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Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

LinuxGizmos.com has a survey of crowdfunded Linux-based device projects launched in 2013. "Of the 19 such products listed below, five were never successfully crowdfunded. Of these unfunded devices, all but one appear to be moving forward with alternative funding. In fact, one — CrystalFontz America’s CFA10036 module — has already shipped. That leaves Canonical’s doomed, yet history making Ubuntu Edge smartphone as the only 'failure.'"
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Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 20, 2013 18:18 UTC (Fri) by tsmithe (subscriber, #57598) [Link]

I really don't know why there doesn't seem to be much buzz about the Neo900..

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 22, 2013 18:09 UTC (Sun) by deepfire (guest, #26138) [Link]

Absolutely. The Neo 900 doesn't get the publicity it clearly deserves -- no planned obsolescence, pure free-software, completely unlocked, full documentation and schematics! LTE, GPS, Glonass, USB OTG -- the list goes on..

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 23, 2013 23:49 UTC (Mon) by Arker (guest, #14205) [Link]

I know personally, while I would love one of these, it would not be usable here. There are realistically two or three choices for carriers (others will take your money, and might have better terms of service, but they just do not have the coverage) and they certainly act like they have a monopoly. They require you to use a phone from them, on their terms, or you can just go away, they do not want your business.

For me the outcome of that policy is that I no longer pay a cellphone bill. My old phone is an expensive alarm clock/planner at this point, and there doesnt seem to be a good argument for buying a new, even more expensive phone to do the same thing.

I am afraid my experience is probably not at all uncommon in the US today.

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 24, 2013 0:29 UTC (Tue) by tsmithe (subscriber, #57598) [Link]

That is a shame. In the UK, we have four (down from 5 due to a merger) major mobile telecoms providers, and there is very healthy competition between them. It is a very widespread practice for customers at the end of their contract to take their phone to another network's "SIM only" plan. Because the UK is small, the coverage is generally good, so there are no de facto airwave monopolies in populated areas, and there doesn't seem to be any collusion amongst the operators about prices (there is a massive variation in what you can pay for 1 MiB, oddly). We also have pretty good consumer protection, and so not much of a vendor lock-in issue: if you want to take your phone to another network, you can, and they'll gladly have your business. The fixed line operators are a different matter, but that's a residual issue from the fairly recent privatisation of the infrastructure.

When I read about the telecoms industry in the US, I feel very glad to be in Europe.

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 24, 2013 0:43 UTC (Tue) by Arker (guest, #14205) [Link]

I lived in Europe for a few years earlier and got absolutey spoiled.

The coverage was less dense where I was in Scandinavia than you are used to in the UK, since there is more land and less population, it's more like the US. But all the phones were using the same standard and there were consumer protection laws prohibiting essentially everything US cell phone carriers consider SOP.

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 24, 2013 1:20 UTC (Tue) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

Note that it has nothing to do with density. Think Russia. It's population is about 2.5 times population of UK while it's area is 70 times larger. Yet there are three major carriers (and few regional ones) with pretty decent coverage and low prices. As in: most carriers offer tariffs with zero monthly payments (you pay per call, obviously; incoming calls are free). And you can decide to leave at any point (what's stopping you from just keeping old SIM if that's free?).

Internet? Let's see. Beeline: 2GB/month for ~$12 (people are quite angry because they feel it's very expensive option), Megafon: 70MB/day for ~$7/month, 3GB/month for ~$12/month, MTS: 50Mb/day for ~$5/month, 100Mb/day for ~$10/month.

As you can guess with typical monthly bill about $15-20 per month you can only get few cheap carrier-subsidized models, few people care about them, people are buying phones when they wish, where they wish and change carriers frequently. The only trouble: mobile network portability has only just arrived this month and it does work reliably yet.

And hey, that's Russia, corrupt and unjust! If they could do that then why US can't?

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 24, 2013 2:40 UTC (Tue) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359) [Link]

Australia has a reasonably sane collection of mobile pricing plans too, so it certainly isn't the population density - with 1/3 the population of UK and 30 times the area (though admittedly we only have coverage where there are actual people present...).
I think here it is the regulatory regime that makes it work. Our ACCC (consumer and competition commission) has enough teeth to outlaw the more ridiculous things like DVD region coding and they set minimum standards for interoperability and so-forth between the carriers.

Part of the result is that there are really two sets of mobile plans in .au. One set is heavily advertised and usually comes with a handset for "$0 up front", and end up costing $60 or more per month (about $20 of that pays for the handset).
The other set are the "sane" ones. Not as much advertising, branded with a very different brand name to the 3 carriers, no hand set included, but for $40 per month you get nearly unlimited anything and you can get a usable service for occasional calls for as little as $20 per quarter.

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 24, 2013 0:32 UTC (Tue) by Arker (guest, #14205) [Link]

Sorry this could be misunderstood.

I am not saying that actually doing without cellphone service as I do is not uncommon, but that the situation with the carriers intransigence that drove me to it is not uncommon.

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 25, 2013 19:50 UTC (Wed) by gvy (guest, #11981) [Link]

Well you might be interested in some Russian lessons indeed ;-) There's still some freedom left somewhere on the Earth.

Notably in Syria even if this may come as surprise to many.

--
Michael Shigorin
ALT Linux Team
ANNA News Agency

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 27, 2013 6:28 UTC (Fri) by mthambi (subscriber, #51395) [Link]

There are quite a few options in the US if you want to pay for the phone yourself.

Checkout http://www.droid-life.com/2013/11/04/best-prepaid-wireles...

I personally use StraightTalk. $45 for unlimited talk, text and 2gig LTE on a monthly contract. (closer to $40 if you buy bulk for a year). They use the AT&T network, so the coverage is quite good.

Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices (LinuxGizmos)

Posted Dec 27, 2013 10:23 UTC (Fri) by tsmithe (subscriber, #57598) [Link]

But, see, that's still comparatively poor value for money. On Three, I pay £15 (~$25) monthly for 5000 texts, 5000 within-network minutes, 2000 between-network minutes, and (literally) unlimited data over 3G or LTE, of which I usually use on the order of 30 gigabytes.


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