This article confusedly says, "Will carriers be willing to subsidize the N900 and its locked-down Maemo OS?" The "lock down" that it's describing refers to the comments by a Nokia executive saying that Nokia would not do customizations for carriers. These customizations are usually proprietary, often relating to locking the phone to their network, or implementing carrier-specific features like "MyCrap" or whatever. Nokia's comments were in contrast, for example, to Google's Android operating system, which is licensed in a way to specifically allow proprietary software extensions on top of a free software core. So apparently, unlocked is the new locked. Or something.
Unfortunately, Nokia quickly retracted the executive's comments anyway, saying they are leaving room for the possibility of such customizations.
In other phone freedom news, Palm has been working hard to demonstrate the fundamental incompatibilities between free software and the exclusive "app store" model of software distribution.
My OpenMoko FreeRunner has still been having some voice quality issues in low-reception areas, but is otherwise working quite well running the SHR distribution. Unfortunately one of those low-reception areas is my home, but I've been compensating for that by using the free VOIP software Ekiga and Asterisk more when I'm home.