Openmoko Signs Koolu to Distribute FreeRunner Open Source Mobile Phone
Koolu Uniquely Positioned to Reach Significant Markets With Programmable Mobile Phone
TAIPEI, Taiwan--Openmoko, creator of the first completely open mobile computing platform, today announced an agreement with Koolu Inc., a Canadian-based company, to distribute the FreeRunner Open Source mobile phone in all of the Americas, the United Kingdom and the European Union with plans to expand globally through local partners.
"We have moved beyond the early adopter stage and are now ready to release the next generation Neo FreeRunner to markets where we are seeing early traction," said Steve Mosher, Openmoko vice president of marketing. "Key distributors, like Koolu, have relationships that reach deeply into markets that can leverage the features of this remarkable mobile device and advance it even further through software and exterior customization."
Koolu, known for its innovations in easy-to-use services such as Google Apps and Skype, will distribute the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner phone first to developers, and later to consumers as Google Apps go mobile. Koolu has created a program unique in the industry by offering free Neo FreeRunner phones in a referral program (see www.koolu.com) for Google Apps world-wide.
"Koolu will surround the phone with services and applications to lower the entry point to Internet and telephony access," said Jim Despathy, President of Koolu. "The phone will reach new markets that are presently not being addressed by traditional phones and phone companies but at the same time bring these phone companies clients they previously could not reach."
"I am very happy that Koolu chose to distribute the NEO FreeRunner," said Jon "maddog" Hall, CTO of Koolu. "As a supporter of Free and Open Culture, I know how important it is for companies to be able to change the software to meet their needs, and not be at the mercy of some large company who is keeping the code proprietary. Openmoko has created a platform that our customers will be able to use 'as is', or change to meet their specific needs. At the same time, Koolu will be there to provide support and services for our partners."
Pricing and availability
The Openmoko Neo FreeRunner has a suggested retail price of $399. Openmoko will sell the phone directly from it its webshop www.Openmoko.com and via distributors in the Americas, such as Koolu (www.shop.koolu.com), as well as Europe and India. The company will announce availability in other regions of the world at LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco, August 5-7, 2008 where Openmoko can be seen in the Linux Garage Pavilion booth 1234 and at booth 1625 in the Moscone Center North Hall.