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Community created webos devices
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Old 01/16/2012, 06:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone, this is my first post
So I got an HP veer for like 2 months, than I accidentally smashed it.
I have jumped ship to Windows Phone for now, but it really is nothing compared to webos.
I still love webos, and I sincerely hope that it can get back into the game

So I came up with this crazy idea.

Why don't the community create its own open source webos device, than we find a small Chinese OEM to build it?

After all, webos does not run on exotic hardware, the pre3 just uses a fairly common snapdragon CPU and other common chips

This is completely doable, after all, there are many examples of chinese small companies creating unbranded devices running andriod (example: G12)

I'm thinking if the community pulls itself together, we can design our own webos device, and if we can get around 500 people interested, that is enough for us to find a OEM company to create a production run


just my wacky idea, what do you guys think?
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Old 01/16/2012, 07:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting idea, but I doubt it's worth the bother. Once webOS is open-sourced it will be possible for those who know how to port webOS to various Android devices, which will be far superior to anything 'we' could get custom-made.
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Old 01/16/2012, 08:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If we talking about device, it is about big sums of money and lots of legal and many other issues. I'm sure it's not simple at all.
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Old 01/16/2012, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We had a pretty good discussion on this over on the webOS: The Plan thread, with people arguing both sides of the issue. Check it out: http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-...ebos-plan.html
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Old 01/16/2012, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Interesting idea, but I doubt it's worth the bother. Once webOS is open-sourced it will be possible for those who know how to port webOS to various Android devices, which will be far superior to anything 'we' could get custom-made.
I agree, once HP releases the source code, I imagine webOS will be able to be ported to all kinds of devices. I remember seeing on Twitter pics from PuffTheMagic with webOS 3.0 being booted onto an Evo 3D.



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Old 01/17/2012, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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People have mentioned this and don't feel ashamed, it's not your fault, but it costs a lot of money people either don't have or aren't willing to contribute. The cost of shipping these devices from China to the U.S. is probably just as expensive.
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Old 01/18/2012, 01:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Don't carriers in the U.S. have to agree to let the device on the network too? I heard Sprint and Verizon will refuse devices it doesn't want.
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Old 02/06/2012, 09:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Apparently a forum post I made on a Chinese forum a long time ago got a reply.
I promptly contacted the guy through email, and he did give me some estimates on a device like this.

I was told that a knock-off pre with a mediatek chipset, 512 mb ram, 8gb internal storage, 8mb camera, multitouch capacitive touchscreen, and charger + cord would be around 100$ - 140 usd (assuming orders of 500+)

pretty much, the internal components is really no problem. Form factors might be harder, but at under 1000 devices per production run, we won't be dealing with big OEMs, many of these smaller OEMs have ample experience with working with knock-off builders. The one that contacted me says them have even built knock off palm devices before.
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Old 02/06/2012, 09:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Apparently a forum post I made on a Chinese forum a long time ago got a reply.
I promptly contacted the guy through email, and he did give me some estimates on a device like this.

I was told that a knock-off pre with a mediatek chipset, 512 mb ram, 8gb internal storage, 8mb camera, multitouch capacitive touchscreen, and charger + cord would be around 100$ - 140 usd (assuming orders of 500+)

pretty much, the internal components is really no problem. Form factors might be harder, but at under 1000 devices per production run, we won't be dealing with big OEMs, many of these smaller OEMs have ample experience with working with knock-off builders. The one that contacted me says them have even built knock off palm devices before.
Is your source really credible? Is it a guy from hi-tech company or just an unknown guy that very active in forum. Beside that, I believe even personal can built device of their own design in china, but how about the QC? QC always a BIG problem if you buy something from china, except there is some people from your company always ready there to check their QC before the product shipped.
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Old 02/06/2012, 09:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I like the ideal but its seems long hard and expensive. I was thinking maybe the community should pick some hardware like the Samsung galaxy tab or the Huawei Ideos S7 and donate the money needed to make webOS run on that hardware the best.
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Old 02/07/2012, 02:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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maybe the community should pick some hardware and donate the money needed to make webOS run on that hardware
Exactly. Making your own device, while easier than ever, is still a long costly road. It doesn't make sense, unless you want some very specific feature, to make it unique. Fortunately, our only unique component is software, and soon it's going to be fully open sourced, so there you have it!

