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Old 12/10/2012, 10:26 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Interesting new arcticle about Phoenix:

Can HP’s webOS Rise from the Ashes?

Forget Android and iOS—a team of enthusiasts plans to bring HP’s much-admired webOS back from the scrap heap.



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The group’s real goal is to get a phone made that runs webOS natively, in place of Android or another OS. Zakutny says the group is considering using a smaller phone manufacturer in China, and over the next three years it hopes to roll out a low- to mid-range smartphone and then move on to higher-end smartphones if sales take off.

It’s a long shot. Phoenix, which is incorporated but run solely by volunteers, hasn’t even launched a planned Kickstarter campaign yet. (Zakutny says Phoenix hopes to set a target of $180,000 on the site, though the amount could change as the group works on its Kickstarter application.)
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Old 12/10/2012, 11:38 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting, I noticed a lot of FB activity from them this morning, but hadn't had a chance to read everything yet.
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I love physical keyboards... but there is two devices that would make me consider a slab, one is something running a full version of Open webOS. The other is an iPhone!!!! HA HA just kidding (about the iPhone that is)...
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Old 12/10/2012, 09:52 PM   #83 (permalink)
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There is also another related article today:

WebOS headed for Kickstarter-fueled smartphone return

by Geoff Gasior — 11:59 AM on December 10, 2012

The mobile OS market is currently split four ways. Android and iOS are found on the lion's share of devices. Blackberry has been reduced almost to irrelevance, while Windows appears to be on the rise. By the end of next year, we may be able to add WebOS back to that list. A company called Phoenix International Communications wants to bring the now open-source OS to market with custom smartphone hardware.

Open WebOS, as it's called these days, has been ported to some existing devices already. There's even a version that runs as an Android app. However, Phoenix wants to produce its own hardware using a manufacturer in China. The firm's leader, Matthew Zakutny, told Technology Review that the plan is to start with lower-end devices and slowly move upmarket. Phoenix will reportedly seek funding via Kickstarter, which could be a fertile resource given WebOS's old-school Palm roots. Kickstarter projects seem to do well when there's a hint of nostalgia involved.

As much as I'd like to see WebOS rise up from obscurity, the Phoenix group may have a tough time competing. Even though the OS is expected to be compatible with Android apps via OpenMobile, the lack of native WebOS apps may turn off some users. A bigger challenge may be coming up with compelling hardware. There's certainly no shortage of competition in the handset market, and starting at the low end doesn't necessarily make things much easier.

WebOS headed for Kickstarter-fueled smartphone return - The Tech Report
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Old 12/10/2012, 10:21 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Hmm. Would anyone even be interested in a lower-end webOS device? As much as I love webOS, even I couldn't see myself spending money on something like that... :/

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Old 12/10/2012, 10:22 PM   #85 (permalink)
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[...] It’s a long shot. Phoenix, which is incorporated but run solely by volunteers, hasn’t even launched a planned Kickstarter campaign yet. (Zakutny says Phoenix hopes to set a target of $180,000 on the site, though the amount could change as the group works on its Kickstarter application.)
How does Zukny's purported Kickstarter jive with Kickstarter's guidelines? Guidelines — Kickstarter

Under "Design and Technology Requirements":
Quote:
In addition, Design and Technology projects that are developing new hardware or products must show on their project pages a functional prototype — meaning a prototype that currently does the things a creator says it can do — and detailed information about their experience. Projects developing new hardware or products are also prohibited from using product simulations, photorealistic product renderings, and offering multiple/bulk quantities of the product as a reward.
Meaning there has to be a pretty advanced prototype that does everything it promises before it can be approved. And you can't fake anything. If it's the webOS-on-Android app, it has to do everything they say it will. If it's a rebadged cheap low-end Chinese phone running webOS, the end product has to be shown running webOS, and webOS has to do everything they claim it will while being transparent about the fact that the phone isn't up to modern specification--and may not be an optimal experience.

A tall order either way given the state of Open webOS on anything right now.

