Update – this was originally embargoed, not something we would cover other than the embargo project, was set to publish on the embargo date but Vice went ahead and published it so other than the date, which I’m not telling, this is all out there.
The Freedom Phone is a
phone that releases today according to the press release below, it runs a modified Android AOSP it appears, and its main claim to existence is that it allows you access to a completely unregulated Android app store, and comes pre-loaded with Parler on it. Basically it’s the current political edition of the Facebook Phone.
Beyond that there are no details in the release other than that the phone is helping to make America Great by allowing silenced conservative voices to easily communicate. This because of an app store that allows you to download and update Parler/Gab etc. without Google or Apple enforcing terms and conditions, presumably checking for malware and viruses.
This arrived as an unsolicited embargoed press release, and if you know the March project, it’s that I’m taking all embargoes even this one.
What follows is the press release cut and pasted from email, followed by commentary. I removed one line with the PR person’s contact info.
LAUNCHING (date removed) UNDER EMBARGO: The Freedom Phone, Pre-Loaded With Parler, is the First Mobile Phone based on Free Speech with it’s own App Store
Erik Finman, Youngest Bitcoin Millionaire, is excited to announce the launch of The Freedom Phone on (date removed as this is the only embargoed information not available). The first mass-marketable mobile phone based on free speech.
Erik Finman has been working tirelessly over the last year to develop a mobile device that is based on free speech. The Freedom Phone company is a totally independent organization headquartered in the United States of America specifically launched to create a future where free communication is not banned by Big Tech.
The main feature of the phone is that it includes: The FreedomOS App Store. An app store that is free from censorship. Parler, Gab, and any other app – banned or unbanned – can submit their app to our app store knowing that they are free from suppression.
Pre-Loaded Apps and sites will be right on your homescreen when you turn on the phone. Of course you have the option to remove them as you please, but The Freedom Phone company is encouraging a great split away from left-wing Big Tech companies that were made on free speech, and now have betrayed The American People.
FreedomOS is an independent mobile Operating System that has all the same features & Android apps as your normal phone but doesn’t spy on you and the OS allows The Freedom Phone to use it’s own separate uncensored app store.
The Phone is not just helping to make America great. But it’s also made as a great phone.
It has a 6 inch colorful screen, an amazing camera, and has 128GB Storage. And it’s easy to transfer your phone too. Just pop the SIM Card out of your current phone with the included SIM Tool, and put it in The Freedom Phone. That’s it!
Erik Finman explains, “This is a historical time. With people, apps, and even The President of the United States banned. Conservatives must create their own means of communication where we can’t be silenced anymore.”
The Freedom Phone will remake the entire political landscape by giving an unfiltered means of communication that we haven’t seen since the 2015/2016 election cycle that got President Trump elected into office.
The Freedom Phone is bringing back free speech. This time forever.
— Line with contact information removed —
About Erik Finman:
Erik Finman, age 22, is the founder and CEO of Freedom Phone, which is a phone that promotes freedom of speech and prevents tracking and data mining. He is also one of the youngest people to become a bitcoin millionaire, making his first investment at age 12, and becoming a millionaire at age 18. He’s also been an avid investor and entrepreneur in the crypto market by investing in several different crypto currencies.
From a personal standpoint, Erik dropped out of school at the age of 15 after he sold $100,000 worth of bitcoin, founded an education startup, and dropped out of high school. He created his education atmosphere from home, using a computer and an Internet connection, and named it Botangle (a combination of “robotics” and “angle“). Today, he manages a team of programmers, not only for Botangle but for several other likely projects.
The phone specs here are listed as follows
- Camera: Amazing
- Display: 6″, colorful
- Storage: 128gig
- Bands – none listed, uses a SIM
- Battery – unlisted
- Sensors – unlisted
- Price – unlisted
You can purchase one at – also unlisted. Found it with a quick Google search. It’s about $450. Well, when it launches. The site as of this writing indicates that it’s a crowdfunding site. The google search result has been removed, but you can find it on The Wayback Machine although with a different price.
OK, so here’s what an Android guy thinks, should this be an actual product and not a media plant to stir outrage – whole thing could easily be done as a single app to download on your existing phone. Splitting to a third party app store means you’re limited to the products uploaded to said third party app store. There are plenty of third party app stores you can install now.
Parler and Gab, while not hosted on Google Play or the App Store, have instructions and are distributed in many third party app stores you can install at the moment without having to purchase anything on any Android phone, and probably iPhone as well. This phone will save you two to seven taps on your existing phone.
As I very much doubt most app developers are going to be submitting to Freedom App Store, you’re going to run into a situation a few days in where you’re going to be forced to learn to install a different market app anyway if you want to do anything other than open one social network app.
While I don’t doubt that some work has gone into this phone, a quick check of Erik’s github doesn’t show anything public in terms of contributions to Android, and the main selling point, even stated in the press release, is the non-google market app.
But this is all based on that (date removed to honor the embargo) days out from release, the above press release. At the moment it looks like it’s a great way to make money selling an app.
Here’s Freedom Phone’s US trademark (from Freedom Mobile) in case you’re wondering if that existed still. It doesn’t appear it does.