]. The Qtopia license is included.
  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:40AM (#15910526)
    Or are you one of those "backwards" users stuck using CDMA and thus (in North America and most other CDMA-using places (except Korea)) locked by phone and provider?

    One of GSM's major features (and less so in Korea) is that your subscriber info is stored in a tiny chip. That chip came on a credit card sized piece of plastic a la a "smart card" (if you've used GSM phones in the 90's, you'd know that there were phones that accepted the entire card as is). That chip enables you to take it out of your current GSM phone, buy a new phone (unlocked or same carrier), stick the chip in the new phone, and voila, you have a new phone, with your existing subscription info!

    And look, you can get those 10 phones for $1 contract deals and use those chips in different phones than what was provided (depending on the provider, this route may be more economical than just buying the activation kit).

    This is one reason why I went GSM looking for a new phone - so I can use it with my phone, but then stick it in a PC card modem when I wanted to use it with my computer. One subscription. Two devices. Only one can be used at a time, of course, but I have the freedom to change phones willy-nilly, or in this case, surf the web using the modem's faster GPRS modem. (The provider can tell, since the IMEI number changes, but there's little they can do).

    Korea is special for CDMA because they force CDMA providers to do the same thing ("RUIM" cards) but in North America, most CDMA phones are locked and activated by carrier. But from what I can tell, Cingular and T-Mobile both provide GSM service, and thus would work just fine.

    All you have to do is make sure the phone supports the frequencies of your local area. "Quadband" phones (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz) work pretty much anywhere. Triband phones are often 900, 1800 and 1900 and work in most places in North America (850 being the old AMPS frequency, and isn't in widespread use where a Triband phone will leave you stuck vs. a quadband phone).
  • Re:Skype (Score:3, Informative)

    by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:59AM (#15910676)
    Insightful? Geesh, someone read the article please. The 'phone' has builtin wifi and bluetooth radios too. So, to spell it out, it'll have a TCP/IP stack and IIRC it also already has a VOIP client kit installed but not sure if it's Skype compatible.

  • Re:No details (Score:3, Informative)

    by andphi ( 899406 ) <phillipsam@PASCA ... m minus language> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:02PM (#15910691) Journal

    For those of us whose German is rusty, I google-translated the page the Parent links to:

    Trolltech places Linux mobile phone for developers forwards [updated]

    Linux Anwendungsentwicklern for mobile telephones was missing so far a suitable hardware environment for the continuous tests during the development phase. At this gap to close Trolltech presented now the Qtopia Greenphone. Mobile phone is offered as part of the Qtopia Entwicklungsumgebung of the Norwegian enterprise and should be available starting from September for a price of presumably approximately 690 US Dollar. Trolltech is above all admits for the platform-spreading C++ Framework Qt, on which for instance the Unix/Linux Desktop KDE develops, and which development environment Qtopia for mobile devices.

    In the package with the Qtopia Phone edition of the Trolltech SDK is to help that mobile phone to clearly shorten the development cycles for arbitrary uses of business applications up to plays. The Greenphone is equipped, among them also in addition with the today usual functions of a Smartphone a camera. Mobile phone can be taped over a mini USB haven directly with applications, which is Linux Kernel pre-installed.

    The Greenphone is manufactured by Trolltechs Chinese partner Yahua Teltech. It is equipped with a dual core XScale processor with 312 MHz clock frequency of Marvell (before times Intel) and the baseband processor BCM2121 von Broadcom. Beside 64 MByte RAM 128 MByte Flash memory and a MiniSD Karteneinschub are available. The Touchscreen display offers QVGA dissolution. Beside GSM and GPRS the Greenphone supports also WiFi and is prepared owing to SIP middleware also for VoIP telephone calls.

    Trolltech owes to manufacturers such as Motorola, ZTE and Cellon that world-wide already approximately 4 million mobile phones were sold, which are based on Qtopia. With the Greenphone, which is to become only the first model in a whole row, the Norwegians want to further set the spreading in motion of Linux mobile phones. Last Trolltech had announced in May in addition to aim at a stock exchange quotation which was in the meantime carried out.

  • by hankwang ( 413283 ) * on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:18PM (#15910813) Homepage
    used countless unlocked phones with my cingular plan that I never purchased from them, and they were never aware I owned.
    Technically, GSM providers do know whether you use the original phone. Each handset has an identification number (the IMEI number [wikipedia.org]) that you usually can retrieve by punching in the code *#06#. The phone sends the IMEI number to the network whenever it is switched on. The provider can - in theory - use the IMEI information to block stolen phones or to ensure that SIMs are only used with the original handset. AFAIK not much is done with the IMEI numbers over here in the Netherlands, apart from an occasional experiment to flood stolen handsets with text messages "This phone is stolen" and to prove that a suspect was at the place of a crime when he thought he was smart by changing the SIM chip.
  • by Joseph Vigneau ( 514 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:30PM (#15910924)
    This means, if it works right you could use your cell phone to make voip calls via your home wifi connection

    You can already do this today, with devices like the HTC Wizard (aka Cingular 8125, T-Mobile MDA). Of course, it's Windows Mobile 5, but I wouldn't mind seeing a Linux-based device doing the same thing...
  • by Requiem Aristos ( 152789 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:11PM (#15911732)
    So unlock them.

    Sure the salespeople are idiots, you expected different? One of the first things I do when getting a new phone is making sure it's unlocked; It's the telecom equivalent of making your DVD player region-free.
  • by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @05:07PM (#15913828)
    The real reason US phone companies dont want users to have it is because US phone companies like locked phones not open phones. People pay tons of money to get an unlock phone because when you buy your phone through Cingular, Verizon, or Sprint they disable some features and disable a way to upgrade the phone. I know with Verizon if you want to do anything with a phone you have to buy a cable and software(win only) and even thats limited(last I check my phone model the only way Verizon let you get pictures from it was to e-mail it to yourself costing lots of money). If that phone comes down in price to say about $200 USD Ill buy it other then that I really cannt afford.
  • by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @05:12PM (#15913884) Homepage
    My phone, from O2, can be reflashed. I have reflashed it, with updates supplied by O2. Modded ROM images from other sources are available, but I haven't tried them.

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