The phone runs an open Linux kernel and what it calls Mobile FOSS, meaning everything inside it is Free and Open Source Software. Parts were chosen based on the availability of complete documentation.
The company behind this is run by Sean Moss-Pultz, who is based in Taiwan, and German Harold Welte, who may be best known for the GPL-Violations project. His blog describes just how tough it has been to get the project this far.
But can it get further? U.S. carriers are notorious for controlling the phones on their networks. CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint don't even use SIM cards, controlling access directly through hardware.
At best OpenMoko could become a way for activists to force open these networks, assuming we get a new FCC with a different attitude about open source.
Although if OpenMoko can find some success in more open markets, the argument will be much easier to make. Anyone here think that's possible?
And, yes, it does look kind of iPhone-ish. (Is that even a word?)