The story behind Private Phone Shop

We first began experimenting with custom ROMs back in 2013, installing Cyanogenmod on a Samsung tablet. Back in those days Android wasn’t nearly as polished and a custom ROM was a great way to improve battery life, speed up your device, and get features which stock Android didn’t include. Since then we have installed custom ROMs on just about every phone we have owned, mainly as a way of tinkering.

Over the last few years the amount of intrusion and censorship from tech companies has grown to an alarming degree. This reached a peak in 2020 with both the pandemic and the presidential election. At the end of 2020 we made the decision to de-google, and put a fresh version of LineageOS on our phone with no google apps. We also moved to Protonmail, after having a gmail account since 2004 (when it was invite-only).

Shortly thereafter, we had a few friends ask us to de-google phones for them. It seemed like there was a demand for spyware-free phones, but the technical skills required are often daunting to your average user. While we are not tech experts, we have plenty of experience with Linux, and a good familiarity with installing custom ROMs after flashing several of our own phones.

To help others escape the clutches of big tech, in early 2021 we decided to open this store. This is not our full time job, but we enjoy seeing others realize that they have options when it comes to their phone. We also like helping people realize that free speech still actually exists in a few corners of the internet, even if tech companies try to shut it down.

Our pledge to you:

  • We will not sell or give your data to any third party, except when required by a subpoena
  • We will not collect any information when you visit our website which could be used to identify you, nor use any creepy analytics like HotJar, GA, etc.
  • We will not use any high-pressure sales tactics like countdown timers, phony sales, or other annoying widgets
  • We will not use our mailing list to spam you with endless offers and sales, only to deliver privacy-related news and site announcements
  • We will not hype our phones using phrases like “military-grade encryption” or make unrealistic promises about what our phones can do
  • We will not accept any form of compensation for apps or services we recommend, nor use affiliate links or any other form of kickbacks
  • We will not charge outrageous markups on the products we sell