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166 comments

Hello Moto? (3, Insightful)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265480)

Motorola? Are you watching?

This is where your users will go when their current contracts expire or when they just get fed up with all of the great options on everyone else's phones other than yours.

Re:Hello Moto? (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265514)

This is where the minuscule, niche group of users who make up less than .5% of all your customers will go when their current contracts expire or when they just get fed up with all of the great options on everyone else's phones other than yours.

FTFY. Seriously, most users don't know what a bootloader is let alone whether or not it's locked or unlocked.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265548)

But they'll see the very vocal 5% who demand "unlocked bootloaders" and start asking. They may never do anything with it, but the noise level has obviously had an impact.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265562)

5%? You're easily an order of magnitude off.

Re:Hello Moto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265686)

you missed the decimal marker, he said ".5%"

Re:Hello Moto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265696)

Well, the phone companies and carriers are famous for making rules that affect everyone due to a SMALL minority taking up a little too much bandwidth. When the bandwidth tiers came out from AT&T they said it would only affect 2% of their users. Well, that's obviously not the case. And there are thousands upon thousands up people who modify their phones. Simply look at the # of page views on a forum at XDA and you'll see that a LOT of people want control over their phones. I think that more than 0.5% of HTC phone users are interested in modifying their phone.

Re:Hello Moto? (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266118)

And there are thousands upon thousands up people who modify their phones.

Out of millions upon millions of phones sold. Again, less than 1 percent. But, originally, less than 1 percent of people had cell phones. Then less than 1 percent had data capable phones. Now, less than 1 percent of people install custom firmware. Don't get discouraged by the numbers. We're just leading the curve.

Re:Hello Moto? (4, Interesting)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265766)

He may not be, I've run into some Android users who are decidedly not tech savvy who have rooted their HTC devices and they tell their friends building a wave of support for rooting phones. This is almost exclusively for HTC Android phones and most frequently I field questions about how to do it and can I "fix" their phones since I'm the tech savvy guy in the office. Typically the rooted phones are faster, more stable, and have more features, some of which can be killer.

That said I think HTC is doing this in large part because they HAVE seen people run from Motorola's locked down phones at the rapid rate (and this is backed up by motorola starting to make noise about unlocking theirs too). Not to mention if HTC can partner with the community they can use that work as a resource for releasing stronger offerings for their phones that will really put them ahead of the competition.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266308)

Rooted phones can still have a locked boot loader. I have a Droid 2 Global that's been rooted, but the bootloader is still locked.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266634)

And how much harder is/was it to root? From what I seen it is significantly more complex but as I don't own a Moto phone it's hard to say with real experience. My HTC is trivial since I've unlocked the bootloader.

Re:Hello Moto? (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265842)

Googling for phone jailbreaks puts the figures (taken from monitorig websites) at around 5% in 2008 and 8% in 2009. I saw guesses for 2011 or around 10-15%.The company that supplies phones to our work actually offers to jailbreak iPhones for us if necessary.

Now, Android devices have a lot less need of jailbreaking of course, but their users are generally more technically aware, so I don't think it's a stretch at all to assume that easily more than 1 of Android devices are being cracked. I've rooted 3 out of 4 of my Android devices, and may do my Xoom if a nice custom ROM comes out for it (probably already are some available).

Re:Hello Moto? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265858)

First "phone jailbreaks" should be "iPhone jailbreaks". Damn Android autocorrect refuses to recognise the iPhone.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265710)

This is where the minuscule, niche group of users who make up less than .5% of all your customers will go when their current contracts expire or when they just get fed up with all of the great options on everyone else's phones other than yours.

They're called developers.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266702)

They're called "the fanatics who tell all their friends, family, collegues and strangers they meet on the street to buy an android phone instead of an iphone".

Re:Hello Moto? (3, Interesting)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265736)

Really? Check out the XDA Developer's Forum for the Milestone [xda-developers.com] - this is only one Moto phone and there are over 28.5K posts in this forum. Even if that IS only 0.5% of their installed base outside of the USA (because the original Droid has an unlocked bootloader in the US, but was called the Milestone and locked tight everywhere else) that's still not a small amount of interest in non-standard ROMs.

