A Linux-powered iPhone

Posted by jun auza On 1/10/2008
Recently, Wired magazine has published some of the top-secret history of the iPhone. It gave us some significant information about the iPhone’s development and how Apple manages to keep it underground.

Here is a brief summary of iPhone's untold story:

* Steve Jobs started thinking of making a mobile phone back in 2002 when he saw that cellphones and music players will someday converge and challenge the iPod.

* Apple initially joined forces with Motorola which resulted in the doomed ROKR iTunes phone.

* In February 2005, Jobs met with Cingular senior execs to discuss a Motorola-free partnership and then laid out his plans. He presented a three-part message to the executives:
- Apple had the technology to build something truly revolutionary, "light-years ahead of anything else."
- Apple was prepared to consider an exclusive arrangement to get that deal done.
- But Apple was also prepared to buy wireless minutes wholesale and become a de facto carrier itself.

* In the fall of 2006, only a few months before Macworld 2007, the iPhone prototype was still a ruin; it wasn't just buggy, it flat-out didn't work.

* For full secrecy, the iPhone project was known as P2, short for Purple 2 (the abandoned iPod phone was called Purple 1).

* December 2006, Jobs met wireless boss Stan Sigman and showed off the iPhone; its brilliant screen, its powerful Web browser, its engaging user interface. Sigman, called the iPhone "the best device I have ever seen."

* Apple spent USD $150 million to develop the iPhone.

The most interesting part on Wired magazine's revelation was during iPhone’s software development. On a very tight deadline to finish the iPhone right on time, Apple software engineers looked carefully at Linux, since it had already been rewritten for use on mobile phones. But, Linux on iPhone was denied by Steve Jobs for the reason that he do not want to utilize someone else’s software. Just imagine the endless possibilities had Steve agreed. It would have been a big break for Linux, and iPhone could have been a much more powerful and smarter mobile device. It would have been a jaw-dropping combination of beauty and brains.

Since Linux powered iPhone is now far from reality, I have here some photos of make-believe iPhone running with a GNOME desktop and with a Firefox web browser. Enjoy:

I know that unlocking the iPhone and putting Linux on it will take a hell lot of work, but I know that it is very much possible. What do you think?

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