I was pretty amazed when I watched Wired’s documentary on Shenzhen China where they cloned and improved iPhone a year before it hit China. They had people doing every component or type of design imaginable. Then, a guy later did a video where he built an iPhone from individual components through specialist vendors. The Galaxy clones I saw when looking at online sellers were about $120 each.
So, then I see the FOSS phones that look more straight-forward get nowhere. Has anyone tried approaching one of the higher-quality cloners of high-end phones to see if they’ll do a FOSS phone for a price? Seems like one of best options. It will probably cost a good deal with some overruns to plan for as Murphy’s Law kicks in.
What software do these clones run? I doubt these people are rewriting all the software from scratch.
I have no idea. I’ve heard many clones run variants of ASOP. Im not sure what the high-end ones do. I recall one iPhone being an Android phone with skins and apps like an iPhone. I imagine there’s slso some piracy. ;)
In 2017 it seems much more practical to build some cool open hardware that tethers to a cheap android device. 2G is already being phased out, and an open source LTE firmware seems impossible. A 1-2 year old smartphone, some superglue for the mic ports, and a faraday pouch is fast, future proof, secure, and incredibly cheap.