Day 19 -- iPhone

As a reminder, here are our five reasons to avoid the 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.

The FreeRunner is still in active development — currently targetted at developers and not end users. Free software developers are encouraged to join in the process and improve the FreeRunner experience.

We've all done it -- everyone working on Defective by Design, from the editors and designers, to the system adminstrators who keep the site running, are now helping to build and improve the FreeRunner. While it may not be ready for the kind of day-to-day usage that one would hope for, it is true that we can trade our freedom and our money to get something flashy on the surface, or we can spend a little more money, keep our freedom, and support a better kind of business. If we want businesses to be ethical, we have to reward the ones that are. By not enriching companies that want to take away our freedom and by rewarding those that respect us, we will be helping to bring about a better future.

The iPhone hype hides a basic problem with the product -- Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) inside the iPhone means that it wont be under your control. Apple has built this "smart" phone to dumb you down.