[Gta04-owner] Business strategy

Kevin Hremeviuc khremeviuc at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 18 23:08:29 CET 2011

Hi all,

I am not interested in anything remotely like an iPhone. I want my gta04 to be a general computer that I also use as a phone. For example, with my gta02 I set it up with SHR, got the SHR build system then: compiled in usb midi, compiled in seq24 (a small gui midi sequencer - made some mods to make it touch screen friendly), compiled in Specimen ( a small midi sampler - was a bit too resource hungry though), compiled in fluid-synth (console app only), plugged in my midi master keyboard and my akai midi control unit via USB and then attempted to make some music (needed more CPU power so hopefully the gta04 will romp it in). Try doing that with an iPhone!


 From: Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns at goldelico.com>
To: Martin Christian <martin at christianix.de> 
Cc: List for communicating with real GTA04 owners <gta04-owner at goldelico.com> 
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 5:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Gta04-owner] Business strategy
Hi Martin,

Am 17.11.2011 um 23:48 schrieb Martin Christian:

> Hello Nikolaus,
> thanks for the extensive answer. I'd like to add a few comments to your
> point of view:
> If the GTA04 is supposed to be only a mobile phone for geeks, it's
> certainly accepted that you pay a considerable higher price for a really
> free phone. But if you consider the end consumers, the price has to be
> comparable to an HTC or iPhone. There is a trade-off between freedom and

I found only offers starting at 450 EUR and going upwards to 850 EUR.
So I think we aren't that far away. Nevertheless they are too different
from a GTA04 (motherboard) to be reduced (phone A with phone B) to a
price tag comparison.

> price. I'm sure there are consumer which appreciate freedom and are
> willing to pay more, but only to a certain extend.

Yes, surely.

But we neither focus on the geeks only nor the "dumb consumer" since we
neither want to build a mass market "phone" nor a portable entertainment
device that happens to be able to make and receive phone calls. We want
to  build a tool. Something you can work with or learn from or extend and modify.

It can be used as a bike computer, a pedestrian navigator, a geocaching tool,
a portable e-mail access device, a remote surveillance camera, a RFID ticket
reader, a platform to build an on board controller of a quadrocopter, the core
of a MokoTab, etc. I think there are many more use cases where you need
a small, (replaceable!) battery operated high-computing power, UMTS connected

I remember that the bandwidth of use of the GTA02 has been very broad.
Some community members still use it as a daily phone. Others have used
it to track street bumps. One or two devices were shot into space to do
acceleration measurements. Others have been used as a visitor information
device in exhibitions.

So we also want to address special applications and projects that need
a modified device. This is why we also offer the custom module [1].

> Even though it's correct that at the moment barely any IT system is bug
> free, systems with a certain maturity can be called "production" ready.
> And the Linux kernel is certainly a mature piece of software. But I
> think it is helpful to set goals to measure project progress and hence
> maturity.
> So I should probably rephrase my questions:
> - When do you think the GTA04 is in a state that a typical iPhone user,
> could use it?
> - Which milestones do you see on the way and at what point in time?


What is a typical iPhone user? In my view: someone who is interested
in chic and most easily operated device (which isn't bad at all and we
should aim at as well), even if functions are missing because someone
decided for you that it is good that they are missing (this is where we
think differently).

He/she is not at all interested in openness - the device just has to work,
look good and be entertaining all the day long.

Thus, making an open device for a typical iPhone user (not app developer)
appears to be a contradiction in itself...

Anyways, all this is defined by the user-space-software and some
application repository. So I can't answer your question.

Since we offer a software-agnostic hardware, I think the software
distribution guys of SHR, QtMoko etc. should describe their plans.

Some of the key developers have received a GTA04 board in the
past weeks and are already working on it. But I can't make any
promises on their progress.

So let me ask questions to you and the list:
- what is your view of a typical Openmoko user?
- what makes you interested so that you did subscribe to this list and
   start this discussion?

I think that could help to better understand who we are and what we
expect from future Openmoko devices.


[1]: http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%20Custom
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