The world’s first open source cellphone Qtopia GreenphoneTM has been released. The phone runs on Qtopia, a specially crafted lightweight operating system based on Linux. Apart from offering a complete mobile software developers kit (SDK) to developers that wish to create their own applications on this mobile platforms, the phone itself has many specifications that make it comparable to a modern smartphone. Maker of the phone is Trolltech, a Norwegian company well known for it’s QT toolkit which forms the basis for the widely used KDE desktop running on all kinds of open source systems, notably Linux.
I think this is a very important step to provide the mobile world as well with open source alternatives. In an earlier post I have already written about the need for open platforms on mobile devices.
BTW, I think the phone looks damn good too!!
edit: I believe this is a particularly important development, because the institutional constraints of highly commercialized and closed mobile systems on individual and cultural appropriation of technology (“domestication” in terms of the late Roger Silverstone) mean a much stronger hold on the ways identity can and will be experienced, expressed and reflexively understood. Any research into identity and the mobile will have to take this commercial context of the “media ecology” into account.