The PinePhone is a cheap, Linux-ready smartphone that’s expected to ship in limited quantities later this year. It’s not exactly a high-power device by modern smartphone standards, but with an expected starting price of $149, it will be a lot more affordable than some of the other Linux phones on the horizon.
It’s also starting to look like the PinePhone could be a very versatile device.
Pine64 has been sending out development kits for a while, and it looks like developers are porting a number of GNU/Linux-based operating systems to the platform.
Here are a few of the latest examples:
PostmarketOS is , LuneOS an open source operating system based on weBOS, SailfishOS, Nemo Mobile with the Glacier UI, Sway, Maemo Leste
In other words, there’s a good chance that by the time this phone ships to customers, you may have a variety of open source operating systems to choose from. While it’s unlikely that any of them will have as robust an ecosystem of mobile apps as Android or iOS at launch, this isn’t a device designed for people that just want a cheap Android phone.
It’s a phone for open source enthusiasts who would prefer a mobile device that comes with free and open source software that can be customized, modified, or replaced. I’d be surprised if the experience wasn’t a bit buggy at launch, but after years of stops and starts, it looks like this could be the year we start to see smartphones ship that are truly designed to run GNU/Linux distributions.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht