[Community] FYI 2013 Nexus 7 reviewed

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Mon Aug 12 10:48:26 CEST 2013

Hi Kardan,

Am 12.08.2013 um 07:07 schrieb kardan:

> Hi Nikolaus,
> will the phone be ready until november?

It is ready for production since 1 year, but there are not enough orders to
finance the next production run and finish development of some final
missing pieces (DIY antenna, 3D printed case for daily use) to make it
a complete device not needing to disassemble an existing OpenMoko

Maybe this presentation helps to better understand at which point we are
with this project:


> We all want to see the bird to
> take off! Please comment on the following friendly advices.
> On Sun, 11 Aug 2013 11:02:01 +0200
> "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
>> Hi kardan,
>> Am 11.08.2013 um 10:42 schrieb kardan:
>>> may this be of interest for compareism. which features of the
>>> following would you like to have in a open hardware phone/tablet?
>> I think everybody would agree to get
>>> = feature-set(Nexus 7) + 100% open
>> <= price(Nexus 7)
>> <= min(release_date(Nexus7), release_date(iPad+1))
> Maybe someone could dissolve those values.
>> The question is less what we want to have, it is how we can get there.
> Below I stated some thoughts on a strategy to get there.
>> Enthusiasm isn't enough any more as the Ubuntu Edge campaign
>> appears to demonstrate.
> I am not familiar to that one. Could you please add details (maybe
> for others on the list as well).

I think there are already many links out there what Ubuntu Edge is and
about their crowd funding campaign, so that I don't need to repeat except


With 9 days left, the campaign appears to fail since they just have 
reached 29% of their goal, so a wonder must happen. This reminds
me exactly on the progress of our GTA04 Group Tour...

Now, there are approx. 10000 really enthusiastic backers who tell everybody
about it, but that does not draw attention of the other 30k they need.

You may say 10000 - hurrah that is great! But on the other hand there
are around 200 millon smartphones sold per quarter [1]. This means 
90000 units per HOUR worldwide.

And if even Ubuntu, being very well known, having a good Linux
roots, and being recognized by the open source community is not
achieving in 4 weeks what the big companies are selling in 10 minutes,
this needs more than enthusiasm...

[1] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2335616

>>> Cheaper than most, better than all: the 2013 Nexus 7 reviewed
>> Currently we are on the torture rack where feature level of mainstream
>> devices is going up and prices are going down (leading to increasing
>> financial loss for big companies).
> At a first glimpse this sounds like market implosion later on.

Not a market implosion, but monopolists.

Only 2 or 3 big companies will survive who have the hands on all the
supply chains to keep the production cost at the minimum to reduce
prices in a away to exclude everyone else.

It is cheaper buying a complete Samsung device (e.g. Samsung Galaxy
S3 mini I8190 Smartphone (10,2 cm (4 Zoll) AMOLED Display, Dual-Core,
1GHz, 1GB RAM, 5 Megapixel Kamera, Android 4.1) @ 231 EUR) and
disassembling, than buying the components.

Unfortunately these components are not documented so it is not open.
But 400 EUR cheaper than what we can do.

> People are getting used to get all for nothing (/few) which is
> similarly for information and services on the web. There will be some
> kind of awaking that "no cost" for customers means high costs at
> another part of the chain - for the web it is to realize every user is
> a product sold to ad/spam factories for example - for hardware it is
> also about privacy at some point (which people will realize soon /
> partly did already), but not only as there are several more "real"
> drawbacks like working conditions, economic destruction, war on
> resources, political interference by US/EU, nuclear radiation,
> pollution, you name it ..

Yes, I agree - but I am waiting for this awaking for several years
now. And currently my impression is that it will not happen.

Instead people are starting to ignore these threats. Because they think:
* we can't do anything
* there are more imporant things on this world to be solved
* I have nothing to hide

> Our phone campaign CAN be the answer to all of these questions, if we
> manage to outreach a majority of customers (see my thoughts on a
> marketing campaign below).
>> So the key question we all have is how we can get out of that
>> situation...
> I think first of all you need to be clear why the Phoenix is better than
> the fairphone, as they are doing exactly the right things in my eyes.
> http://www.fairphone.com/blog/

No really. The main focus is to be open in supply chains.

