Not "the free phone" (was: Re: Again: Advertising thoughts

Vincent imnotb at
Mon Jul 16 19:43:08 CEST 2007

On 16/07/07, Ian Darwin <ian at> wrote:
> > I completely agree. My idea is to make two advertisment campains: one on
> > "maisntream media": maybe tv, maybe radio, flyre, poster, newspapers,
> > wathever.  This ads would be something like: "The free phone, OpenMoko.
> > The only one with ...." "The OpenMoko: now with builtin navigator" and
> > so on. Don't even THINK of using "based on Linux Kernel 2.6.xx" or "With
> > powerful ssh acess"
> Calling it "the free(d) phone" to consumers (as opposed to developers)
> is going to engender an enormous amount of confusion and ill-will.
> Why? Because (at least in North America) the major carriers have spent
> years, and billions of dollars, totally subverting the meaning of the
> phrase "free phone" to mean "we give you the cheapest phone we can find
> and don't charge you for this piece of junk when you lock into a two- or
> three-year plan at some exorbitant rate that obviously includes the cost
> of the phone amortized."
> Seriously, ask consumers what a "free phone" means. at least 11 out of
> 10 will give you the definition above, at least the parts they understand.
> A consumer ad campaign is NOT the place to push the "free as in beer vs
> free as in speech" argument. The phrase "free phone" already means the
> opposite of what we want it to mean. It's done, finished, over. Move on.
> Call it something else in the consumer market. The Flexible Phone. The
> Does-what-you-want-not-what the big corporations want. I don't know.

The "you're in control-phone"? :P

Anyway, it would be weird calling it *the* free phone anyway, as I assume
the Neo won't be the only OpenMoko-powered phone.

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