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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

FIC launches Linux touchscreen phone

A Taiwanese consortium Openmoko, led by embedded electronics giant FIC, has launched its Linux 'open' phone, Neo 1973, named after the year FIC claims the mobile phone was invented.

The Neo 1973 uses:

* 2.8" VGA TFT color display
* Touchscreen, usable with stylus or fingers (see the Hitachi story below)
* 266MHz Samsung System on a Chip (ARM-11 based SOC)
* USB 1.1, switchable between Client and Host (unpowered) - interesting!
* Integrated Assisted GPS
* 2.5G GSM – quad band, voice, CSD, GPRS
* Bluetooth 2.0
* Micro SD slot
* High Quality audio codec

This incarnation will not work as the applications are not available that the operators demand, but this is the start of a more open generation of mobile phones using Linux that will stimulate the eco-system of mobile phone applications (and viruses of course) and eventually drive down the costs of smartphones, but it will take many years! All credit to FIC for starting the ball rolling in a serious way, and these guys know how to manufacture in volume to a price!

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