PinePhone and how the consumer cellular market may be the next big profitable area for GNU/Linux 

So I’m basically all over the hype and joy for PinePhone, the newest Linux phone (and by far the cheapest) hitting the markets today. It’s far from feature complete (it seems to be a really spur of the moment choice to add Ubuntu Touch), but it seems overall flawless. Add in the UBPorts community supporting the hardware, and you have a no-brainer.

But this got me thinking: if they make this work, we know they’ll be able to scale up– and can they go even cheaper?

The one difference between phones and most computers is the bricking problem. On most computers, if you try to install an operating system that it didn’t come with, you can usually restore the operating system it shipped with or put in a new one. On a phone, there is no such safety. Outside the phone’s own OS updates, you’re usually not changing anything. And when you do make a change, it usually has to be built to the phone’s own architecture. With the PinePhone, this changes things as the phone already has multiple distros being optimized for it. Your phone can become an extension of your computer. Or, as in the convergence ideal, simply replace it.

What won’t happen, however? Bricking. The phones are being designed to be hackable. And this means that people looking for an accessible, hackable phone will soon find them. But who else will be looking? People who just need a phone and might not want an Android or iPhone. So worth considering is the market of users who don’t want an Android or iOS device who actually have no intention of hacking their phone anyway.

It’s worth considering.