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Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-04 11:18
by makh
Hi

Will a Debian Mobile be a success in market, having two models:

1. fixed handheld, with buttons
2. android compliant

b. should such a project be worked on?

c. can this generate some cash for the organizations involved?

d. I do suppose it can be expanded to other hardwares like: laptops, desktops, gaming sets, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-04 21:50
by jmgibson1981
I think all of them are a no. Reason - Microsoft is struggling to get Windows 10 on phones and tablets off the floor. They are making progress, but very slowly as they are trying to penetrate a crowded space (read android and ios). If Microsoft is having as much trouble as they are, do you honestly think an open source platform with no real commercial backing of any kind is gonna even barely scratch the surface of device penetration? Just isn't there I don't think.

Then the chicken and the egg. If there are so few of these Debian devices out in the wild, will it be worth app developers time to create apps for it. Without apps, who will buy it in the first place. Again problems Microsoft faced and is still fighting.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 02:51
by makh
Hi,

jmgibson1981 wrote:I think all of them are a no. Reason - Microsoft is struggling to get Windows 10 on phones and tablets off the floor. They are making progress, but very slowly as they are trying to penetrate a crowded space (read android and ios). If Microsoft is having as much trouble as they are, do you honestly think an open source platform with no real commercial backing of any kind is gonna even barely scratch the surface of device penetration? Just isn't there I don't think.

Mobile and server markets... the only two areas where MS really got into competition with Linux, and all the drawbacks of "closed source" and "performance" of windows, were no match to the Linux Kernel. :idea:

2) :?: Will it be difficult the android apps be easily recompiled/changed from apk to deb packages, like alien does for deb to rpm?

3) :arrow: As a corporate, Red Hat & Suse survived, till today. Why not Debian devices?

4) If the Canonical gets involved too in such a project, so dont you think a mobile can be marketed, and be made shoulder to shoulder with Apple & Android? (Somewhere Canonical does lack: they didnt put the real input into ubuntu, but ran after Unity etc type projects, even Linux Mint crossed them with Cinnamon). :roll:

jmgibson1981 wrote:---
Then the chicken and the egg. If there are so few of these Debian devices out in the wild, will it be worth app developers time to create apps for it. Without apps, who will buy it in the first place. Again problems Microsoft faced and is still fighting.

a) #2) above

b) :idea: Given the debians reputation of being the top stable and top secured linux, will not people like it more than the others?

Thankyou
:)

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 03:27
by pylkko
The topic of a smart phone with linux/debian has been discussed in several very long threads on these forums. Currently the best bet is this Librem 5 phone that Purism is attempting to get done (it will be based on Debian):

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=134456

So you can even invest in that, if it is what you want. The have a crowd funding campaign going on and they have currently achieved 1 Million USD (but still need $500 000).

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 06:27
by debiman
pylkko wrote:they have currently achieved 1 Million USD (but still need $500 000).

wow, that they even got this far. seems people really want this to succeed.
i hope they get the rest asap.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 12:53
by makh
https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
2. Its expensive.
3. Its too high end, competing iphone.

Edit-1; correction.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 15:33
by pylkko
Where do they claim Android to not be Linux based? Couldn't find it by greping every instance of the word 'android' on that page.

Many new phones cost over 1000€ new now, so depends on how you make the comparison

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 16:08
by makh
pylkko wrote:Where do they claim Android to not be Linux based? Couldn't find it by greping every instance of the word 'android' on that page.
...

Perhaps I mixed two sites talking on Librem 5. I will update, as I get it, or they updated their site, I didnt took any snap.

https://hsc.com/Blog/Android-vs-Linux-As-An-Embedded-Operating-System-1
claims that AOSP is better tunable & adaptable to mobiles then linux.

So linux has a severe blow, no ready customized apps, ie here debian apps. Thats perhaps where canonical collapsed.

Edit 1: Kindly note I am not an expert on mobile devices, yet.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 16:23
by pylkko
makh wrote:
pylkko wrote:Where do they claim Android to not be Linux based? Couldn't find it by greping every instance of the word 'android' on that page.
...

Perhaps I mixed two sites talking on Librem 5. I will update, as I get it, or they updated their site, I didnt took any snap.

https://hsc.com/Blog/Android-vs-Linux-As-An-Embedded-Operating-System-1
claims that AOSP is better tunable & adaptable to mobiles then linux.

