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One of the most frustrating things about a new a phone purchase is the seemingly unlimited methods in which a carrier can screw up a device with their own add-ons. Just ask unlocked users of the Nokia E71 and AT&T buyers of the E71x what kind of a difference unbranded phones can make! With this in mind, Nokia is following in the footsteps of Google and Apple in seizing control of the user experience with Maemo by not allowing any carrier customizations. With the N900 on the hopeful T-mobile horizon, we can only be thankful not to endure the endless barrage of magenta interface “enhancements.” Now T-mobile might be better than others (again, just ask E71x users) but Apple and Google have shown that a carrier-free UI has almost no downside. As Engadget points out, carrier subsidies are necessary to bring the price down to a point where the everyman can buy a device, but if Apple, Google and Palm have taught us anything in the last year, it’s that even without carrier customization, the carrier still wins.