GeeksPhone ONE: For The Sake Of Inclusion

geeksphone2A bunch of Android/Mobile/Tech related websites have been posting information about a supposed upcoming Android phone called “ONE” by a company called GeeksPhone. I’ve got a bunch of emails asking why I haven’t addressed this topic… so now I am.

I’ve been reluctant to write about GeeksPhone for many reasons, first and foremost, because the whole thing could be fake. We’ve seen this happen before: someone mocks up fake phones, puts together a quick and snazzy website, adds a count down to launch and forwards the tips to the top tech blogs. In the race to publish the hottest news first, writers dive in without checking the details first. Hey, I can admit, I’ve done it too.

Take for example what happened in October 2008 when Hop-On issued a Press Release and every tech site on the planet played follow the leader without looking into the details. The results are pretty disturbing.

For that reason, I’m pessimistic (that the project is real) off the bat. Then consider the following:

  • Their main website is unoccupied – http://geeksphone.com
  • Their blog offers practically no content and no information with an April 29th post saying a Press Release would come the following week. http://blog.geeksphone.com
  • On May 12th they “hired a new editor” which has been incredibly unproductive it seems: the blog has had one post since and all that post did is link to their twitter account

geeksphone

The “rumors” about the GeeksPhone ONE initially surfaced on Spanish site Xataka (translated):

android_espana_libre_xataka

Good news for fans of free and mobile with Android. According to CrunchGear has learned, and if nothing turns before the end of the year in Spain will, under a separate brand, a phone like the image above and it will come with the Android operating system installed.

As we can see in the paper, the design is the style of Samsung Omnia, shapes and lines that would be great for touch-screen 3.2-inch resistive type. Lead with integrated camera and a free price quite competitive (possibly less than 300 euros), away from the 500-600 euros for the models of major brands.

With a 600 Mhz processor, this phone call right now One, one team would HSPA and GPS with WiFi and completely free, ie not associated with any particular operator, but is likely to opt for trying to subsidize it with any carrier .

Are at the data we have, and as we get more details of this future phone, you will at the moment.

Okay so apparently CrunchGear originated the rumor but GeeksPhone pointed out Xataka because of their Spanish popularity. Anyways, on the GeeksPhone Blog they not only acknowledge the rumors, but confirm that all of the rumors are true and link to a bunch of sites who published their “rumors”. This just seems weird to be. But weirder things have happened.

Lets put part of my pessimism aside for a moment – let us suppose the GeeksPhone up and coming product, ONE, is ONE hundred percent real. Even then, I have strong doubts that it will amount to anything or ever be sold. Allow me to explain.

Remember OpenMoko? That company isn’t around any more, are they? They had the same type of vision, only their company seemed 100% legit on the surface and their website was actually pretty sweet. They didn’t make it anywhere. They talked and talked and talked about how awesome it was going to be… but we never saw a final product. What makes you think GeeksPhone would be any different?

Even if these guys have the BEST of intentions – and if they do you can bet that I’m rooting for them – the odds are overwhelmingly out of their favor. There is a reason others have tried and failed. There are reasons that some of the most powerful and successful phone manufacturers in the world are struggling to get an Android phone to market. Assuming the ambitions are real, I fear they are not realistic. What type of man power is behind this project?

I just don’t see this happening. I would love to be proven wrong though. Not only that, I would be more than happy to have any representative from GeeksPhone chat with us for our next Podcast. Speaking of which… I know… I know… its been way too long.

Now that I explained why the sky is falling, let me quickly explain the flip side of the coin. Maybe a teenie tiny small company has an advantage in some ways. The corporate heirarchy and chain of commands that requires approval for the approval of a motion to negotiate potential approval or rejection approvals via approval systematic – things can get bogged down is what I’m trying to say. Take longer than expected. Get caught up on details.

A small company can have its key players make decisions and move on. They are the top level commanders and also in the battlefield so the lag time is zero. But I’m still unsure where the money is going to come from to do equipment checking, have prototypes developed and all that jazz. We’ve all seen hacked versions of Android running on random phones and netbooks but has anyone besides HTC brought anything to market? No… and again, there is a reason.

At some point, a small company is going to break this mold. Heck, all of the big companies now were small companies at one point. But to get where they are now they followed a process and formula of success. And from what I’ve seen of GeeksPhone thus far… there isn’t a formula. I hardly see any ingredients. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the opportunity for OTHERS to call me out and say “told ya so” on this one, but if “told ya so” means the GeeksPhone ONE will hit shelves anytime in the next 5 years, I think I’d win that wager.