If Motorola wants to keep everything locked down like an iphone they're of course welcome to do so. I really think that they'd do well to just offer an option to unlock the bootloader to whatever percentage of their userbase asks for it, along with voiding their warranty of course. It's not going to hurt anything if they do and they'll only reap goodwill and more fans because of it. We may be a minority but we're a vocal minority, and currently we'll all buy a non-moto phone when it comes time for our next purchase.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to push customers away, but then again I'm not a huge hardware company so there are probably many more factors involved in the decision. I'm only speaking as a disgruntled customer who will do my best to prevent anyone I know from getting a Motorola product from here on in. It's a safe bet that I'm not alone.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265970)

What is sad is that Motorola has some cool hardware. Take the Atrix for example. If the bootloader wasn't locked, I could imagine using it as a reasonable netbook replacement. It could dump backups to an encrypted filesystem if using Amazon or Dropbox, or via ssh to a private machine at home. Obviously, it would have the functionality of a low end netbook at best, but on the road, that is what is needed, and if the laptop "adapter" is made standard so future products work with it, the $500 or so for that may be worth it, since keyboards and monitors really don't change.

With the Atrix and the Lapdock, that would pretty much deal with what I'd need on the road, for something good enough to check mail, RDP into Windows boxes, ssh into others, and browse the web. As an added bonus, since the phone is on me at all times, i can leave the dock in the car, and if someone steals that, I'm out the cost of that, rather than that + a lot of sensitive data.

However, because the Atrix is so locked down, all that functionality is being wasted. Had Motorola not locked the bootloader and allowed customization, this device likely would have sold a lot better, especially for people who dash out on weekends, and just need as little as possible for checking work stuff.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266502)

Honestly it is still a vocal minority (though a large minority). However -- what HTC may have recognized here is that they are the early adopters and influencers of the greater market in general. Who do the people who don't know what a bootloader is ask when they are looking for a new phone? The vocal minority of techie types who like to root, ROM, and customize.

Re:Hello Moto? (2)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265938)

Apparently enough users care to get HTC to make a change.....

Re:Hello Moto? (2)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265952)

.5 % of your customers .... with the *biggest* mouths.

Besides, have you not ever used one of Motorola's phones? I got the Atrix and it is *broken* as it ships. Nothing works. My Nexus one? It has its faults, but it works.

I would kill to boot Motorola's crap on the Atrix. Others (even people with no technical skills) can appreciate what it is like to use a phone that *works* verses using a phone that has been purposely (even if not intentionality) broken.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265976)

I would kill to boot Motorola's crap **from** the Atrix.

Dang I wish I could learn to proof read. It is times like these I wonder why Slashdot can't make posts editable....

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266210)

"I wonder why Slashdot can't make posts editable..."

Probably because someone would post the best troll ever, causing flames from here to the wayback machine, and then edit the post to something sensible, succint, and on-topic, and proceed to reply to all the biters...

I hit them where it hurts: their pockets. (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266160)

The people in Motorola made a few lousy decisions on the smartphones they make, so I, one of that minority, convinced a healthy number of people not to buy their products. We may be few, but all of our friends listen to our tech advice and act accordingly. :)

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266204)

When it comes to gadgets like this it is mostly word of mouth that spreads its success. Right now most people identify with either Apple or Android. If the choose Apple, well that's about it, but if they choose Android you have many sub-selections to go through. People who are curious will ask the tech they know at work or family member and they usually will offer the most rounded option they don't have to babysit. By HTC allowing custom ROMs the consumer is able to get the best of both worlds as well HTC will likely be able to tap into community resources to update their own branch even easier. It's like what I call the Vista effect, enough people who blindly wander into big box stores refused to purchase a machine with Vista that it made Microsoft look kinda stupid. There was enough of the world with an opinion which is relatively very small to influence a massive amount of purchasers to change their minds when it came to making their purchase. I will be looking seriously at HTC's offerings when my contract is up in the next 6 months and the boot loader will be a very important aspect of my purchase. I will also advise anyone who asks to look for the same.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266404)

I've never bought a mobile phone outright. I've always had one with a contract. I've hated the closed nature of the platforms. All that computing power and potential locked away from me.

I've had 3 PDAs over the years, all Palms, from an m100 to a Tungsten T3. I write a few small programs for them, but nothing serious. They were open enough that you could hack.

I am going to be buying a smart phone soon. This just swayed me. I will be buying one like this, and I'll be writing code for it which I'll be releasing under the GPL.

Apple, Microsoft (Nokia), Sony et. al. can get stuffed.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

mekongdelta (1938892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266408)

Don't look at these devices as phones. They are computers. Would you want to buy a computer from a vendor and you can only run Windows XP on it?

