Speaking at the OpenExpo in Bern, Switzerland, OpenMoko Executive Director Sean Moss-Pulz has announced that the FreeRunner open source Linux smart device would be discontinued to focus on development of a new non-smartphone device only known currently as “Plan B”.
Staff has also been reduced considerably by half, with the reductions being made to remain solvent while the company continues to focus on its next line of products.
The OpenMoko FreeRunner was an ambitious device with many goals. It was meant to be the first completely open-source hardware and software device that would allow developers complete freedom in software development which would allow for new applications and services.
The execution of the FreeRunner concept was fraught with many issues, chief among them was the constant stream of delays leading to poor visibility compared to other Linux-based devices, hardware/manufacturing issues, and the general lack of usability for consumers, being primarily targeted to developers.
The company will continue to support development of new applications with a reduced workforce while the director hopes for support from the wider community as well as a return to mobile phone design and manufacturing at some point in the future.