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RIP Linux “Greenphone”

Oct 22, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Trolltech has discontinued its Linux-based “Greenphone” development platform. Touted upon its introduction as the first Linux-based mobile phone with user-modifiable firmware, the device will be superseded by various third-party products, including not only open phones, but also portable media… players, navigation devices, and home automation equipment, the company says.

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Trolltech made a big splash with the Greenphone at LinuxWorld 2006. As the first Linux-based mobile phone with user-modifiable firmware, the phone was designed to provide wireless carriers and third-party application developers real-world target hardware. The phone enabled Trolltech to quickly pull together its Greensuite ecosystem of phone software providers.

Since the Greenphone's debut, however, another open phone has appeared on the market — FIC's Neo1973. Trolltech subsequently adopted the Neo1973 (aka FIC GTA01) as supported development hardware.

Trolltech's CTO, Benoit Schilling, told LinuxDevices that developers are “very happy with the Neo1973 hardware,” adding, “Trolltech is not really a hardware company, and we have a great relationship with FIC.”

Schilling said Trolltech will continue to support the Greenphone and Neo1973, while extending its family of supported development hardware platforms to encompass a variety of device types. He hinted that a WiFi-enabled hardware design of some kind might be next in line — no surprise given Trolltech's success with VoIP phones. He noted that “the Neo1973 does not have WiFi, and that has been a major criticism.”

Trolltech's Greensuite will target a variety of third-party device types
(Click to enlarge)

Beyond that, Trolltech hopes to establish supported, open hardware platforms for portable media players (PMPs), in-car navigation devices, and home automation devices, among others. Schilling said, “The Greenphone program has been a huge success. The key is to do partnerships at this stage.”

Schilling added, “This is something that is very valuable for device manufacturers that want to build a community of active open source developers around their product.”

Trolltech's Greenphone was announced in August of 2006, and shipped a month later. The first Linux-based GSM/GPRS phone to feature an open, user-modifiable OS, the $600 Greenphone was positioned by the company it as a development target rather than an end-user device.

Trolltech used the phone to quickly pull together a third-party mobile phone software ecosystem. Additionally, the Greenphone served as a convenient hardware target for developers customizing or building software applications for Trolltech's Qtopia Phone Edition (QPE)

Originally a PDA stack, Qtopia is today marketed as a development framework for a wide range of devices. Trolltech announced on Sept. 18 that in “late October” it will release the entire QPE application stack under the open source GPL software license.

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