NOTE: I haven’t included any links to Geek’s Phone for obvious reasons. Don’t want to fuel the hoax if indeed it is a fake. However, I also want to reiterate that I’ve sent an Email to the company and am completely open to clarification. When I learn more, I’ll happily follow up… even if that means eating my own words. They taste good anyways. Lil hot sauce… some mustard… yum!

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  • http://ejahn.net Eric

    http://www.openmoko.com/product.html
    The freerunner has been available for a while now. No carriers, I don’t think.

  • Vinc

    Your points about GeeksPhone ONE are good but just for the record, I don’t think OpenMoko is gone. We sold all ours because they didn’t live up to our expectations. They are real products that can make and receive calls and perform many geeky tasks.

  • cray

    i call bullspit. itd be awesome though. i love hot sauce!

  • dylan

    @ Eric isnt that phone one of the phones that was rumored for android like last week?

  • http://www.geeksphone.com JAvier Aguera

    Hello everybody,

    My name is Javier Aguera and I’m the COO of GeeksPhone SL.
    Well, first of all i’m really sorry about the bad impressions that we are receiving from some blogs, including this one. However, we fully understand your position and we would be skeptic too if we were “on the other side”.

    Xataka, which is the major gadgets blog in Spain, published some confidential details before we expected to make an official press release. That press release was intended to be released at the end of May or perhaps early June. We weren’t ready yet, and the project was being developed in absolute secret (actually the website is still under development and the blog contains a few “test” posts).

    We are really sorry for this whole mess, but it was definitely unplanned.

    Just wanted to clarify that this is not a scam. We are a young company and we understand our limitations, but we have strong support behind us.

    We will have the first phone samples within a few weeks, and by mid-June we will have the definitive ones ready.

    I’d want to add two more things:

    1) We have not received any e-mail from the editor of this blog. We had to increase yesterday the antispam measures, and that might be the reason. Please, send me an e-mail to my personal address (the one registered with this comment) and I will be happy to discuss further on our project.

    2) We will be really happy to chat with you on your next podcast, sure!

    Best regards, and again we are really sorry for this situation, but we are the first surprised ones!

  • http://www.geeksphone.com JAvier Aguera

    Oh, I forgot. Please feel free to contact me at javier@geeksphone.com or through here for any question you may have. I will be happy to answer you as soon as I can -we are quite busy these days as you might understand-.

  • Bflame7

    I don’t think this is for real I think it is most likely fake but who knows maybe it will turn out to be real.

  • Phil

    You may have a point but I think you messed up with Openmoko. They simply have an idea that will never become mainstream. You might have been better off pointing to the Kogan Aurora though they claim this is going to be produced now.

    As for the netbook thing. Don’t think that they won’t show up. I believe the hype may be a little premature and people may be to caught up in the current netbook form factor. I believe they will show up in the form of some tablet/smart phone format that has a size between the two and will probably be best used as a phone with a bluetooth headset.

  • David

    Openmoko is still available, you can buy it from different distributors all around the world. Not only does it work and exist but there are about 5 or more operating systems for it already working and being developed actively. Its not intended for a mainstream market, its only intended for developers and geeks, maybe thats why you stopped hearing about it, your not part of their market.

    A company named koolu is selling the freerunner with android preinstalled.
    http://www.koolu.com/

    I agree with being skeptical about all of this but far more than that you are giving your own negative opinion on a matter that you dont seem to know much about. Id stick with the facts.

  • Rob Jackson

    It seems I WAS wrong about OpenMoko… I’ll reach out to them and see if we can get some updates and info on their Android aspirations.

    @David – If we stuck to only the facts, we would be reduced to every other android/mobile/tech blog out there. You’ll continue to read opinions, we won’t always get it right and as always, you’re free to disagree and voice your own opinion in the comments.

  • http://www.geeksphone.com Javier Aguera

    Sorry for making a bit offtopic, but I know people from the original OpenMoko Project. They accomplished their objectives, selling 9K units of this kind of phone is a success. The FreeRunner was not intended for mainstream users, just because of the design and that the O.S. (even Qtopia) is not good enough for everyday use. That does not mean failure,it’s called market segementation focusing ;)

    @Rob: haven’t received yet your e-mail, and I would be interested in chatting with you :)

  • http://ejahn.net Tre Arrow

    Yeah openmoko lost my attention when they ditched gtk for qtopia. Still love my Nokia tablet.

  • Thain

    hm. resistive touch screen… that doesnt excite me.

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