Erik Finman, a self-proclaimed supporter of Donald Trump’s “Bitcoin billionaire,” is offer a mobile device called “Freedom Phone”. Supporters of former President Donald Trump. It is not every day that a new smartphone company appears on the market. And even less one with such striking messages as that its new device protects your “freedom of expression” against the big tech companies.
Critics of The Daily Beast, however, saw the offer as a major violation. The phone, manufactured by conservative crypto enthusiast Erik Finman, is suspected to be a rebranding of a mobile phone of Chinese origin. For the moment, Finman has refused to publish the specifications of the phone.
Freedom Phone an “uncensored”phone
When Erik Finman, self-proclaimed “Bitcoin millionaire,” announced the Freedom Phone yesterday, it aroused a lot of interest.
Finman says the Freedom Phone is “the first major setback for the big tech companies that attacked us (the American conservatives).” And, it has an ” uncensored app store.”
The official Freedom Phone website provides very few details, but mentions that the phone comes with conservative preloaded websites and apps. They also specify that it runs the “first free speech operating system” called FreedomOS (not to be confused with the custom ROM of the same name) that has a privacy tool called “Trust”.
The phone is priced at $ 499. And, thanks to the generous affiliate program, many right-wing influencers in the U.S. are promoting it. The founder has confirmed that the Freedom Phone has been manufactured by Umidigi, a Chinese brand of phones. In fact, the phone seems to be identical to the Umidigi A9 Pro, which currently costs just over 100 euros on AliExpress.
The uncensored phone A replica of a Chinese phone?
On the other hand, a video from the Freedom Phone reveals that the “uncensored app store” is the Aurora store with another name. Aurora is an open source interface for the Google Play Store. Which means that all the applications of the” PatriApp Store ” come from the Play Store. Therefore, the company has no control over its contents and cannot guarantee that they will not be “censored”.
In addition, another handy video showing the phone’s app drawer reveals many stock apps from LineageOS as well as microG. It seems clear that the phone is running LineageOS.
In short, users suggest that, the Freedom Phone presented by the self-proclaimed Bitcoin millionaire is nothing more than a Chinese smartphone with a much higher price than the original. And, it does not bring anything differential. Consequently, it is presumed, that the company only intends to take advantage of the idea that the big tech companies go against the conservative citizens in the United States, without offering any real solution.
The 22-year-old German man who caused a little stir on Twitter when he posted a video with content from this “freedom phone” also shared images of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King to suggest they would have been censored in the current political climate.
“I did it in Silicon Valley, and I’ve already accomplished a lot in my life, but now I’m leaving Big Tech to fight for free speech.” It says Finman.
Users suggest Freedom Phone has a populist nexus
Meanwhile, others suggested that the “Bitcoin millionaire” venture is a blatant attempt to monetize populist sentiments associated with former President Trump. A tactic that has been adopted by opportunists who adopt right-wing positions to sell products or attract people to sign up for recurring political contributions.
Finally, users also questioned on social media saying that, this would be the first smartphone to be sold without a spec sheet, totally blind. Since the company does not offer a single detail about the hardware it carries.