I'm genuinely curious to know what this Kickstarter will entail and how they plan to get it approved by the site for activation (which all potential Kickstarter projects have to go through). They've been coming down hard on projects that skirt the lines lately.
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Old 12/10/2012, 11:04 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Ew no this does not sound good. I'm afraid that would be a truly substandard product. I can still find myself a Veer, new in a box, and that would be substantially better build quality IMHO...
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Old 12/10/2012, 11:41 PM   #87 (permalink)
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I read somewhere Nokia is coming back to focus on basic and mid-range phones, where they were strong before but now with windows phone instead of symbiam.

The message is not everyone wants a high ended smartphone. However in this era (age) basic and mid range phones are all multi-touch smartphones with one core to dual core chips. The high ended have quadcores and the trend for 2013 is with 2 quad cores chips and more than 8 mpxls camera. We have some already with 12 mpxls cameras out there.

The basic and mid range have around 5 mpxls cameras only and come with a 3.5 to 4 inch display.

3 different markets: basic, mid-range and high ended for 3 different prices range.

If you were a OEM and wants to start with a low profile and not enough funds, what segment will you select?
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Old 12/10/2012, 11:56 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Interesting that Phoenix is looking at kickstarter to fund the project of theirs. It might be the case they've looked at the terms of Kickstarter and already have a working device preinstalled with OpenOS - if it's as per their configuration - i.e running as an application in Android; it would pose a challenge (technical/speed) for a low / mid range phone, BUT if they were able to get the OS running native on a current low / mid range performance would not be radically hindered.

My thoughts :
1. There are alot of people (outside USA) that cannot afford a HIGH end phone. There was an article in the papers about 50USD Android Phones.
$50 Android Smartphones Are Disrupting Africa Much Faster Than You Think, Says Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales | TechCrunch
In short : THERE is a huge market for low end phones.

2. As a startup, Phoenix cannot afford to gamble on a high-end phone, given Gram is still 'improving' the OS, and that there is little or NO support from HP.

What Open OS needs is a market, even it's low/middle end- the OS will get a chance into the many hands and that creates opportunities for developers..and increases interest. Personally, I'd be contented with a phone with adequate performance (compared to a Pre 3), good battery life compared to any Pre (3 included)- a 2000mah battery is sufficient IMO, whether it's a slab or with keyboard, whether it has HP profile etc is secondary, synergy is important (but I guess the opensource version is not ready) so that is what we have now, better than nothing I'd say.

Last edited by daexpression; 12/11/2012 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 12/11/2012, 12:43 AM   #89 (permalink)
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With openwebOS still more or less in "beta" and having it run on some 2nd rate hardware, i'm still skeptical of what kind of impression this will make.

The Pre had its famous battery issues that resulted in daily "slider crashes" and other build quality issues that made the buyer go through 5 or so replacements before they either got a phone that didn't shut itself off or just gave up and asked Sprint for another brand/model.

This happened in the US, and people remember, if we sell crap in Africa, they'll remember too. This kind of reputation will not be good for the time when all bugs are finally ironed out and openwebOS is ready for decent hardware.

Don't believe me? Fine. But we can't fail twice... news gets around, you know. Reputation is everything.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:02 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Interesting that Phoenix is looking at kickstarter to fund the project of theirs. It might be the case they've looked at the terms of Kickstarter and already have a working device preinstalled with OpenOS - if it's as per their configuration - i.e running as an application in Android; it would pose a challenge (technical/speed) for a low / mid range phone, BUT if they were able to get the OS running native on a current low / mid range performance would not be radically hindered.
Layering an OS on top of another OS guarantees that there will be a shortage of resource for the top-most OS layer, in this case Open webOS. Ironically, Android would be the faster OS in almost any scenario in this case, especially if Android 4.0 is the underlying OS here. You can't just keep opening OSes on top of OSes and expect the last one opened to be just as fast as the first one opened. Computing doesn't work that way; diminishing returns through compounding resource allocation and all that. On desktops, at least, there have been virtualization optimizations built into more modern desktop CPUs that help alleviate this to an extent, but the fact remains you're still sharing memory resources no matter what.

But if they manage to get a full-speed version of Open webOS running on a low-end device sitting atop a modern Android 4.0 AOSP install, I have to commend them because they've done something rather amazing in that case. Until then, I'll reserve my amazement for the day we actually see it. (And, really, I'd like to see it.)