But that is a "feature" that can be easily copied by the big companies.

And I am sure (because I have some background information) that
in 2 years some major industries will be "fair". I.e. it will be sort of a quality
mark like ROHS, REACH, FCC, VDE, UL, etc.

I.e. in some near future fair+phone will become a tautology.

We are slightly different in that we want to be 100% open. This is
something fundamental that a big company (being capitalistic) simply
can't copy.

> Then imagine I am a manager of a small hardware company (like the one
> below) who is looking for potential clients. I am open for
> environmentally friendly production and care about human rights and
> heard about your open source company in a podcast/whatever.
> I go to goldelico.com and look for OpenPhoenix as it was named to be
> a new phone project.

This is a false assumption that Goldelico wants to push some hardware
into a market.

OpenPhoenux and Openmoko were there first and goldelico.com is
just one of several community members.

One with a special set of capabilities to make such a project materialize,
after the community did want to see it (as an improved successor of the
Openmoko GTA02).

So first there was the community looking for someone who can do
it and Goldelico did develop the device for the community.

This Openphoenux community is also open to other hardware manufacturers
to contribute something.

> It is not there. (put images of all
> successfull products to your front page!) I click on "Open hardware
> projects". I see a some mac banners and have the feeling your company
> is for a limited audience (i have no clue what GNUstep is, but I heard
> people of GNU shouting about the software I use). Thoug I wonder why
> the projects are not listed on the projects page. Patiently I click on
> the link to http://projects.goldelico.com
> Ugh, I am confused. There are only software projects and I want
> to leave as this company does not seem to do anything my hardware.
> But still I scroll down and finally see "OpenPhoenux
> Open Pho(n)e (w. Li)nux - The independent Open Mobile Tool community
> Labels: n/a". Mh, still no hint for open hardware, but phone sounds
> good. As it is not listed at the top I assume it may be one your minor
> projets. And finally http://projects.goldelico.com/p/openphoenux/ does
> not change this impression - no call for hardware vendors or fair
> suppliers. As I am clever I scroll down again and click on hardware.
> Now I am lost what this is about and leave.

It is unlikely and not expected that someone interested in OpenPhoneux
is starting at the company page (which is under rework anyways). 

Rather people should start with www.openphoenux.org and find everything
there - and in the last step come to an organization running the daily business
part (stock, logistics, money).

> So it is worth to optimize the page for hardware vendors who are
> interested to sell to you or even would make a better price in exchange
> for a logo on your front page for example .. I would do that for you,
> but I am loaded with own (hardware) projects currently.
> What of the following is missing and prevents GTA04 to boom?
> 1) product
> 2) customers / preorders
> 3) financial calculations
> 4) funds
> 5) marketing material
> 6) marketing campaign
> 7) employees / personnel / contributors / hat wearers
> 8) user comfort
> Which are missing?
> What do you think are the reasons that keep your bird on the ground?
> From my perspective it is about 4) 2) 5) (in this order).
> So a first start would be
> A collect info that everybody should know about
> B outline a process for a multi-cycle crowdfunding campaign
> C offer an easy way for interests to get a) involved b) a usable phone.

Yes, that is a good idea. If you need help to start, please ask here on
this list. There are many just reading but have big knowledge to contribute
for specific questions.

> A)
> * phone properties
> ** features
> ** price expectations
> * unique selling propositions (USP)
> => completely open phone (100% software, 100% hardware)
> => privacy enhancements
> => fair labour conditions for production and assembly
> => clean resources (beyond war areas / human rights violations)
> => open process - everybody can join in and contribute
> => what else?

Isn't that summarised at the start page www.openphoenux.org well

You can also cross-check here:


> (If you have the feeling, the above is not true, it turns out 1) is
> incomplete. In this case better get to work before asking for 2) 4).)
> For me not all questions are answered, please share your knowledge.
> Also it should be worth to have a deeper look at MakeItFair [1] and the
> requirements they make for hardware and processes.
> Also maybe our perspectives differ regarding priorities.
> B) multi-cycle crowdfunding campaign
> preparations
> * register openphoenix.[org|com]
> * setup a blog about all current progress (i offer my help with design)
> * promote the Phoenix drectly at goldelico.com
> * collect all info information from above
> * compress it to a leaflet and spread it <- MOST important atm IMHO
> * connect and link to all other open hardware initiatives
> ** for example this campaign [1] for an open source Geiger counter [2]
> -target are 1000 pieces á 20€ - what about co-promotion?
> * use all steps you are working on for promotion on the blog
> rev1
> * target: 1000 phones / 1 million €
> * test round as prove of concept for hardware and to equip
>  software developers with a working device and for advertising the
>  project at exhibitions of course

We can skip this step since there are already ~300 gta04-owners
who did and can show their devices everywhere and develop software
for it.

