Neo FreeRunner – iPhone for Linux fans

Despite the negative feedback, qualms and criticisms on the iPhone 3G from its price and cut-throat contract to its technical specs, I’ve read that some experts say that it will perform well and rake in more money for Apple. Why so? It’s from Apple, it’s an iPhone. Somehow, Apple has managed to imbued it with a tiny parcel of Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field that it makes consumers shell out huge wads of money and surrender their souls to the devil, as some would say.

Love it or hate it, the iPhone is here to stay and make its huge mark in our times. It already has.

Fortunately, there are lots of other alternatives to the iPhone, from the well-known mobile giants like Nokia, Sony Ericsson and others. Each has their own loyal fan base and so far, the principles of the free market economy are keeping things from being a complete anarchy.

But here’s one particular iPhone alternative that would appeal to a special fan base. The Linux zealots.

Enter OpenMoko’s open-source smartphone: Neo FreeRunner

The FreeRunner is based on a GNU/Linux, and it will initially ship with basic software to make calls, send and receive SMS, and manage contacts. But the company is encouraging users to write and install their own applications. (InformationWeek)

FreeRunnerIt’s technical specs are:

Size and Weight

  • 4.75 x 2.44 x 0.73 inches
  • 6.5 ounces (185 grams)

Display

  • Touch Screen
  • 2.8″ VGA (480×640) VGA Screen

Speed

  • ARM9 @ 400 MHz
  • 2D/3D Graphics Acceleration

GSM

  • Tri band 850/1800/1900 MHz
  • Tri band 900/1800/1900 MHz

Power

  • Removable 1200 mAh battery

Memory

  • 128MB SDRAM
  • 256MB NAND Flash
  • microSD Slot

Input and Output

  • Input and Output
  • 2.5 mm audio jack
  • GPS external connector

Hardware Highlights

  • Wi-Fi (802.1 1b/g)
  • AGPS
  • GPRS (2.5G not EDGE)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 3axis Motion Sensors (2)

Software Highlights

  • Openmoko GNU/Linux-based
  • 100% FOSS on CPU
  • GNU/Linux development tools

For now, it’s only available, or will work in US networks and is selling at $399 unlocked. It’s basically a smartphone platform for Linux fans and the open-source community to play around on or seriously develop applications that would further create tons of potential for the mobile platform and even the Linux desktop as well.

I wonder though, if and when would this be available here in the Philippines? I’m sure local Linux fanboys would love to tinker with this new phone.

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