Quote:
My thoughts :
1. There are alot of people (outside USA) that cannot afford a HIGH end phone. There was an article in the papers about 50USD Android Phones.
$50 Android Smartphones Are Disrupting Africa Much Faster Than You Think, Says Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales | TechCrunch
In short : THERE is a huge market for low end phones.
Congrats, you just pointed out the market FirefoxOS, with millions of dollars in carrier backing and devices on the ready, is aiming squarely for. And Nokia. And Android. And...pretty much everyone except iOS at this point. Is there a huge market there? Of course. Is Open webOS the answer? In all likelihood, no.

Between Android and FirefoxOS (and perhaps Nokia with a line of lower-end Windows Phones), Open webOS seems like an odd fit, especially since those companies can afford to market and sell millions of their devices whereas Open webOS "Professional" is shooting for enterprise markets and Phoenix wouldn't be able to ramp up their supply chain for production to anywhere near the numbers--nor the quality assurance, given the types of phones they appear to be looking at--that their competition can.

I haven't even mentioned marketing to build awareness, packaging costs, distribution costs, technical support costs (unless you're just abandoning them post-purchase; pointing them to a forum doesn't freakin' count), quality control costs (you have to have people checking on the people in China building these units), ongoing legal costs (if you're a corporation, you'd better have lawyers!), regulatory costs, and all the little (HUGE) things people don't stop to think about that must be covered in order to be successful with a major product. This isn't something a couple of guys in a garage can do in a mass (100,000s of units+) production environment and expect to succeed at against anyone unless they have all of those bases covered and an ongoing and significant amount of funding behind them. Lots of i's to dot and t's to cross.

I'm not sure what Phoenix is thinking if this is their plan, because they're not only going to be outfunded a few thousand times over, they're going to be outgunned by devices with active application ecosystems from Day One--well before they even get all the stuff I outlined in the above paragraph straightened out.

And in the case of FirefoxOS, their system doesn't even necessarily require downloading apps in some cases thanks to the WebAPI which allows any website built as an app to be accessed as an app--with hardware-level access--through the browser. They'll still have downloadable apps (that work in any mobile version of Firefox, no less), but it certainly isn't a requirement.

Last edited by dignitary; 12/11/2012 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:18 AM   #91 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Remy X View Post
With openwebOS still more or less in "beta" and having it run on some 2nd rate hardware, i'm still skeptical of what kind of impression this will make.

The Pre had its famous battery issues that resulted in daily "slider crashes" and other build quality issues that made the buyer go through 5 or so replacements before they either got a phone that didn't shut itself off or just gave up and asked Sprint for another brand/model.

This happened in the US, and people remember, if we sell crap in Africa, they'll remember too. This kind of reputation will not be good for the time when all bugs are finally ironed out and openwebOS is ready for decent hardware.

Don't believe me? Fine. But we can't fail twice... news gets around, you know. Reputation is everything.
Hi,
those 50USD android are huawei phones. Given they're slab phones, designing a single piece phone is always easier than one with a slider - due to the mechanism involved.
The build issue was a problem by Palm / HP - who were so enamored by the stone design and believed the plastic touch screen of the Palm -/ + was good enough. Secondly, they thought the 1000+ MAH battery to be sufficient. They thought the 600mah processor, 256MB ram to be sufficient for the OS - another silly mistake. These are simple dumb mistakes made by the designers.

Q : Do you think if any company considering the OS, would any manufacturer not include the following as base
- minimum 1ghz, 512MB RAM.
- 8GB Solid Memory
- slab phone
- a least 3.5 " screen
- at least 1500 to 2000mah battery
- usb charger
- glass / gorilla or equivalent screen.
- respectable pixel density.
- sleek enough.

Looking through the internet.
Huawei Summit specs
this phone would be an 'ideal' low end phone..and would meet the minimum requirements for openos.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:19 AM   #92 (permalink)
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Those specs put it well above $50 unsubsidized easily, and plenty of carriers in foreign countries don't subsidize. With only 512MB RAM, you'd still have to share it between Android and webOS if their plan is to release that way (via app), so figure 256MB for each layer at maximum. Which brings you back to the Pre 1 days, and those aren't very good days at all compared to the 2GB of RAM sitting in my current phone.

