We've always had a soft spot for the OpenMoko FreeRunner open-source phone, but it looks like quirky and charming weren't enough -- the company's discontinued work on handset's planned successor and laid off 50 percent of its staff in an effort to stay afloat. CEO Sean Moss-Pulz says that work will continue on a new-non-smartphone he's calling "Plan B," with plans to work on a new phone in the future -- we're guessing Android might figure prominently into that plan, since it's already been ported to the hardware and the rumor mill was already churning. We'll see.

P.S.- Along with the Dash Express, that's now two different FIC-built Linux devices that have met an untimely demise, and not for lack of effort or enthusiasm -- the beginnings of a trend, or merely a coincidence?

Update: OpenMoko pinged us to say that the current FreeRunner will still be produced and components will still be available for devs -- but it won't be succeeded by the planned next-gen model. Check a video statement from marketing VP Steve Mosher after the break.

[Via PhoneScoop]

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OpenMoko FreeRunner development canceled, staff slashed