May 14th, 2009

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 –
  • Their blog offers practically no content and no information with an April 29th post saying a Press Release would come the following week.
  • 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


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


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!