The iPhone has a rival in the shape of the OpenMoko Neo1973, the world's first open-source mobile phone, which goes on sale to developers today.

However, the phone is not ready for use by consumers. As the company's site points out: "The state of the software at the moment is pre-alpha. If you order a Neo1973, do not expect to be able to use it as an everyday phone for several months."

One developer close to the project reckoned that the official developer launch, which is the penultimate stage of the project, is due to start soon. According to PC World Australia, the mass market phase is due to start in October 2007.

Right now, the phone is available for $300, which buys you the device itself plus a charger, microSD card and USB cable. There's an advanced kit for hardware hackers available too, which adds a debug board and toolbox, for $450.

OpenMoko developer Paul Eggleton said: "Phase 1 hasn't quite started yet due to some production delays, but I suspect that some announcements will be made very soon regarding that. The software has improved, but many parts of it are still at the development stage.

"Hopefully when the Phase 1 devices are made available we'll see more developers getting involved. Updated phones with hardware fixes were sent out to Phase 0 developers including myself earlier in May."

Why would you want one? According to OpenMoko's site: "Mobile phones, currently closed and self limited, will rival broadband computers. When based on open standards, they will deliver ubiquitous computing and vanish."