> * if you think, there are more potential developers, please tell
> * mind administrators as valuable group for testing and helping
>  developers in gathering information
> * this phase should be funded by prospective users / some sponsor(s)

The 300 were already funded that way (it was called "Group Tour").

> * think of billionaires who should be convinced to fund the project
> * follow
> rev2
> * target: 10.000 / 5 million €
> * crowdfunding campaign for limited preorder with useful peripheral
>  equiment, fancy stories, nice gadgets like the PiGi, freedombox etc.
> * setup a foundation for open mobile communication

Yes, that would be an option to separate the openphoenux.org
from the company to give it even more independence. A foundation
would be a good start - but needs founders.

> rev3
> * target: who wil now :)
> At this point I would like to throw in my answers to your thoughts about
> fair hardware from april (which I was not able to perceive earlier).
> On Tue, 9 Apr 2013 11:21:35 +0200
> "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
>> Am 08.04.2013 um 10:12 schrieb Sebastian Beschke:  
>>> as Nikolaus recently asked for visions regarding future incarnations
>>> of OpenPhoenux, I would like to bring up the topic of a fair,
>>> sustainable and transparent supply chain.
>> As you write above: "it is very hard even for device makers to be
>> certain what exactly is in their devices in terms of fairness."
>> So I doubt that we as a small community project can do it better. The
>> reason is that we have no "buying power" to request more transparency
>> from our suppliers.
> We can and we will. Don't name our community small or it becomes
> smaller.

Well, it is a fact that we are some 100 - 10k persons. Compared to
the number of employees of e.g. Foxconn this is small.

> Our aims are legitimate and necessary, our approach is the
> right one and we are able to convince any sane human (not deceived by
> money games) that an open (not free :) phone with respect for workers
> and environment is the only acceptable way to go.
>> They do not value us as a signifiant customer and before they invest
>> into finding out (or even improving their own supply chain), they
>> will refuse to keep us as customers. This will only change if they
>> themselves see it as a good marketing argument for *all* of their
>> customers (not only us).
> What is your forecast at which number THEY (do you refer to supplyers
> for main parts or periphery components) will take us important enough?


> I would start with smaller companies (if their prices may be higher)
> how understand their benefit to become well known as fair supplier.

For the most attractive components (quad-core CPU, LTE modems)
"smaller companies" simply don't exist.

>> Maybe even a cooperation with some other open minded companies would
>> be imagineable?
>> Like reusing Efika's iMX6 board:
>>  http://www.genesi-tech.com/solutions/systems/mx6
> Maybe it's worth to ask corporate [at] genesi-tech.com for
> specifications. "Genesi supports software developer communities through
> Power Developer and other operating system/distribution specific
> websites. Genesi also funds and operates power2people, a non-profit
> organization focused on fostering the development and sharing of
> information and communication technologies."
> "Power2People is a non-profit organization incorporated in Texas, USA.
> Our mission is to provide comprehensive, low-cost, state-of-the-art
> communications and collaboration services to emerging communities. The
> ultimate aim is to grow the local economy rapidly thereby improving
> quality of life for the community through better education, health care
> and living standards."
>> [...]
>> Final assembly is done here in Munich by one of two potential
>> companies and from them we know that the employees are not jumping
>> out of the windows (but they use Windows)...
> Well, in respect to humanity let's not make this a requirement but give
> them a chance to choose. :)
>> [...]
>> The key question will be how much a "fair" OpenPhoenux increases the
>> cost for such devices. And how much this can be compensated by higher
>> demand by being "fair".
> I see it the other way round: We make the requirement for fair
> production as we know it is necessary and customers will appreciate
> this. There is a need to feed. Imagine on the radio you hear of a new
> phone, that is 
> * good to you by enabling for complete control over hard~ and software
> * good to workers by respecting their rights and paying proper loans
> * good to environment using clean resources and minimizing production
> * has fancy easy to use software with charming workflows
> Whould you buy it? I would and most people out there as well.

