OpenMoko today announced the Neo FreeRunner, a mass-market version of the Neo 1973 open-source phone, and will be showing it off at CES next week. The phone will have the same "overall look and feel" as the developers' product, but it has a faster 500MHz processor, 3D graphics, and a new lineup of open-source mobile apps. It's a GSM tri-band world phone with either 850MHz or 900MHz on the low end, and it has 802.11b/g as well for hotspot action. Oh, and it will also have motion sensors for gesture-based activity. Pretty cool stuff, but as yet, there's no pricing or availability announced. Stay tuned, or jump for the press release.
OpenMoko Unveils Neo FreeRunner
New subsidiary of FIC previews consumer version of its highly acclaimed open source Neo mobile phone
TAIPEI, TAIWAN, January 3, 2008 - OpenMoko, originators of the Neo 1973, the world's first totally open mobile phone that continues to receive critical acclaim from the Free and Open Source (FOSS) developer community, will unveil the Neo FreeRunner, a version of the phone tailored for mass market consumers. Neo FreeRunner, based on the same free and open source principles as the Neo 1973, will be previewed at the press-only Lunch @ Piero's technology showcase event during CES 2008.
Maintaining the overall look and feel of the developers' Neo 1973, the Neo FreeRunner features hardware improvements such as 2D/3D graphics and a faster 500MHz processor that boosts performance to enable video and audio processing, as well as a new generation of mobile applications emerging from the open source community. Designed for worldwide use, FreeRunner will come in two versions: a 850MHz tri- band and a 900Mhz tri-band. Neo FreeRunner will also integrate WiFi (802.11 b/g) for online access anywhere, and will include motion sensors that will cue functions based on detected user activity.
The original Neo 1973 sold out within three days of its introduction in July 2007, giving open source developers and hackers a hardware and software platform to build a completely new mobile device for both vertical markets and consumers. Neo FreeRunner builds on and expands that success.
"FreeRunner 's a significantly improved device from the Neo 1973. Our developers gave us great feedback as they explored the first version of the device," said Steven Mosher, VP marketing, Openmoko. "We added WiFi, motion sensors, faster processing, and improved graphics, creating a compelling mass market device for open source development. The open source community was key in achieving that goal. Without them this remix of the Neo would not have been possible"
Developers who bought the Neo 1973 have been eagerly awaiting announcement of the latest Neo sequel.
To foster FreeRunner development for mainstream Java applications and Java developers, OpenMoko partnered with Jalimo, the open source project driven by the German software development company Tarent GmbH.
Hanno Wendt, Partner Manager and spokesman for Jalimo: " the Neo 1973 was a great launch vehicle for us. We got the device and had our Java Virtual Machine ( JVM) running in no time. We are confident our bring up on FreeRunner will go just as smoothly."
The FreeRunner will be previewed at CES and ship later this spring— first to developers and then to end users as software for the new hardware features becomes available.
OpenMoko is a worldwide innovator in the creation of open mobile products,
OpenMoko, Inc. manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Neo devices. Since 2006, OpenMoko has been the commercial and community effort empowering developers and consumers to personalize their mobile devices, much like a computer, in any way they see fit.
For the latest information on OpenMoko visit www.openmoko.com.