Even at 512MB dedicated (think Pre Plus), it was still hardly an optimized experience and given Open webOS is based on 3.0.5 (even more resource intensive; the Touchpad had 1GB and still hiccuped) that's a recipe for disappointment. 768MB is pretty much the base minimum acceptable at this point in the game on a low-end device running webOS of any 3.x+ flavor.

Gorilla Glass and screens with anything but standard pixel density are going to be luxuries to any device manufacturer that doesn't produce in huge bulk to lower the costs. There's a reason why only the major players can keep prices stable while still pushing specs higher, and even if you're just planning on buying the finished devices and slapping the OS on there, you're still going to pay a higher price because you have zero influence in the supply chain and can't afford to place orders for 100k--or even 10k units--without significant upfront investment. And that produces immense risk to the company ordering them if they're as small as Phoenix. Bankruptcy serious.

See also my post above for a ton of other costs that would push the hypothetical $50/unit cost even higher.

Last edited by dignitary; 12/11/2012 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:28 AM   #93 (permalink)
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Those specs put it well above $50 unsubsidized easily, and plenty of carriers in foreign countries don't subsidize.

See also my post above for a ton of other costs that would push it even higher.
That sounds like ~$250 or at least $100... even if built with cast-offs like flash memory with bad "cells", screens with dead pixels and other parts that didn't pass QC

Oh and now that you mention Firefox OS, that's got a modern, up-to-date browser. If Phoenix is going to rely on dkirker's effort to get the QtWebKit (Isis) browser ready, they better think about funding.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:34 AM   #94 (permalink)
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re: The Huawei phone you linked, it's only got a single-core 600Mhz processor. Equal to the Pre Plus in specs (single-core TI OMAP 3430, 600Mhz). Seriously lacking power to handle anything like Open webOS, dude. http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Palm-Pre-Plus_id4347

That thing was built for Android 2.3 at the very, very most. And even that's pushing it.

Last edited by dignitary; 12/11/2012 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:49 AM   #95 (permalink)
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re: The Huawei phone you linked, it's only got a single-core 600Mhz processor. Equal to the Pre Plus in specs (single-core TI OMAP 3430, 600Mhz). Seriously lacking power to handle anything like Open webOS, dude. Palm Pre Plus specs

That thing was built for Android 2.3 at the very, very most. And even that's pushing it.
Found this link of the android 80USD phone in kenya.... selling like hot cakes lol

$80 Android Phone Sells Like Hotcakes in Kenya, the World Next? | Singularity Hub

And it's totally a different market. Not fully for websavvy folks like us.
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Old 12/11/2012, 01:57 AM   #96 (permalink)
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Found this link of the android 80USD phone in kenya.... selling like hot cakes lol

$80 Android Phone Sells Like Hotcakes in Kenya, the World Next? | Singularity Hub

And it's totally a different market. Not fully for websavvy folks like us.
Even slower, a tinier screen (240x320) than the Pre 1 to ensure no apps would fit it, lower pixel density than a Pre 1, less RAM than a Pre Plus, and running a decently spartan Android 2.2. Huawei U8150 IDEOS specs

So even at $80/unit, Open webOS would have zero chance on running on hardware of that sort. Remember the first video of Open webOS on the Nexus? That's about as fast as it would ever go, if it even booted up due to insanely low RAM. Even then, barely anything would display and it would be effectively unusable in every possible way. The cards would be useless as only one would be available before telling you it ran out of RAM. Again, if it even got that far.

That's not helping your case for Open webOS on low-end devices.
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Old 12/11/2012, 03:12 AM   #97 (permalink)
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And then, now that i think of it, if you go into the low-end category, you have to do a decent job handling the internationalization of the OS. Not just Latin-based major languages like English, German and Spanish, but all of the various Indian scripts and SE asian languages and have spellcheck that accommodates all those regional dialects too. Most people here would probably recognize Thai but not be able to tell the difference between Burmese and Khmer or might even mistake Burmese for Sinhalese depending on the font in use.