Talking about easy, I'd love to have the Touchpad GO mass produced...
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Old 02/07/2012, 02:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I like the ideal but its seems long hard and expensive. I was thinking maybe the community should pick some hardware like the Samsung galaxy tab or the Huawei Ideos S7 and donate the money needed to make webOS run on that hardware the best.

Honestly, the ipad is far and away the most common tablet so if you want hit the most people you should probably pick the ipads. Same for the top 3 or 4 phones in the country or world. In the U.S. i'd guess it would be like the one of the Galaxy phones, the iphones, a droid maybe. Not sure what the top phones exactly are but. To me if you want to reach the most users you gotta pick the widest used pieces of hardware, that means make it run on ipads, ipads, Galaxy phones. Oh and on kindle fire tablets if they continue to sell.
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Old 02/07/2012, 05:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Don't carriers in the U.S. have to agree to let the device on the network too? I heard Sprint and Verizon will refuse devices it doesn't want.
So you unlock it and use it anyway? No carrier wanted the Pre3, but people are using them.
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Old 02/07/2012, 07:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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So you unlock it and use it anyway? No carrier wanted the Pre3, but people are using them.
Quite a few idd, and i still see expensive ones being bid on from ebay+amazon type sites, if a distant hardware upgrade was found when my pre3 is too aged, id still prefer a similar pebble/not too large form factor with an equally nice physical keyboard for big fingered geeks like me.

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Old 02/07/2012, 06:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was told that a knock-off pre with a mediatek chipset, 512 mb ram, 8gb internal storage, 8mb camera, multitouch capacitive touchscreen, and charger + cord would be around 100$ - 140 usd (assuming orders of 500+)
Sure, production runs may be in that price range, but you've forgotten the most expensive part -- design. You can just give a manufacturer specs, like above, and then say "produce 500 phones for me". You have to tell them what to do with all those parts. You need electrical engineers, etc., etc., etc.

If someone would produce phones based upon others (knockoffs), then this would be something you would never be able to sell anywhere other than a blackmarket somewhere as obviously the designs would be stolen.

This isn't like building a computer where you have motherboards that follow a common design and you just plug and play all the other pieces.
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Old 02/07/2012, 07:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Though not related to webOS, this is one of the first open source "successful" vehicles made from an American company called Local Motors. They changed the game in vehicle design. Technology companies could easily do the same...especially motivated ones (and financially capable ones) in Japan or in China.

Local Motors | Driven By Design

The vehicle itself is called the Rally Fighter and its all over YouTube. Google videos of it in action. Here is its website Rally Fighter - Home

You pay for it and supply the labour to build it but they'll guide you through every step on the build process. It's an amazing concept and an amazing vehicle. Get inspired! Even the design of the SUV was created and voted upon by the community.

My point is, anything is possible...webOS phones and tablets included - just need to find someone as forward thinking as this companies founder and it WILL HAPPEN!

Last edited by chaosdivine; 02/07/2012 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 02/07/2012, 09:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I asked around a bit more, and something like this:



running a generic chipset(one of the extremely common ones) is not that hard to do
quality control is going to be hard, but designing the device and producing it is possible

