It was only at CES 2009 that we played with the latest iteration of the OpenMoko FreeRunner, there running the Google Android OS. Now the company’s CEO, Sean Moss-Pultz, has announced that production of the FreeRunner has ceased, and that 50-percent of OpenMoko’s staff have been cut in an attempt to bring costs down to manageable levels.
According to Moss-Pultz, only around 10,000 FreeRunner open-source Linux handsets were sold. The company will now concentrate on a new product that, despite OpenMoko’s history, will not be a cellphone. No specific details regarding what exactly this new project might be have been revealed, which Moss-Pultz described as their “Plan B”.
The company hopes to re-enter the cellphone market at some point in the future, and given our hands-on experience back in January we’d assume Android might be the OS of choice. Still, it’s a disappointment that one of the most prominent open-source cellphone projects of recent years has come to an end.