Only if it is cheaper than others at the same time... 

It is the same with "fair coffee" at our supermarket. There is only a single
brand compared to 30 others. And it is not even always available.

Look, economy is currently against people being mentors and generous.

Even Mark Shuttleworth isn't sponsoring the Ubuntu Edge (except by paying
some people running the project) which would have been a very different signal.

> This is
> what I strongly believe and as I can convince you, we will inspire
> everybody. Amen.
>> It may turn out like with Android and iOS that 99,9% of the world
>> population will think those are already "open" enough and buy the
>> cheapest variant they can get their hands on.
> Don't make such assumptions, it would limit (y)our freedom. We ARE
> the 99% - let's focus on how to involve more people lowering (skill)
> barriers.

It is not an assumption - it is the result of asking and discussion with people
about openness and freedom of hardware. The don't feel that they belong
to "us".

But you are right - if 99% are not convinced, this is a really big pool
of people to evangelize.

>> Of course this attitude deserves to be worked against to secure the
>> future of mankind.
> Thank you for saying so!
>> Another point to consider is the pure number of components. We have
>> approx. 250 components from at least 50 different brands. Who is
>> willing to do the work to research and track that initially and in
>> the future?
> Please provide us with links of all the information you have and we will
> put our knowledge around it. Ideally in a wiki.


I am not sure if everybody has write access. Please tell me if you need
write permission.

> Don't question if anybody is willing to do it. OpenSource and
> Crowdsourcing have proven that if anything is necessary to achieve a
> goal, it will be done, no matter by whom, how many people, in how many
> steps. We will get through it by the means of emergence.

Well, my experience is that this does rarely happen. In most cases
there are 10 times as many people telling what should be done
but rarely anyone is doing something...

There are statistics that most open source projects are between
1 and 4 persons working on it. Only some exceptions have more.

But you have written one very important word: "to achieve a goal".

This means the goal must be there first. If people agree to the goal
they will do something.

> Just to set you on the track
> * GSM is insecure we don't want to use it 
>  ("GSM only authenticates the user to the network (and not vice
>  versa)", "it is possible to break A5/2 in real-time with a
>  ciphertext-only attack", "FPGAs that allow A5/1 to be broken with a
> rainbow table attack", "it is possible to build "a full GSM
> interceptor...from open-source components"" -> WP:GSM)
> * There will be a successor anyway, so better it is developed by the
>  community than some agencies.
> * conventional mobile network operators are not attractive for use with
>  open phones - we either need our own communication infrastructure
>  or think of completely different ways to switch phone calls to IP.
> So there is a lot to learn:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_network_operator
> (If you think this is impossible because of legal restrictions, well,
> we need to get rid of them as well - following the line forth..)
> Take me for crazy or join the thinking on long term management.
>>> Great screen, fast internals make this refreshed tablet a great
>>> deal at any price.
>>> http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/07/the-2013-nexus-7-review-meet-the-new-standard-for-android-tablets/
>> <cut>
>> it is not necessary to copy the full article - and it might violate
>> copyrights doing so.
> right .. copyright. I often forget about this one. :)
>> I think it is completely sufficient to insert the link.
> I got used to backup web pages to text if possible due to internet
> blackouts and readering comfort, web spying, etc. But ok.

I understand - but I have not made the copyright laws (that we
are happily basing the GPL on). And it is important to separate
between political discussions and activities to change future
rules while sticking to existing rules.

This is my view on democracy: if you don't like a rule, either
accept it (and use it cleverly to your benefit) or fight at the right
place (politics, parliaments etc.) to get them changed. But don't
simply break and ignore them.

> I can't stress the point enough, that our problem is not solved by
> applying capitalism but maybe we can learn from methods used by big
> players (while there are essential drawbacks by focusing on profit).
> I am not a marketing expert. Maybe some can step up.

Thanks for the fresh perspectives - let's get comments from
others on this discussion list.


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