Re:Hello Moto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266602)

True. But most users are also very confused when it comes time to get a smartphone. They usually go ask the most technical person they know for advice and that will person will push them the HTC way.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265578)

Motorola mentioned something today about considering unlocking their bootloaders as well. I hope they do, because it would be a nice change from the previous statement they made last year telling modders to go elsewhere.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266442)

I'd recommend against it. I am trying to think of someone I know who currently has an HTC phone and has said they would buy one again... I can think of 6 people (myself included) I know who have vehemently said they would not get another. Both my wife's and my touch screens malfunctioned after about a year. Mine happened just in the warranty, my wife's happened just out (she now has a Samsung). My friend had to replace his battery after 13 months. Another just replaced his screen after a little over a year. My cousin's came DOA (bought it out-right from HTC) and instead of sending him a new one, they had him send his back and wait 8 weeks while they fixed his brand new, never used phone. My phone took 7 weeks and there is now a big splotch of dust under the screen that is very noticeable and obstructs the view when in natural light.

Re:Hello Moto? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266666)

Who cares about motorola? HTC just jumped to the top of my "next phone to buy" list and kicked everybody else off the list.

Persistence... (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265488)

This makes me wonder if they'll go "oh, we unlocked the bootloaders but the carriers relocked them. Sorry."

All told, I'd be more impressed if HTC were pushing their kernel changes upstream, and making multiple builds of the video drivers available for other, non-Android OSes.

Re:Persistence... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265556)

At least with this you can always get an unlocked phone and *really* have an unlocked phone on all levels. It's progress.

Re:Persistence... (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265660)

Progress to return to a point that people were suckered into walking away from. Back in 2009 I had my N900, which was never locked down in the slightest.

Re:Persistence... (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265708)

Progress to return to a point that people were suckered into walking away from. Back in 2009 I had my N900, which was never locked down in the slightest.

As is my Nexus One.

N900 at what carrier? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265756)

Back in 2009 I had my N900, which was never locked down in the slightest.

I could never find a U.S. carrier that carried the N900. I walked into a T-Mobile store and they said "sorry". And with AT&T buying T-Mobile USA, it appears the "Even More Plus" plan that gives a discount on the plan for bringing your own phone is likely to disappear.

Re:N900 at what carrier? (1)

bfree (113420) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265888)

Perhaps you should have got the hint that the U.S. carriers did not want you to have an N900 (or probably any unlocked device) and would not subsidise one for you. If you cared you would have just bought one "sim-free".

And of course there is nothing to suggest the post you replied to came from anyone in the U.S. Multiple carriers here in Ireland had the N900 for example and I think it was available from carriers in plenty of European countries. Of course it was hillariously priced on pay-as-you-go, I seem to recall the carrier with a shop very close to me had it and the Palm Pre for the same prices on contracts, however on pay-as-you-go the N900 was about 50% more expensive and essentially the same price as picking one up without troubling any carrier.

Re:N900 at what carrier? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266468)

If you cared you would have just bought one "sim-free".

If I buy a phone with no SIM, how do I recover the price of the phone that I never use which is included with the contract?

Re:N900 at what carrier? (1)

bfree (113420) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266638)

If that is your only concern then obviously you didn't really care about buying an truly unlocked phone.

But as others have mentioned here there are "features" which "carriers" want you to pay for that are enforced by locking the device and those may have been worth enough to you to cover the cost of the handset bundled into a contract price.

Finally, there are (or have been) carriers that would offer cheaper deals to those not including the purchase price of the device in their monthly charges and you may have covered the difference that way.

Re:N900 at what carrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266094)

And with AT&T buying T-Mobile USA, it appears the "Even More Plus" plan that gives a discount on the plan for bringing your own phone is likely to disappear.

It had already disappeared from their website (even before the AT&T deal was announced publicly).

Re:Persistence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266612)

Ah, good, I was wondering how long we'd have to wait on this article for one of the ever-shrinking, increasingly desperate brigade of people suffering from an N900 Persecution Complex [catb.org] to start evangelizing again.

Someone really needs to update that entry, the Amiga folks have actually quieted down in recent years, only to be replaced by N900 diehards.

Re:Persistence... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266788)

Or better yet, "This is the software we supplied with yoru phone. The bootloader is unlocked. Seek future updates from the community".

After all, it seems HTC has a trillion phones (really a few phones in many combinations), so surely supporting every one of them wll be a pain. Perhaps this is how they'll get out of the 18-month support thing Google is trying to impose on Android vendors. After all, once the phone is sold, HTC makes no money, so if they can just fixate on making new phones and stuff, it saves them on support.

