Archive for July, 2008

Apple: the Enemy of Free

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my Twitter stream or my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

5 reasons to avoid iPhone 3G

iFail !
iFail: tough to buy one of these suckers.
I claim “engineered scarcity”..

One of the biggest ironies I know of in mobile tech, is that these days Microsoft (via Windows Mobile) is (I would argue) the most open platform. It’s a little computer I can put in my pocket. I can use the browser and go to websites, I can freely develop and install apps, I can completely ignore the carriers’ and devices’ app stores (T-zones, VCast, and now iPhone app store) if I want to. The OS is really carrier agnostic and you can usually unlock the phone (if it’s a US GSM, to use another carrier’s SIM). It’s so far from perfect, and not even close to as sexy or stable a device as the iPhone, but the freedom attributes shine.

Apple is certainly just about the least open. And the iPhone is wedded to a current campaign where you are forced to be bound by AT&T, thus making you want to hate them, by design. The whole thing is set up that a 2 year contract w/ the carrier is a penalty for having the phone. How about the old fashioned free market idea of building customer loyalty to attract and keep subscribers?

Sadly, it turns out that the vast majority of U.S. mobile users just don’t care about open. Or free. Witness Nokia’s recent “Open” marketing campaign here, which was curtailed fairly quickly when they began to realize this (click on image to expand):
Posters of Nokia’s “Open” campaign

The following article does a great job of explaining why now, despite the impressive new features on the iPhone 3G, there remain important distinctions that are very anti-“do no evil”:
5 reasons to avoid iPhone 3G