The phone of freedom is a strange story, a smartphone for parents

It was tailored to the political audience. Eric Finman, a 22-year-old World Bitcoon millionaire He posted a video on Twitter It frees Americans from their “Big Tech” controllers for a new type of smartphone.

His video, released in July, mentions music, American flags and former presidents Abraham Lincoln and Donald J. Trump. Conservative experts tapped Finman’s phone, and his video garnered 1.8 million views. Mr. Finman soon received thousands of orders for $ 500 worth of weapons.

Then came the difficult part – building and delivering phones. First of all, he got bad initial reviews about the plan to easily install the software on a cheap Chinese phone. And then there were unpleasant phone calls, hiring customer service agents, collecting sales taxes, and meeting with supervisors.

“I feel ready for anything,” he said in a recent interview. But I think that’s how you keep the peace of the world, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

It is difficult for even beginners with a huge financial backing to compete with the trillions of tech industry giants who are dying in their markets. Mr. Finman was part of a growing right-wing technology industry that was taking on more challenges by hating conservative customers than by ingenuity or experience.

There are at least seven traditional social networking sites that host right-wing websites, free-speech video sites that compete with YouTube and at least try to compete with Facebook.

Parler, backed by conservative Megadoor Rebecca Mercer of the right-wing social network, found himself struggling earlier this year after Apple, Google and Amazon pulled out of their services. Gab, another popular social media company, has struggled to attract a spot on Apple or Google App Store. And Gettr, a social network created by the Trump administration, was immediately hacked.

Mr. Finman, a haired man with brown hair and a beard, calls him an agent of change for both technology and Republican politics. In an interview with a Turkish restaurant in Manhattan, Mr Finman weighed in on British politics. He mentions both Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and German fashion designer Carl Lagerfeld. And explain why the modern Republican Party is “sad.” Party leaders complain about Big Tech censorship, but do a little bit about it.

A.D. In 2014, New York magazine reported that Mr. Finman, a 16-year-old boy outside of Coeur d’Alene, outside of Idaho, made him rich when he donated $ 1,000 from his grandmother to Bitcoin a few years ago.

A.D. His fortune reached $ 1 million in 2017 and he has been uploading photos to YouTube celebrities online, on and off private jets, and setting fire to $ 100 accounts. But he is tired of the cryptography scene. “I really hate talking about Bitcoin,” he said. It sounds like “Rolling Stones, play songs.”

He got involved in politics. At the age of 12, he considered himself a liberator. (For a presidential candidate, Ron Paul, he was at a rally when someone first told him about Bitcoin.) But when Mr. Trump arrived at the national political stage, politics changed. ” In 2016, I drank cocaine. ”

Over the next several years, Mr. Finman became concerned about what he considered to be censorship of conservative voices, such as Silicon Valley. He has also seen business opportunities in other Republicans who share his concerns. So he focused on the dominance of Apple and Google and tried to create a new right-wing smartphone.

“Politics is the new national entertainment, baby,” said Mr. Finman. “Political ties can be as political as a crumb,” he said, referring to Mike Pindlow, the founder of MyPillow, who won the 2020 election.

But to make a smartphone, you had to rely on Google. The company’s Android software already works with millions of apps, and Google makes it a free and open version of the software for developers. So Mr. Finman hired engineers to release it from any Google logo and install it on apps from conservative social networks and news outlets. He then installed the software on phones he bought from China.

Google and Apple declined to comment.

To uncover the phone, he recorded anecdotal evidence that technology companies were enemies of the American way. “Think if Mark Zuckerberg forbids MLK or Abraham Lincoln,” he said in the video. The course of history changed forever.

At the same time, a series of right-wing individuals handed the phone to their followers. They stand for $ 50 per customer who uses their discount codes.

Thousands of people bought the phone for $ 500. Some, including some conservatives, applauded the fast-paced campaign. “Bad is not instinctive,” says Zechariah Graves, a technology policy expert at Lincoln Network. “But when I first saw the video, it said, ‘Live from New York, Saturday night! They were waiting for me.

Fast-paced news outlets reported that the freedom of the media was based on a low-end handset from a Chinese manufacturer, Umidigi, which used chips to expose hackers. Mr. Finman, who introduced the device as the “best phone in the world,” was on the defensive.

In an interview in July, Mr Finman admitted that the phone was made by Umidigi but that it was still “100%” safer than the latest iPhone. Apple has tens of thousands of engineers. Mr Finman said he had hired 15 people in Utah and Idaho.

Mr. Finman was not surprised by the criticism, but was surprised by the sale. That left him with unpredictable responsibilities, including certification from the Federal Communications Commission and special regulations for the export of lithium batteries. He has worked to resolve sales tax issues by hiring temporary customer service center staff in his hometown of Idaho.

Within a month of the phone’s release, Mr. Finman came up with a solution – selling someone else’s phone and working as a brand leader. As Mr. Finman’s political inspiration, Mr. Trump sold Trump Steak and Trump Vodka without working at a cattle ranch, Mr. Finman took on the difficult task of managing the company that actually makes the phones.

In a recent interview, Mr. Finman said, “Bring 50-year-olds in a difficult situation.” They may have sleepless nights.

He has partnered with ClearCellular, a 13-year-old company in Utah, Utah, that previously created a disconnected phone from Apple and Google. The company also has experience in logistics, shipping and customer service.

The companies have added the American flag wallpapers and conservative applications to the ClearCellular device, calling it the Freedom Phone. Mr. Finman said that although ClearCellular provides technology support to the App Store, the phone also has its own “PatriApp Store”.

Mr. Finman collects, no matter how much he says.

Reviews of the new phone were not positive. CNET, the product review site, said the $ 500 device “looks like a $ 200 budget Android phone.”

“They were really building a brand,” said 46-year-old Michael Prof, founder of ClearCellular. Creating a telephone company is a power struggle, but he added “not only software, security, hardware, but supply chain, storage and capitalization.” Mr. Finman’s strength is to “connect with people in a free society.”

Mr Finman said in just seven weeks he had an estimated $ 6 million in orders for about 12,000 free cell phone orders. Mr. Finman and Mr. Prophet said there were about 8,000 phones left to ship. Mr. Finman declined to contact the New York Times.

“My Phil is a horseman, and the phone of freedom is like Jordan,” said Mr. Finman, citing the co-founder of Nike, who helped turn Michael Jordan’s shoes into a cultural and commercial hit.

The event freed Mr. Finman from a telephone company and focused on politics. In a telephone interview with investors in Washington last week, he said Freedom Phone could not only free its customers from Big Tech but also take on Liberals.

During the election, he said, Freedom House plans to send users directly to nearby polling stations. And he was aiming to create a news feed on the phone where he could promote conservative articles.

“I see it as one of the last political tools,” he said. “Everyone has one in his pocket.

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