Benefits (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265498)

I'm amazed by the displeasure displayed on their FaceBook page and in other places. I was actually surprised by the number of people commenting. I've always wondered what the benefit to the hardware vendors is that would make them go to the work of locking bootloaders, or even taking away the 'check this box for root access' that Android phones should really have.

Re:Benefits (2)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265716)

I'm amazed by the displeasure displayed on their FaceBook page and in other places. I was actually surprised by the number of people commenting. I've always wondered what the benefit to the hardware vendors is that would make them go to the work of locking bootloaders, or even taking away the 'check this box for root access' that Android phones should really have.

There's little benefit to manufacturers who don't also own an app store, like Apple.

However, the carriers apply pressure in order to prevent customers from doing things like wifi tethering without paying the carriers for the service. You can easily do this on Android phones, but it requires root.

Re:Benefits (1)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266182)

Wifi tethering does not require root on recent android devices.

Re:Benefits (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266420)

It doesn't require root on the Nexus phones, are their others? The non-Nexus phones I've seen all have the wifi hotspot option removed.

Re:Benefits (1)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266458)

Perhaps your carrier removed it from the rom that came out with your device, but mine didn't remove it on my HTC desire, neither did they remove it on my samsung galaxy Ace, or my samsung galaxy tab.

Re:Benefits (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266568)

I have a Nexus One, so my carrier didn't touch my phone, but I haven't seen it on my friends phones from T-Mo.

T-Mobile G2 (1)

xenoc_1 (140817) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266630)

The Tmo G2 has wifi and usb tethering built in. It's about 95% pure Google. Closest to pure of any non-Nexus phone. I use it all the time when traveling.

Re:Benefits (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265718)

There are three benefits hardware vendors get:

1: Lusers who mod their phones, "brick" [1] them, then return it. Locking bootloaders means that they don't get returns or support calls on these types.

2: It cozies hardware makers with the DRM culprits who want digital restrictions in every device out there.

3: It makes cellular carriers happy in four ways:

A: If a security hole in Android comes out, and a phone can't be patches, people are likely to upgrade or buy a new phone.

B: Phones won't run the latest apps, due to the inability to be upgraded to the latest Android rev, so consumers will trash the devices for a new one.

C: Carriers can lock out features, add non-removable "branding", etc.

D: Carriers can create their own locked-down app/music stores.

[1]: A lot of people don't understand that for some phones, it takes some effort to truly brick them (as in make them impossible to reflash and get working.) For example, people with iPhones who claim their phone is bricked, but never have bothered to do a DFU restore, people with Motorola devices who have never bothered downloading RSD Lite and flashing a factory .SHX back, or people with HTC phones who can't be bothered with copying a ROM to the SD card and holding down a button when turning the phone on.

Re:Benefits (1)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265902)

As much as I hate locked phones, I agree these are valid points. I will add a few of mine.

1. Several enthusiasts, like myself will never buy a phone with locked bootloader. This group may be in minority but appears to have a very loud voice. Also, I buy phones for all of my family members and make recommendations to friends and relatives.
2. To the best of my knowledge some Android vendors have never locked their bootloaders. For example, Samsung. My Samsung Epic 4G is one of these phones. These manufacturers should be lauded and rewarded for these decisions.
3. It is near impossible to brick a Samsung Android phone.

Re:Benefits (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266222)

Unfortunately:

4. Samsung's phones tend to suck.

I was hoping to dump this Moment I'm still locked to for another year. Apparently Sprint nuked my "Premier" status so I can't get a contract-subsidized update yet.

Re:Benefits (1)

Linsaran (728833) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266576)

For the Record, yes I do work for Radioshack, but this is legitimate advice:

If you would have qualified for the 1 year upgrade before 6/30, but lost it due to sprint changing their Premier program's rules, Sprint gave Radioshack people authorization to do a one time over ride and give you the full upgrade pricing. You have to actually go into the store, and probably have to ask about the overide but I've done it for several customers so there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get an overide too.

Re:Benefits (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266236)

You are not the only one. The Android devices I bought were ones which were the easiest to root/customize at the time. For example, the HTC Inspire 4G was remarkably easy to S/OFF, slap ClockworkMod Recovery, and drop a ROM onto.

