Skip to main content

An alternative to the i-Phone

  • Author:
  • Updated:

By Ben Cohen

Calling all tech geeks- there is a new open source phone called the 'Neo 1973' soon to be on the market that rivals the i-Phone. This basically means it is a phone that allows the owner to download different types of open source software applications onto their phone. Read more to check it out.

This article originally appeared on

The $300 Linux-Powered 'iPhone Killer' Arrives
By Michael Calore EmailJuly 09, 2007 | 1:41:33 PMCategories: Linux, iPhone

Ficneo1973_small After seemingly endless delays, the OpenMoko phone is here. The first version of the NEO 1973 mobile phone, which carries the Linux kernel inside and is not locked to a specific network, is available for purchase from It's not as jaw-droppingly pretty as the iPhone, but it shares a design philosophy -- no buttons, just a screen -- and it's ready to be loaded with any number of open-source software applications. (Though, according to Gadget Lab, so is the iPhone).

The base version of the NEO sells for $300. It has a 2.8" VGA touch screen, a micro SD card slot, a USB port and 2.5G GSM quad band capability.

Keep in mind that this unit (the GTA01) was pushed out early so developers could begin writing device drivers, custom GUIs and some cool apps for the phone. The next revision (GTA02), which will be available starting at $450 in October, will be ready for the mass market. It will have wi-fi, 3-D motion sensors and added graphics accelerators. So this phone isn't exactly an iPhone killer -- the next one will be a contender. AptUsTech has a nice comparison of the NEO 1973 and the iPhone.

When it comes to devices, more choice is almost always "a good thing." But will consumers respond to the NEO? We all know developers are going to dig this phone. But what's more important to consumers -- a super-sexy status item that's locked to one carrier and one set of functions, or a less sexy look-alike with a fully free and open software system?