This Android app developer wants to create its own open-source phone

It’ll likely only appeal to enthusiasts, but it’s one of the few ways to survive in the competitive smartphone market

Simple Mobile Tools is well known in the Android community for its open-source applications that provide viable alternatives to mainstream software. Its suite ranges from basic contact, dialer, and calculator apps to more robust software like a file manager and a gallery. The brand is even working on a camera app that focuses on privacy and simplicity while providing a consistent user experience. The company is now looking to expand beyond apps and spread its wings into the highly competitive smartphone market.

Redditor Tibbbi, a developer at Simple Mobile Tools, announced that the company would be releasing a privacy-focused phone soon (via Stadt-Bremerhaven). Details such as specifications and an exact timeframe for the launch are up in the air. But we know the phone will come preinstalled with many, if not all, the Simple apps fully unlocked.

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It’s a robust suite of 22 official apps (including Pro and non-Pro software), but some notable omissions exist, such as a browser and an email client. Hence, the company’s calling on users to suggest which apps it should preload where it doesn’t have an in-house solution, provided the suggestions are open source. It’s also looking to keep its potential smartphone as bloatware-free as possible and will only add the convenient apps requested by users.

As we’ve seen time and again, it’s not easy to enter the smartphone industry, especially when you’re a small company going against giants like Apple and Samsung with budgets amounting to billions of dollars — ask Andy Rubin and the Essential Phone, or more recently, Nothing. However, Simple Mobile is not targeting the average user who only knows so much about phones. Instead, it’s appealing to a niche aspect of the market, one dominated by enthusiasts clamoring for devices running fully open-source software and apps. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares against companies with similar offerings like Fairphone and Pine64.


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