So linux has a severe blow, no ready customized apps, ie here debian apps. Thats perhaps where canonical collapsed.

Edit 1: Kindly note I am not an expert on mobile devices, yet.


I agree though, that 599 is kind of high, I would never pay that for a phone... but I think a lot of (other) people would. Also, if you get 10 years support then the cost per year might be better than a 250€ android phone...

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-05 19:25
by makh
This is a complicated question:

How many minimum software guys should work for this project, if it gets a kick?
What roles should they be assigned?

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-06 15:49
by debiman
let's talk about the purism phone:

if it runs an existing gnu/linux distro (of course it will have to be compiled for that architecture, customized somewhat, special firmware and drivers etc.) - consider this:

all the software to make calls, send messages, and use the internet is already there. support for touchscreen devices is already there.

you would, essentially, get a tiny laptop running gnu/linux.

as i said before, the UX would probably be horrible, but then you get so much in return:

  • an operating system that can be upgraded endlessly
  • you can re-use all your existing linux knowledge and experience
  • including the possibility to use lightweight software once the hardware starts showing its age

that said i really hope purism developers make their hardware architecture somewhat compatible with other, existing SBC linuxes.
so that support doesn't run out once the next crowdfunded linux gadget comes out.

the cost:
that's a big issue for me. i just don't have the money to spare. i rarely spend more than 100€ on electronics at one occasion.

the specs:
by the time the phone comes out, it won't be so high anymore.
my guess is that the cost for some extra ram, a more powerful cpu etc. is infinitesimally small compared to the cost of everything else.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-28 21:44
by pawRoot
if you have spare few billions of dollars to pump into marketing then yea, there is a little chance it would be succesful, i doubt it though.
It would need to be much better than Android or iOS to attract developers etc.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-29 12:45
by debiman
pawRoot wrote:if you have spare few billions of dollars to pump into marketing then yea, there is a little chance it would be succesful, i doubt it though.
how can a user of gnu/linux say something like that!
so you consider your OS of choice "not succesful"???

It would need to be much better than Android or iOS to attract developers etc.
this kinda proves that you didn't even read the previous post, and the rest of the thread.

anyhow, the librem 5 is funded, they're at 143% now.
https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/
shipping starts Jan 2019, possibly earlier i heard somewhere.

it's anybody's judgement whether that, or what, constitutes success (as has also been discussed already).

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-29 16:51
by pawRoot
debiman wrote:
pawRoot wrote:if you have spare few billions of dollars to pump into marketing then yea, there is a little chance it would be succesful, i doubt it though.
how can a user of gnu/linux say something like that!
so you consider your OS of choice "not succesful"???

It would need to be much better than Android or iOS to attract developers etc.
this kinda proves that you didn't even read the previous post, and the rest of the thread.

anyhow, the librem 5 is funded, they're at 143% now.
https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/
shipping starts Jan 2019, possibly earlier i heard somewhere.

it's anybody's judgement whether that, or what, constitutes success (as has also been discussed already).


It will die same as Windows phones.

Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

PostPosted: 2017-10-29 19:29
by n_hologram
pawRoot wrote:It will die same as Windows phones.

It sounds like there's an apples-to-oranges comparison driving this fatalism. You may want to research some reasons why Windows phone died. It might also be fruitful to consider why a GNU/Linux phone might survive, just as any major Linux distro has survived.

Don't get me wrong, there have been a number of open-source flops in the last decade -- I'm thinking in particular of Ubuntu Touch/Phone and FirefoxOS (the latter of which I had some hope in). Neither of those really took off. I also think a lot of people weren't excited about these projects (nor were they about Windows Phone -- not in the same way they were about Iphone or Android). There's also the issue of established brands marketing their new products as completely necessary for everyone to buy asap (alas, consumerism...). There's no novelty in merely reproducing an established product; the majority of the people want a novel idea, and have little incentive for "Ubuntu Android" or "wOS" (did anyone really find metro to be that novel of an idea?).

I'm optimistic for this new project because it aspires to bring a true Linux experience to your portable phone. From what I gather, a lot of developers and free-as-in-freedom advocates really want that. On that note, due to its price, I doubt I'll be able to afford one anytime soon, which is unfortunate; but, freedom isn't free, so I at least intend to donate.

To be honest, when it comes to privacy and security concerns in mobile devices, I'm more interested in the possible future of SIM-based exploits and backdoors:
https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/ ... computers/