04 January 2012

Open phone

What would an open phone be?

1. It would be one where I buy the phone from a hardware vendor. The hardware vendor wouldn’t care what I did with it.

2. It would be one where I install whatever software I want to on the phone. Most likely starting with an open-source system that I download for free.

3. It would be one where I pay for cellular data service. The service provider wouldn’t care what hardware I’m using, what software I’m using, or what bits I’m transmitting and receiving.

Without those three things, the word “open” shouldn’t be used without being highly qualified.

Ironically, I think the iPhone may be a key component in this ever happening. Because Apple and the iPhone have come the closest opening up the cellular service providers to being simply cellular service providers. They’re the ones succeeding as a hardware company that thinks of the end-user as the customer rather than the service provider being the customer.

I can’t say for sure that I’d choose such an open phone over the iPhone, but that’s the open phone I would consider. Less than that isn’t worth my time.

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