List of open-source mobile phones
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All available mobile phones have proprietary baseband chip (GSM module). There is an open-source baseband project, OsmocomBB. There is a project based on illicit leaked source code for the Calypso modem called FreeCalypso.
Android-based devices do not appear on this list because of the heavy use of proprietary components, particularly drivers and applications. There are numerous versions of Android, such as LineageOS (successor to the now-defunct Cyanogenmod) and the freedom-respecting Replicant that can be installed on a large number of phones after-market.
WebOS was initially available only under a proprietary license but the source code was later released under a free license by HP. Still, Open WebOS will not run on all WebOS devices.
The main components to make an open mobile phone are:
|Organization||Model||Mobile operating system||Release date||Current state|
|Nokia||N900||Maemo 5 (Fremantle)||2009-11-11||Discontinued|
|Nokia||N950 (available to developers only)||MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan||2011||Discontinued|
|Nokia||N9||MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan||2011||Discontinued|
|Neo900 (https://www.neo900.org)||GTA04 based motherboard, fitting inside the shell of a Nokia N900.||QtMoko, Debian, SHR (Stable Hybrid Release), Replicant||2014||Available for preorder|
|OpenMoko||Neo 1973 (code name GTA01)||Openmoko Linux, Qtopia (both Linux-based)||2007-07-09||Discontinued|
|OpenMoko||Neo FreeRunner (code name GTA02)||Openmoko Linux, Qt Extended, Debian, SHR (Stable Hybrid Release), Gentoo (all Linux-based), Inferno||2008-06-24||Discontinued|
|Golden Delicious||GTA04||QtMoko, Debian, SHR (Stable Hybrid Release), Replicant||2012-04||"Currently not in stock"|
|Aava mobile||Developer phone||MeeGo||2011||Discontinued (available to developers only)|
|Alcatel||One Touch Fire||Firefox OS||2013-07||Discontinued|
|BQ||BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition||Ubuntu Touch||2015-02||Community Driven |
|BQ||BQ Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition||Ubuntu Touch||2015-06||Community Driven|
|Meizu||Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition||Ubuntu Touch||2015-07||Community Driven|
|Meizu||Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition||Ubuntu Touch||2016-02||Community Driven|
|Purism||Librem 5||PureOS||2019-04||Available for preorder|
|Necuno Solutions||Necunos NC_1||Multiple community-driven||2019-01||Temporarily unavailable |
Distributions for existing phones
It is possible to home-build a phone from partially open hardware and software. The Arduinophone (touchscreen) and the MIT DIY Cellphone (segmented display) both use the Arduino open-hardware single-board computer, with added components. The PiPhone and ZeroPhone are similar, but based on the Raspberry Pi.
- Welte, Harald (5 February 2010). "OsmocomBB Project Rationale". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
Every mobile device that is connected to a cellular network runs some kind of baseband processor with highly proprietary and closed-source firmware.
- Android (operating system)#Licensing "drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary"
- Stallman, Richard (19 September 2011). "Is Android really free software? – Google's smartphone code is often described as 'open' or 'free' – but when examined by the Free Software Foundation, it starts to look like something different". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
the software of Android versions 1 and 2 was mostly developed by Google; Google released it under the Apache 2.0 license, which is a lax free software license without copyleft. ... The version of Linux included in Android is not entirely free software, since it contains non-free "binary blobs"... Android is very different from the GNU/Linux operating system because it contains very little of GNU.
- Stallman, Richard (5 August 2012). "Android and Users' Freedom – Support the Free Your Android campaign". gnu.org. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
Even though the Android phones of today are considerably less bad than Apple or Windows smartphones, they cannot be said to respect your freedom.
- Announcement from LineageOS about the continuation of CyanogenMod's effort
- Archive of last blog post from CyanogenMod in reaction to discontinued Cyanogen Inc support for the project
- "Peak+ cancellation". 28 November 2013.
- UBPorts - UBPorts keeps Ubuntu Touch alive. 04 September 2017.
- Librem 5 – A Security and Privacy Focused Phone. 15 November 2017.
- Necunos for Community. 10 February 2019.
- Necunos NC_1 and NE_1 Press Release. 10 January 2019.
- Necunos Shop. 10 February 2019.
- Making your own phone is easier than you might think, Lisa Grossman, Issue 2909, New Scientist Magazine
- Arduinophone designer's description
- DIY Cellphone on the designer's MIT homepage
- David A. Mellis & Leah Buechley. 2014. Do-It-Yourself Cellphones: An Investigation into the Possibilities and Limits of High-Tech DIY. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '14).
- PiPhone – A Raspberry Pi based Smartphone
- ZeroPhone – a Raspberry Pi Zero based smartphone
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