OpenMoko gives up on Android platform

The FreeRunner... RIP (probably)
The FreeRunner... RIP (probably)

OpenMoko, the company with a vision to make open source hardware on top of the open source Android platform, has decided to scrap its plans to continue with the project.

Having only sold 10,000 units of its unlocked, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled (and cheap) handset, the writing appears to be on the wall for the concept.

The next phone in the range, the GTA03, has been scrapped (although officially the word is 'postponed') and the company will now begin work on a new non-phone related idea dubbed "Project B", and staff levels will apparently be drastically cut.

Cease the buzzing!

And all those users of the original FreeRunner (if that's you, consider yourself part of a very select band) who are annoyed by the apparent buzzing noise emitted by the handset, you best be getting yourself down to the nearest trade show, as 'volunteers' will be on hand with soldering irons to sort you out.

"We do it in software by having [volunteers] write code - we do it in marketing by having community members man trade show booths, we did it in sales with the group purchase," said Steve Mosher, VP of marketing at OpenMoko.

"So when it comes to fixing the [FreeRunner] in the field we are going to start with a volunteer approach... I've shipped the parts to fix phones to a few individuals... volunteers with soldering irons [are] ready to do their best."

It's not hard to see why the handset never flew, as it was barely advertised and confusing to understand for a lot of people (as well as not even having an EDGE connection, let alone 3G due to licensing issues) but for the developer collectors out there, you should get on eBay soon to get your hands on a piece of Android history.

Via The Register

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.