- 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 FSF believe that the iPhone is an attack on very old and fundamental values — the value of people having control over their stuff rather than their stuff having control over them, the right to freely communicate and share with others, and the importance of privacy.
The important difference between the iPhone and prior general-purpose computers: The iPhone is broken, on purpose. It is in theory capable of running many different kinds of programs, but software applications and media will be limited via Apple’s ironically named Digital Restrictions Management technology — “FairPlay”.
Apple’s DRM system monitors your activities and tells you what you are and are not allowed to do. What you are not allowed to do is install any software that Apple doesn’t like. This restriction prevents you from installing free software — software whose authors want you to freely share, copy and modify their work.
This system is not Apple’s only FoulPlay. iPhones can now also only be activated in stores — despite the fact that in the U.S., the Register of Copyrights ruled that consumers have the right to unlock their phones and switch to a different carrier.
Fortunately, we will soon be able to have all the convenience of a mobile computer that also makes phone calls without selling our freedom to Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, or anyone else. The Neo FreeRunner is a promising free-software phone, being developed in cooperation with the same worldwide community responsible for the GNU/Linux operating system. These are creators who want to share their work and who want you and others to be able to do what they did — build on the work of people who came before them to make new, empowering devices.