Speaking of fonts, out of the box, webOS doesn't have all the fonts to cover the whole Unicode table. In openwebOS that can be fixed in a few minutes, but UI labels and documentation will take a while longer.

Hell, even sending an SMS written in a non-Latin script might not be possible with the current settings. I'll have to investigate the problem, but the Ukrainian girl that came here for a fix is definitely onto something. If converting the message from UTF-8 to UTF-16 resolves it, then it's a system-wide problem under 1.4 and maybe the later versions if the code is the same.

Point is, we can't just dump something on the market that's full of unresolved issues. Imagine what this forum will turn into if every day we get a horde of Indians coming in with a bug and saying "oh help plz!!11!" "UrGENT!!!". All of the regulars will leave and it will totally ruin the community. I'm not singling out Indians though, it could be anyone. However Indians are more likely to be able to speak and write some English and to seek help on an English-speaking forum
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Old 12/11/2012, 04:11 AM   #98 (permalink)
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Remy X - I agree with you on this. Getting some open OS phone whatever the reiteration is better than not having a single device out there. For 3rd world countries - what they need is a smart phone which they can afford, allow for emails, smart applications, 3G etc. Hi dpi, super fast speeds, high memory etc are secondary to price.

If you can put 3 continents with sub 100USD webos phones - Africa, India, China - each say a few million units annually, it would do wonders then any Hi-end smart phone in N.America - eventhough sales in N.America and Europe are VERY important.
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Old 12/11/2012, 10:33 AM   #99 (permalink)
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If Pheoenix can port the os to a mediatek chipset like these cheap clones

Star B92M (S3) 4.7" IPS Capacitive Screen (1280*720) Android 4.0 Smart Phone with 1GB RAM MTK6577 Dual Core CPU 3G GSM Dual SIM-in Mobile Phones from Phones & Telecommunications on Aliexpress.com

then they would be golden imo my friend just got a galaxy note 2 clone and its actualy pretty good for a cheap clone =]
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Old 12/11/2012, 05:34 PM   #100 (permalink)
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If Pheoenix can port the os to a mediatek chipset like these cheap clones

Star B92M (S3) 4.7" IPS Capacitive Screen (1280*720) Android 4.0 Smart Phone with 1GB RAM MTK6577 Dual Core CPU 3G GSM Dual SIM-in Mobile Phones from Phones & Telecommunications on Aliexpress.com

then they would be golden imo my friend just got a galaxy note 2 clone and its actualy pretty good for a cheap clone =]
Interesting clone there. I wonder how well it holds up under normal use. I'm genuinely curious.

Because as of right now, i wouldn't risk buying a product that could have hidden faults and have the camera crap out after only a week of use. Please keep us updated on how well it lasts, so we could tell if it either uses mass production "ghost shift" parts, or it's mass production parts that didn't entirely pass QC. There's a whole lot of difference between the two in terms of failure rates.

@daexpression,

You speak of India as if it were a monolithic bloc, but there's actually 21 languages that have to be supported in one way or another. Plus Tibetan, because there's a sizable population of refugees who live in India to escape Chinese brutality (that even includes the great master Dalai Lama).

And Sinhalese, because you can't bar a product aimed at the Indian market from entering Sri Lanka.

You might say "no, we don't have to", when there's Hindi and English for them to choose from, but the support requests will come anyway as people try to get their local language to work, whether we want it or not. They will want keyboard layouts, they'll want to be able to send SMS messages, at the very least, even if there's no native language documentation.

Take a minute and look...

Languages of India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Languages of Sri Lanka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Is India with 23 languages really worth the bother? When if you just support Spanish and Portuguese, you will cover all of Central and South America. There's poverty there too and a need for affordable phones. But a lot more cost-effective and a lot more standardized.


I still don't entirely agree with marketing webOS as an OS for the poor. You'll never wash off that label as you try to re-enter the more affluent markets.

Let's just leave India to FirefoxOS, which would allow for more app support in all 23 languages. Less of a learning curve, more apps. Because webOS with its odd "stage" and "scene" app construct is best left to professional devs who can vouch for the quality of their code.
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