Originally Posted by Savage Shadows
Well... We are in something of a rising world of DIY projects. Maybe some deal could be reached with a carrier where kits and compatible parts are sold to the consumers, but to be used on a network, a special activation fee to the carrier has to be paid, and the carrier covers costs like gsm assoc membership in return for those fees.
Or even start with kits for wifi-only tablets, see if there is interest? I could see it catching on a little more with tablets than phones, because they wouldn't need the ruggedness of phones, so assembling them would be easier.
I would buy a kit if this type of product were out there. It'd be fun to put it together, and work a little more hands on with Android and kernels. I also think it would spark other Linux based mobile operating systems to be brewed up by devs.
I think DIY projects have always been around, but I'm sure these days constructing the actual electronics required for something like say a tablet is well beyond the average hobbyist with just a soldering iron and a pair of side-cutters. It's not like the good old days of soldering a few transistors, diodes, capacitors and resistors into a piece of strip-board.
Projects certainly do exist, I think the Raspberry Pi is a good example. That's where a group of people did get together, and designed something. However people are not building their own Raspberry Pis, they're all made in a factory here in China.
But something like that can be used as building blocks for something bigger, by adding touch screens, wifi modules, Linux hacking, etc.
Companies like Velleman make kits for the hobbyists, but there's nothing particularly advanced here. It's things like amplifiers, power supplies, sirens, strobes, electronic dice, etc. But all projects that can easily be constructed ed at home, with just a few simple hand tools. They're certainly not doing anything like Android tablets. It used to be Heathkit years ago, and magazines like Elektor and Practical Electronics.
You could have a look at some of the projects that Element 14 is doing. They have a very active electronic, hacking and dev community.