"Thousands of Neo FreeRunners have been loaded into planes and fired around the world," announced Sean Moss-Pultz, the Openmoko CEO, in a frequently philosophical email titled "let us impact the material world", posted to the Openmoko community mailing list. He continued, "many of our distributors have already begun shipping. In about another week, Steve and Harry will announce the opening of our own webshop." The CAD files for building the smartphone hardware are available under the Creative Commons, and the software has been released under the GPL, including a patched 2.6.24 Linux kernel. Sean continued, "whenever I talk publicly about Openmoko, or so it seems, the following question is asked: How can you compete again the giants of this industry? For most of us, I'd like to think, the answer is obvious. Instead of answering, I usually return their question: How can they compete against us?" He explained:
"Openmoko is the collective creation of amateurs working on exactly what we love. They are professionals, some doing what they love, most working towards the next paycheck. At certain times, the amateur has a distinct advantage over the professional. A professional knows what they can deliver, and rarely goes beyond it. An amateur has no concept of their limitations and usually goes well beyond them. Experience teaches us our limits. When we have learned that and become complacent, we are finished, because our work can be calculated and measured. Our work ceases to be a weapon."
The Openmoko wiki explains:
"Openmoko™ born as an Open Source project under GPL and LGPL license and dedicated to delivering an open software stack on mobile platforms, shipped its first product, the Neo 1973, on July 9 2007; and then, turned the project into a start-up company with one aim: create great mobile products using the Openmoko stack: Open. Mobile. Free.
"The Openmoko stack, which includes a full X server, allows users and developers to transform mobile hardware platforms into unique products. Our license gives developers and users freedom from the "iron to the eyeballs," freedom to cosmetically customize their device or radically remix it; change the wallpaper or rebuild the entire house! It grants them the freedom, for example, to transform a phone into a medical device or point of sale device or the freedom to simply install their own favorite software. Beyond freeing the software on our devices we have also released our CAD files under Creative Commons. By freeing the software under GPL, we enable the community of FOSS developers to 'make it new.' By freeing the CAD files we give industrial designers and engineers this same opportunity."
The official Openmoko online store will begin offering the Openmoko FreeRunner on or around July 4th. Several distributors in Europe have already begun shipping the phones, with numerous reports of people already receiving the phone reaching the Openmoko community mailing list.
The $399 smart phone includes the following features: