A new community-developed smartphone is hoping to disrupt a smartphone industry dominated by Android and iOS operating systems.
Called the PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition, the device will be available for preorder starting in July 2020 at a cost of $150, and runs a version of Linux. Though still in a development stage, its creators say that the goal is to make a smartphone that lasts longer and is free of the Android/iOS duopoly.
The PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition is the result of a partnership between community-driven tech manufacturer Pine64 and postmarketOS—a Linux-based operating system designed for mobile devices.
Oliver Smith, lead developer of postmarketOS, said he began working on the Linux-based operating system in 2016, to help address what he says is the problem of smartphones having too short a lifecycle.
“It was common for most Android vendors to only provide updates for two years, and after these you were either forced to buy a new phone or to keep using a phone that does not get security updates anymore,” Smith told Motherboard in an email. “With Apple, you get five years of support. But you are pushed to buying another iPhone through other means—the scandal of artificially reducing the CPU power on older devices via updates is just one example.”
Smith said this led him to want to create a system that could be used to support devices as long as possible.
“We share as much code between all devices, as possible, by taking the traditional package based approach from desktop Linux distributions. Each piece of software is in a tiny package, and devices just have one or two packages of their own, where all the device specific code lives,” Smith said.
The result is coding that can be used and updated by many devices. Because it is