the only diffuculty from a technological point of view is the form factor (I don't think a knockoff pre is a good idea), and the gesture area. I asked and it seems like that a dedicated gesture area is extremely rare, most phones have capacative buttons.
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Old 02/07/2012, 09:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Honestly, the ipad is far and away the most common tablet so if you want hit the most people you should probably pick the ipads. Same for the top 3 or 4 phones in the country or world. In the U.S. i'd guess it would be like the one of the Galaxy phones, the iphones, a droid maybe. Not sure what the top phones exactly are but. To me if you want to reach the most users you gotta pick the widest used pieces of hardware, that means make it run on ipads, ipads, Galaxy phones. Oh and on kindle fire tablets if they continue to sell.
I understand but I think we have to assume if we could get Webos on a Ipad Apple would make a update that will squash that bug. And if I don't think anyone who buys a $500 tablet would want to break the warranty and put webos on it. I think we should go with the cheaper tablets with decent specs so more people in the community can afford them. I think the webos community doubled because of the fire sale. not for the love of webos.
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Old 02/08/2012, 07:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I understand but I think we have to assume if we could get Webos on a Ipad Apple would make a update that will squash that bug. And if I don't think anyone who buys a $500 tablet would want to break the warranty and put webos on it. I think we should go with the cheaper tablets with decent specs so more people in the community can afford them. I think the webos community doubled because of the fire sale. not for the love of webos.

well they have like 85% of the tablet hardware market so you'd be going after only 15% of the devices out there. And a ton of them have $500 devices too. It's not like the galaxy tabs are all $99. And every device is gonna have a warranty that they may be breaking. Assuming they do go for a cheap tablet price probably came into the buying equation and thus whether $150 or $500 they'd still be resistant to violate any warranty. The other thing is it's not like nobody is interested in jailbreaking an ipad 2. That jailbreak was just released. So i think people would do it. Some at least. And even if you jailbreak you can restore the os to it's original state with a backup and poof no warranty violation. I'm not sure how apple could, with a software update, keep you from dual booting an OS. And keep in mind imacs allow windows to run on them so it's not exactly a foreign idea. Hell my mom dual boots windows 7 on her imac. Blew me away. Hell you too if you knew my mother. She used to have to call me for tech support when the printer would work.

Regardless, I just think if you want to hit a lot of people and you aim at the broadest hardware. If you want to hit a small amount of people you aim for the hardware with small numbers.

EDIT: Just something i looked up. 37.4 million new iphones sold last quarter alone. 15.43 million ipads sold last quarter alone. That may be more ipads last quarter then webos devices ever sold combined. Over 50 million potential open webos users and people want to, make the software that doesn't work on those devices? That seems crazy that you wouldn't want to hit that huge potential userbase right off the bat. Are you really going to get that many potential users making a device for any one Android tablet or phone. I'm not saying don't make it for some cheap android tablet. But aside for the discussion of making your own hardware, if you want to make an OS to dual boot like a CM9 type thing you aim at the popular hardware that is in the widest use. I mean with tablets a market alone (since HP seems to pushing a tablet open source project more then a phone one) of a couple hundred thousand a quarter vs 15 million a quarter seems a no brainer.


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So you unlock it and use it anyway? No carrier wanted the Pre3, but people are using them.
well honestly i don't know anything about pre 3s and getting them on networks as I've never seen one in real life use. So i can't speak to that. I was just under the impression that sprint and verizon will refuse to activate plenty of devices that it doesn't sell. Which would be a bit of an issues since i'm on sprint and if i move i'd move to Verizon. For example, it was my understanding that the Verizon CDMA iphone 4 was capable of running on sprint but the problem was you needed an ESN number plus someone at Sprint willing to activate the phone for you. And nobody at Sprint would do that. Would you fact the same problem if, say you bought all the components or some company just made a phone with open webos on it and tried to sell it outside of a carrier agreement? Wouldn't you still need an clean ESN # or a MEID# and someone willing to activate it on Sprint? Or is Sprint perfectly willing to activate non-Sprint phones?
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Last edited by SnotBoogie; 02/09/2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 02/08/2012, 08:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Why would you do this though? Any device with a button or touch sensitive area can use WebOS. You can program the iPhone's home button to be a gesture button. You can take the Galaxy Nexus and place a gesture area at the bottom of the touchscreen. It makes no economical sense to pay for hardware that is cheaper and worse than the hardware we can already use.
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