Yet another good reason (or five!) why not to get an iPhone #iphone #n900

So buying a phone really shouldn’t be a political exercise, should it?

The fact is, though, that the iPhone is the epitome of the corporatisation of our social networks, looking to control and mould the way we interact rather than giving us a tool to empower us creatively. You’ll probably read this as just another anti-iPhone rant from the Nokia-owning geek, but the Free Software Foundation provide some pretty compelling reasons for thinking twice about chaining yourself to the Apple cart (and WTH do I have to pay more for a crappier contract if I want an iPhone, eh O2?):

You can do what you like with an iPhone – as long as Steve Jobs wants you to do it. The FSF captures the sentiment perfectly:

“The iPhone is an attack on very old and fundamental values — the value of people having control over their stuff rather than their stuff having control over them, the right to freely communicate and share with others, and the importance of privacy.”

Contrast that with Nokia and its approach to the N900:

“The N900 is the most powerful device Nokia has ever created, and it’s built with Maemo software – which is completely open source.

What’s great about this is that it means the N900 can be taken apart and rebuilt, or modded into something entirely new – capable of doing things no device has ever done before.

But things like what? Well, that’s exactly what we asked teams of hackers all around the world. In response, we got hundreds of inspiring dreams and visions.

Now we’re down to 5 teams whose visions are becoming a reality. And this site will follow them every step of the way. ”

Basically, Nokia take the most powerful phone-tablet-thingy they’ve ever designed and, instead of having a precious hissy fit at the thought there might be people out there cleverer than they are, say “Here you go world… play with it!”

Visit and you will find something quite unique – users, developers and corporate reps all on the same boards, talking about what applications they want and need and some volunteering to do the coding – and finding ways to make this little technological marvel do the most incredible things.

As someone who admires the ingenuity and creativity of individuals – and wishes he could code for toffee – there is no contest.

Besides, I remember the video. And I’d not be seen dead in an Escort:

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4 thoughts on “Yet another good reason (or five!) why not to get an iPhone #iphone #n900

  1. I actually rather like some of the new Blackberry designs – I’d better say up front though that I am not a Blackberry user (though my colleagues who are would not be parted from them for anything). The biggest difficulty with the N900 is finding someone who will supply it on contract (it is still relatively new and on the higher end of the monthly contracts if you want it “free”). I bought mine sim-free in the end as I was so exasperated with O2. I love it – but then I am quite a tinkerer and the fact that a lot of its operating system is still in development, especially in terms of ordinary phone functionality, doesn’t bother me… (It might when I am back in the saddle next week!)


  2. Apple removed DRM from their Music some time ago. They have left DRM on their Movies on their store but to be fair DRM exists on DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and in other places – they are not the only ones and probably cannot practically remove it for commercial reasons.

    The iPhone will play DRM-free music but admittedly not OGG and so on as you correctly point out.

    The App store does seem restricting. It costs $99 to join the developers programme but actual all the tools to develop come with the Mac or can be downloaded for free. The cost isn’t too much for a set of development tools – the developers can make this money back on their applications if need be.

    Much of Mac OS is based on Darwin which has its roots in Mach and the Berkeley Software Distribution. Some of it is code provided by the GNU project (FSF).


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