[Gta04-owner] No gta-04 available

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Mon Oct 22 08:23:30 CEST 2012


Am 20.10.2012 um 23:05 schrieb Boudewijn:

> On Saturday 20 October 2012 20:30:45 Michaël Parchet wrote:
>> Before to buy a freerunner, I would like to make sure that, with the gta04,
>> I have a 3g antenna and so I can phone throw 3g
> I am quite sure. I am not sure though, whether I have been in 3G-only areas 
> with my phone, so I have not been able to experience first hand.
>> If it's the case, I'm very interested to buy a freerunner with the gta 04.
> You understand correctly: to use the GTA04, parts from a previous Openmoko 
> phone are needed, or replacement parts.
>> But it seems that the gta 04 is currently not available. isn't it  ?
> Nikolaus is the best to answer that question.

Yes, the last batch is completely sold out. And production by the
current facility to fulfill the open orders is unfortunately still sluggish
(I hestitate to share the frustrating details).

But technically it is no major problem to produce more GTA04 boards
in the same facility as the OpenPandoras are made.

We are currently working on the new PCB layout GTA04A5 to fix some
minor issues (no significant functional changes) to make it easier to
change the production line. But this is only some homework that can
be finalized in the next two weeks or so.

When it comes to complete devices around the GTA04 (i.e. OpenPhoenux
devices), there are two not yet sufficiently solved issues:

Firstly, for replacement parts we are still waiting for a good and still inexpensive
antenna design to emerge.

Secondly, we have no really convincing solution for small volume mass
production of nice and durable plastic (or metal or wood) cases. Injection
moulding is too expensive unless we get beyond 2-3k units and 3D printing
is still not as good as everyone would like to see.

But the really unsolved problem is how to finance the next batch so that
everybody is becoming happy.

From the previous batch and the current "wishlist" entries we know that
many expect some 200 to max. 300 EUR for a GTA04. But this is not
achievable at all, unless we see demand for 10k units or would start to
subsidize the devices by some non-free content and make it DRM protected...

But to stay a little below 500 EUR appears to be an achievable target.

To get below this price line means that we produce at least 200 or more
units in a single batch. You can estimate yourself how much money
needs to be collected before production starts...

For achieving this minimum, we need your help to convince others to buy
as many GTA04 boards as possible.

Otherwise this project will simply die out like the Neanderthalensis.
Because if there isn't enough demand in the results of a project, no
financial trick (*) can make it economically feasible...


(*) kickstarter isn't a financial trick - it is an advertising and sales platform.
Volunteer contributions are limited when it comes to buying chips
and components.

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