Remember that refreshingly hype-free OpenMoko smartphone we told you about last July? You know – the ‘one phone to rule them all’ type thing? Well, it looks like the Linux engineers behind the project finally have something we’ll be able to buy soon.

Only five months late, the Taiwan-based group has polished off its ‘freed phone’ development hardware and software to bring consumers the Neo Freerunner, a successor to the Neo 1973.

Free for all

The phone, which should be available to purchase direct from the company within six months, runs OpenMoko Linux on the Neo hardware platform. Unlike any other phone, both hardware and software are entirely open source.

Aside from the usual licence to alter and distribute the Linux operating system, the hardware is transparent too. OpenMoko has even published full blueprints, including CAD diagrams from the design stage of the components.

Tri-band GSM

As for what that hardware can do, there’s a tri-band GSM radio, a 640 x 480 touchscreen, Wi-Fi, GPS, a 400MHz CPU and a USB host port for attaching peripherals.

We reckon phone geeks and ordinary users alike should be salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on a piece of kit that makes the iPhone look like a toy. We’ll bring you word on pricing and availability when OpenMoko confirms it for us later today.

 

Update: Sean Moss Pultz of OpenMoko just confirmed that sales will start in the second half of this year. They'll be only at OpenMoko.com and the Neo Freerunner will cost a reasonable $399 (£198).