So you may have heard the name Petter Neby. He is one of the early adopters of the “dumb phone = better lifephilosophy, so he founded Punkt. In doing so, he created several iterations of a stylish and minimalistic phone, which is neither stupid nor conventionally smart. As in, it has internet, but its application is limited. Well, Petter Neby is now involved in a new startup called apostrophy (yes, with a Y). Hailing from Switzerland, the project revolves around the idea of creating a next-generation privacy-focused operating system (OS). It will be called AphyOS and promises “No sneaky terms”. Oh, and it will be a subscription-based service.
But why on earth would you pay for such a service? Well, the company explains it in the FAQ section of their website, while also taking the opportunity to poke a joke at Google. Basically it goes like this: you also pay for using Android, but you pay in user data, not money. Apostrophy’s spin on the situation is that it exists to give you a choice, in case you’d rather pay with hard, cold cash.
Why should a mobile operating system be a subscription service?
The MP02 model of the Punkt phone, called Pigeon.
But AphyOS also has some other unique features. For example, their website gives you access to some of the apps you use on your phone, just as Google has desktop versions of Keep and Calendar, or how Apple has iCloud.com. So okay, not exactly unique, but still cool.
Here are some of the apps listed at launch to support this functionality:
- Aphi email
- Secure storage
- Secure calendar
- To-do lists
This is really the part where Peter Nebby’s signature is visible. He’s a real proponent of the fact that phones are all-consuming right now, whereas a system where your phone and computer complement each other would allow you to focus on both your work and your life, separately.
If AphyOS isn’t Android, what is it? We will…
The website also does this interesting thing where it mentions “Aphy phones”. Given that Punkt is a thing maybe we can expect an AphyOS phone at some point but in general if the operating system is based on Android a lot of phones will probably be able to run it even though they probably need an user with a subscription to keep the phone up to date.
AphyOS is just the beginning and the Aphy phone is the future!
First, buying an “Aphy Phone” would mean that the user would theoretically have to buy the phone and then immediately subscribe to its operating system. If they don’t like it, they’ll have to figure out how to get stock Android there, and even that can be a pain since the base droid may not even be optimized for that device. Thank goodness flagships are optimized!
However, as a counterpoint, this ties in nicely with the company’s claim to give the user a choice. If major brands – or at least medium-sized brands – release phones that come with AphyOS, and if users are attracted to them, it may prompt Google to reconsider the ordeal and accept it as feedback. Users may even be able to pay the big G for a subscription fee to save their data from ad revenue hell.
That would effectively relieve Apostrophy of their duties immediately, but it would also truly realize the company’s end-goal philosophy, which they go into great detail on their website.
Overall, AphyOS wants to stir the pot. Pete Nebby and company are definitely up to something interesting, and we can’t wait to see what Aphy phones come out in the future, for example. More importantly, how users will react to the subscription, which incidentally has not yet received a price tag.