I also tell people and try to explain to them why a locked bootloader is bad. It does influence purchasing decisions, especially if someone does want to dip their toe with a custom firmware, or just be able to back up the phone's image completely using nandroid.

Now, if HTC can make a decent landscape slider (like the Moto CLIQ) on AT&T's network that is up to par with the latest specs (dual core, decent RAM, etc), I'd pay full retail for it, no questions asked.

Re:Benefits (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265972)

I pretty much agree, but I disagree with this:

A: If a security hole in Android comes out, and a phone can't be patches, people are likely to upgrade or buy a new phone.

Nah, that's not what makes people upgrade. They will upgrade for new features they are denied by the mfgr/carrier's holding back the update. Besides, security conscious individuals are a vanishingly small minority (probably about the same as those who "root" their phones).

If you would like to argue otherwise, ask yourself which is better W7 or XP? Please explain why new hardware comes with new OSs, while much of the corporate world are sticking with the entrenched code-base (although, XP time of death is: 1047 days away).

People want new & shiny, not secure... Any security conscious individual would not run mission critical systems on a whole new OS code-base that hasn't been hammered on for many years (working out many bugs)... One of the reasons to not rewrite everything every few months/years is that the new stuff will have new holes, while the older code has already survived many trials by fire. Sadly, proprietary software allows vendors to force upgrades via dropping support...

If security is the aim, then having source code and an unlocked boot-loader is essential -- There's no faster response to an exploit than patching the flaw yourself as soon as a fix is known; Lucky for locked down ROM / DRM'd software providers: Most users don't care about security.

Re:Benefits (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266452)

The reason corporations are still using XP has little to do with security. It's because of the expense of retraining support people and updating software that was designed to run on XP or IE 6.

Re:Benefits (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266006)

Hmmm

1: Lusers who mod their phones, "brick" [1] them, then return it. Locking bootloaders means that they don't get returns or support calls on these types.

As opposed to the people who will attempt to mod their phones with the complicated routes people create to get around the locked bootloaders? It's inevitable that someone will find a way around it and it'll be complex enough to cause people who might not have otherwise "bricked" their phone to screw up.

3: It makes cellular carriers happy in four ways:

Looking at all your reasons it seems you have confused rooting with the advantages of unlocking the bootloader. A phone with a locked bootloader can still be rooted and thus all those features the carriers are happy about don't apply.

Re:Benefits (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266132)

Your first point, definitely. It does make returns and support calls come in. However, it does keep Joe Sixpack from flashing a new ROM, then returning the device because the ROM had faulty BT support.

The second point is different. I have encountered phones that even if you get full root on them and attempt to pull the crapware off, as soon as they are rebooted, they either reload their filesystems, or go into a bootloop until you reflash the stock ROM.

Rooting and unlocked bootloaders go hand in hand. A "#" prompt doesn't help much if any changes result in a bootloop, or that there is a process that checks for anything not on an authorized list and kills anything running not on it.

Re:Benefits (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266108)

Step 1: Manufacturers dumb down their phones until they're barely usable.

Step 2: Phone companies give them away like party favors to sucker people into overpriced service contracts.

Step 3: Consumers don't notice how crappy the phones are because they're too obsessed with the word "free."

Step 4: the Next Big Thing comes along and makes all the phones obsolete.

Step 4: Go to step 1.

The same applies for the huge subsidies carriers give on smart phones. The only way out of the cycle is for enough people to wake up and smell the roses that the markets for unlocked phones and bring-your-own-phone service plans become relevant. It doesn't help that the carriers are actively discouraging this behavior. Those of us who have already bailed out of the scam will never look back.

(My own personal experience is switching from Verizon to PagePlus Cellular. On PPC I get 5 cents/minute including taxes and fees. On VZW I was paying $50/month for 450 minutes, of which I only ever used 150. Even if I had used all my minutes, it would have been more than twice what I'm paying on PPC, which is why I call it a scam. But I'm not a smart phone user.)

Re:Benefits (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266304)

Of course, this is an article on smartphones, which makes your post kind of amusing. PagePlus Cellular has no real data plans (their best plan only provides 100 MB of data per month; you can go through that in about 45 minutes of YouTube viewing if you don't notice that your Wi-Fi link went down). Then what? They don't offer the ability to buy extra data traffic, so as far as I can tell, your only choice is to buy a second month for another $30, chock full of minutes that you're never going to use.

There are no good cellular services. There are only bad cellular services and worse cellular services.

