iPhone: Just Say No

No iPhone

With fanboys everywhere in the middle of a collective nerdgasm over the release of the iPhone 3G, it’s good to see the Free Software Foundation offering a reality check:

The 5 real reasons to avoid iPhone 3G:

  • iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can’t be on everyone’s phones.
  • iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology.
  • iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.
  • iPhone won’t play patent- and DRM-free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora.
  • iPhone is not the only option. There are better alternatives on the horizon that respect your freedom, don’t spy on you, play free media formats, and let you use free software — like the FreeRunner.

For more info on the iPhone and DRM, here’s a good New York Times article on the subject from when the device was first launched.



July 11, 2008
10:59 am

I’m holding out for an Android phone, although I’m still quite happy with my Nokia 6600.
That didn’t stop me from getting a iPodTouch last month though. As a device, its really cool, and with Wifi very useful.
1) I only half agree, you have Safari, so most anything you can do with a webapp, you could do on an iPhone, bypassing apple – like checking email through a webmail interface.
2) As long as it still plays MP3s, I can live with it.
3) Is this any different than other phones? Not like I’ll read the article
4) How much of my music/videos are using Ogg. A bit chicken and egg, of course, but still
5) Which will be on the market, any day now … as opposed to the iPhone which people can get, well, today.
Not a sycophantic Apple fanboy,

Jason Lefkowitz

July 11, 2008
11:07 am

“Which will be on the market, any day now … as opposed to the iPhone which people can get, well, today.”
You can get the FreeRunner today too.


July 18, 2008
12:57 am

Stallman is factually wrong on the first point. There is no “tax” for free software.

Jason Lefkowitz

July 19, 2008
12:35 pm

The “tax” is in reference to the $99 fee you have to pay Apple to get your software into the App Store (and hence onto the iPhone). No pay, no play – which means you can’t distribute your software to iPhone users without paying Apple up front.