[Gta04-owner] Openmoko Community Survey 2011 – Results

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Mon Jan 16 11:21:34 CET 2012


Hi Bob,

Am 16.01.2012 um 10:59 schrieb Bob Ham:

> Perhaps a simple phone that does what it does, and does it well, is a good idea.  A cut-down phone running free software could well be very popular.  Perhaps the answer is hidden in Q1: the high-end feature set.  Let me reverse the question: why produce a phone with a high-end feature set, rather than a functional phone with a low-end feature set?
> 
> Cost is evidently a significant issue.  The lack of sales demonstrates the need to find the right balance between cost and features.  Unfortuntely, it seems that the GTA04 is not so well balanced in this respect.  That's not to say it won't be successful; it's still pretty much the only option for those who have strong beliefs about freedom (or will be, once cases are readily available).  However, a low-end phone with a good balance between cost and features will no doubt be much more widely popular.

I tend to disagree.

First of all, what is "a good balance between cost and features"? People disagree a lot
on this. And it changes every two weeks. So one week you get one half and the other
week you get the other half. I.e. leaving features out has the same result of splitting the
100% of basically interested into those who had preferred feature 1 and those who had
preferred features 2. This is also done by price.

Regarding the GTA04 feature set, we see comments on /. and elsewhere, where the
GTA04 is brandmarked as being underfeatured. People keep saying: high(er) resolution,
capacitive touch, multi-core, LTE is needed to make a useable smartphone.

Now let's assume we define a low-featured device. Reduce UMTS to GSM, reduce VGA to QVGA,
etc. It will not reduce cost dramatically. The reason is that 50-70% of the cost is just making
a device that can be called "phone" and only the remainder are the features where we
try to follow Samsung and Apple... So the shift to a lower feature set increases the distance to
commercial smartphone platforms and does not reduce cost significantly enough.

So I think that stretching out for really attractive features - even if the device becomes high
priced - is the right strategy.

BR,
Nikolaus



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