Just like the failing right-wing social media platforms that keep popping up, the MAGA-focused Freedom Phone is looking to acquire a very specific fanbase. The new phone promises to provide customers with an anti-censorship platform that will never ban an app. Unsurprisingly, the device appears to be built on a bed of fibs.
The Freedom Phone won't ban apps because it can't
The biggest promise that the Freedom Phone is peddling towards the MAGA crowd is a completely uncensored app store. Embarrassingly titled the “PatriApp Store", the platform states it will never ban an application.
Of course, Google and Apple have been known to ban apps. Both platforms removed right-wing platforms such as Parler and Voat, both were also dropped by their server hosts. As for this new phone, the PatriApp Store will never, ever do this, even if the content an app contains is illegal.
“If an app you love has been banned from the mainstream app stores, you can still download it on ours because we don't ban apps, period,” the company says.
However, as pointed out by XDA's Mishaal Rahman, the PatriApp Store isn't an independent storefront at all. Therefore, the PatriApp Store can’t ban apps because it isn't in control of the apps it hosts.
Instead, the storefront appears to be a reskinned version of the Open Source Google Play Store client Aurora Store. This means that the entire app library available on the Freedom Phone will be decided by what Google hosts. As for Parler, a banned app that's proudly displayed in phone images, it's either preinstalled or sideloaded. Anyone can sideload an app on Android.
It’s just a Chinese phone
In a report by Ars Technica, it was revealed that the Freedom Phone is likely just a reskinned Chinese phone. Erik Finman has confirmed that the device was created in partnership with Chinese manufacturer Umidigi.
Ars Technica, after some digging, concluded that the “new" phone is most likely a rebranded Umidigi A9 Pro, a $120 smartphone. The Freedom Phone will cost potential customers $500 for the privilege of owning a device “for conservatives, by conservatives."