There seems to be two principal approaches when trying to make devices that are friendly to Free Software: adapt existing devices to take advantage of their widespread and timely availability and reduced cost per unit; attempt to design and manufacture new devices with a carefully chosen selection of components.
The former approach seems to be plagued by the kind of manufacturer vagueness around components and GPL non-compliance as seen here, whereas the latter seems to be plagued with secretive component vendors and uninterested manufacturing companies who apparently aren't interested in talking to anyone not commissioning or buying millions of units.
To an extent, there have been some minor successes with the latter approach, perhaps not in terms of something that would satisfy those who expect volunteer projects to deliver something as polished and as cheap as a blockbuster product from a major manufacturer, but certainly in terms of figuring out the supply chain and manufacturing challenges in a fairly satisfactory fashion. My impression is that the likes of OpenPandora and GTA04 still struggle, but they are able to work with facilities that don't seem completely intent on taking their money and pushing them out the door as soon as possible.
It's a shame that Nokia didn't open up their developer-targeted devices (or elements of their manufacturing capability) as various people suggested: that would have really empowered some open hardware projects. As someone who was practically a spokesman for Nokia, I wonder if Aaron Seigo regrets such missed opportunities too.