Wired has a short article that looks at the upcoming OpenMoko Linux powered cell phone. Unfortunately their coverage, like most of the coverage I’ve seen of the OpenMoko, is focused on comparing it to the iPhone. IMHO that’s unfortunate. As has been pointed out endlessly by the many rabid iPhone fans on the net, it’s unlikely that anyone, particularly OpenMoko, will create as seamless and slick an end user experience as the iPhone. Probably true. Apple’s good at that.
But the big limitation of the iPhone is that, unlike the BlackBerry and all the various Windows Mobile based smartphones, you can’t load your own apps on the iPhone. That’s one of the reasons that I think the OpenMoko is really more of a competitor for the BlackBerry and the various other smartphones, rather than an “iPhone killer”.
I hope the folks behind the OpenMoko are smart enough to realize that in addition to the “geek” market, they should also be targeting the enterprise market. With the right developer tools, and particularly if the OpenMoko becomes available in both the current form factor and a “ruggedized’ version, this could be an awesome platform for developing and deploying mobile enterprise applications.
As for the geek market… If the next version has 3G and a decent camera I’ll definitely be getting one.