December 22, 2018

Force a foot in mobile market

With Fuchsia OS (or more Zircon kernel) getting scary close to something real! our hacker days on mobile devices might be over... As this will open up the option for manufactures to close source ALL of there devices source including the kernel and device tree.

Some might say "but Fuchsia is open source" and that is true, but it's licensed under BSD 3 clause, MIT and Apache 2.0 which all are permissive licenses. This is a huge problem since manufactures now have the option to not release the source for there devices, and as we have seen with most android manufactures they will close whatever they can. There is a really small amount of manufactures that release there android source. Every (except some shady Chinese ones) manufactures have to release the kernel source because they have too due to the GNU license. Some might say android is permissive licensed too, but with android this is something we can workaround since it's not as hard-coded for each devices, but for the kernel source is critical, without it it's nearly impossible to create FOSS software for these devices (like Ubuntu touch, plasma mobile or to some degree lineageos)

Fuchsia is already working on real hardware!

What can we do? We can get our foot into the manufactures door and claim our space. This will give a signal that FOSS operatives is something we want, it will also push the ODM/OEM and manufactures to build devices with Linux supported and at the same time message to chip/components manufactures like Qualcomm to keep adding supporting for there components to Linux kernel.

How do we get the foot in? We can do this tree ways that i see, by creating fully FOSS hardware like the Librem5 and Pine64 phone, second we can push support for many of the current android phones to make it available for many more devices and people and third make/release software to ODM phones with the current android structure, with this i mean create a device with own brand and only sell devices with FOSS software.

This way we will have a foot into the door, and shake the ODM/OEMs to see its still valuable for them to keep supporting the Linux kernel.

Then the last part, who will do this? This is up to us, the community. Don't expect bigger android players to even consider taking the risk of releasing a FOSS only device. There is none else that will take this risk else then players that's already in the FOSS game. That's why i really love Purism and Pines work! But we need more options and a bigger foot into the door!

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