GreenPhone!!

greenphone.jpgThat’s exactly how a developer would name a variable or in this case a phone. But apart from the name and the color, I like Trolltech’s “Greenphone”; designed in partnership with Yuhua Teltech it’s a mobile phone specifically designed for – you guessed it – developers. It’s a GSM/GPRS mobile phone with a bootloader that lets you re-flash the phone with Linux-based firmware via a mini-USB port. What’s more it comes with a complete SDK. Beautiful, now only if it were black.I am aware of various alternatives that allow you to write applications for cell phones on top of Windows Mobile or some sort of J2ME stack, but I am not a big fan of those platforms. This phone on the other hand runs the stock Linux kernel 2.4.19 enriched with Qtopia (Qt edition for the mobile platform), which apart from giving developers full control of the hardware allows them to port many of the native open source applications fairly easily. For instance it’s reported that the phone is Wifi enabled and has the SIP stack to make VoIP calls … possibilities are endless.

Rockr e2 in largeIf you are one of those skeptics who doubt linux phones are commercially viable, allow me to point you to Motorolla Rokr E2; a basic phone and mp3 player with up to 2GB SD memory expansion slot, camera, bluetooth, USB 2.0 connectivity with the PC etc. I hope you noticed – it sports a sexy name “Rokr E2” and does come in black. This one is certainly an end user phone that one wouldn’t want to break apart, but if you are so inclined, you can find the source for E2 here.

I must also point out some people are voicing concerns about developers having such control over the phone hardware, which unlike a PC has a radio regulated by FCC that, and the fact that the carrier networks are designed to trust their phones implicitly could create problems. I for one favour the hacker’s, more good than bad is going to come of this … rock on!!
Trolltech expects to ship the Greenphone sometime in September, hopefully they can price it competitively – keep watching.
Greenphone specs:

Software

Qtopia Phone Edition 4.1.4
Linux kernel 2.4.19

Hardware

Touch-screen and keypad UI
QVGA® LCD color screen
Intel® XScale® 312 mHz PXA270
64MB RAM & 128MB Flash
Mini-SD™ card slot
Broadcom® BCM2121 GSM/GPRS baseband processor
Bluetooth® equipped
Mini-USB port

Greenphone’s user manual.


About amit

I was born in Kanpur, India in 1977. I did my schooling partly in Kanpur, Surat and Udaipur. I spent most of my schooling years in Udaipur in a boarding school. This was the most enjoyable period of my life predominantly because I made a lot of friends and played a lot of football (my first love). My school years brought in a sinking realization that I was good in academics, average in football [even after my most sincere efforts :( ] and to put it euphemistically 'artistically challenged'. Hence cool careers in photography, sports, art & design or music were all beyond me. I took up what I could do best, and enrolled for engineering at Nagpur University. College brought its own pleasures, I had my share of beers, bunked classes, read the 'Bhagvad Gita', learned yoga and picked up love for traveling. After graduating I was one of the lucky few to get a great job at Infosys Technologies. The best thing I got from my first job - my Yamaha Rx 135. There were not many weekends when I did not explore places in and around Bangalore on it. In two years though my desire to pursue further studies caught up with me and I enrolled for a M.S in Computer Networking at North Carolina State University. Here I picked up basketball, love for stand up comedy, liking for the 'other football' and offcourse a little bit of computer networking. I graduated in Dec 2002 and am currently working for /n Software. I am slowly evolving into a die hard Linux and Open Source enthusiast, trying to pick up skydiving, biking, running and photography. Some might call that progress. :)
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