Posted Dec 1, 2008 14:22 UTC (Mon) by pboddie
In reply to: Linux boots on the iPhone
Parent article: Linux boots on the iPhone
And most phones out there, even closed-source ones, do not place limitations on the user.
They do. I don't claim they are restrictions your average Joe might care of immediately, but there are always restrictions in basically all other phones besides Openmoko. The vendors always allow some stuff, while not allowing some other stuff.
Indeed. Anyone claiming that phones sold to end-users don't have restrictions (possibly while advocating "cheap" deals involving contracts) is in fantasy land. A friend of mine couldn't transfer his pictures via IR or Bluetooth from his phone to his computer, in contrast to my phone. The difference? His phone was bought on a contract and it was Nokia and Netcom who had decided that to get your pictures you had to send them all via MMS. In other countries it's a lot worse since the stupid operators want to brand the whole experience.
A lot of this is about having a reliable source for the hardware on which you intend to run Linux. The whole "anything but Apple on Apple" scene is a cat-and-mouse game where the next revision of the hardware will probably necessitate more cracks to break the newly added locks and barriers. In contrast, the Openmoko-related hardware is a lot more attractive to independent companies wanting to use it as a platform (and there's at least one doing so successfully), precisely because there's cooperation between the vendor and the users/community.
In short, being able to run Linux on the iPhone/iPod and other closed devices is a good thing because it gives existing users options, but it's not the magic solution for getting *open* Linux solutions on mobile hardware, nor is it an adequate substitute for truly open hardware, despite what some people might have us believe.
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