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

Tim Newsom cephdon at
Mon Jul 16 21:16:57 CEST 2007

OK.. Great minds think alike... Or maybe not. /grin

On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 12:11, Shawn Rutledge wrote:
> How about simply the youPhone, or uPhone?
> On 7/16/07, 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.
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