Re:Benefits (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266122)

Why are they "lusers" if they brick a phone. I have successfully rooted an HTC Eris, and I have bricked the same phone. Hacking usually carries some type of risk when dealing with software that is intentionally broken or hardware that is walled off. My particular bricking incident came about from a lack of knowledge (and possibly a bad ROM/software) that can only be remedied by playing with it. I would never deride someone for hosing a system when they are hacking on it to gain more freedom or control.

Re:Benefits (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266152)

Maybe I should have stated this in a better manner:

Lusers are not people who brick phones. Bricking stuff is part of the way of being a good modder.

Lusers are people who brick them, then try to RMA the phone as bad, or flash a ROM that might not be up to snuff in some feature, and then return the phone as opposed to going back to stock, or clicking on ROM Manager and finding another one that may be more stable.

Good move! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265598)

Now if HTC would release a powerful horizontal touchscreen slider that runs MeeGo, I'd be a fanboy! Heck, even an Android with the same hardware and an unlocked bootloader could still do the job...

Re:Good move! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265644)

s/horizontal/landscape/g

As an iPhone user, I salute HTC (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265642)

For embracing what Android is supposed to be about. When Motorola and Samsung decided to lock down their devices tighter than the iPhone, it boggled my mind why any freedom-loving geek would opt for such devices (unless they were looking for challenge).

Kudos to HTC for their consumer friendliness... sad to think that 10-15 years ago Motorola would provide open schematics for their kit on request, and now they're leading the charge for the Big Brother lockdown.

They must have felt the 'heat' (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265658)

HTC must have felt the heat from Samsung since they (Samsung) indicted that their devices would be 'root enabled' by default.

it is sad though, that HTC appears to be paying [businessinsider.com] at least US$5 to Microsoft for their patents...one more reason for me to avoid HTC.

Kudos to them though, for acting fast, which is an attribute most successful companies have. Compare that to what Microsoft would have done.

Re:They must have felt the 'heat' (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266076)

So you are avoiding a company because a judgement requires them to pay for patents to a company you don't like. This happens all the time. To each their own.

Also the heat from modders (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266166)

They spent a lot of effort locking down the Thunderbolt and people rooted the crap out of it. Well at some point it gets not worth it. You spend a bunch of money and effort trying to lock shit down only to have it fairly easily broken and then what? Just save the cash and don't bother.

Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

nordee (104555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265662)

Unfortunately, it looks like Verizon won't allow unlocked HTC phones on their network.

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

nordee (104555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265680)

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265788)

I couldn't find that tweet, but did see one saying that an unlocked bootloader device from HTC would be allowed to work.

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (2)

Benanov (583592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265822)

They backpedalled on that pretty quickly: https://twitter.com/#!/VZWSupport/status/74160501885644800 [twitter.com]

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

nordee (104555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265848)

Sweet!

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265684)

Where did you see that?

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265798)

That's a shame, I wonder when they'll kick me off their network. Or the thousands of others who have unlocked Android phones on their network...

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

rk (6314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266088)

I pay Verizon almost 260 bucks every month (5 phones all unlimited texting, 3 with unlimited data plans). If they ever kick me off their network for using my rooted Moto Droid, it would suck, but I would survive and find something else to do with that 3000+ a year, I'm sure. It's my most expensive utility, except for summer electric bills in Arizona.

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

RobNich (85522) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265824)

Did you not already have sufficient reason to avoid Verizon? They're so-called 3G network is unable to handle voice and data simultaneously. They lock down all of their phones and install their own operating system. You can't use their phones on any other network in the US or internationally unless you bought a "world" version, and their service costs more than even AT&T.

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266606)

[Verizon's] so-called 3G network is unable to handle voice and data simultaneously.

Not true. On my Thunderbolt, I use voice and data simultaneous over 3G all the time. (only recent phones have this capability).

Other points are valid, though.

Re:Verizon: No Unlocked Phones on our network (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266740)

The real reason I still have (and will stay with) VZ is because the other Telco's actual cell coverage SUCKS donkey balls. The other features you mention are more of a hassle than deal breaker. Not being able to have reliable phone calls is a deal breaker for any cell phone I have.

What good is making 3G calls and data at the same time, if you don't have a cell in range?

And older phones (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265714)

What about them ? maybe issue a fix for them.

HTC Pays Micro$oft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265748)

Umm - hello folks... HTC has to make some concession... They are only paying Microsoft $5 on every Android phone they produce: http://www.reghardware.com/2011/05/27/ms_royalty_deal_htc_android/

HTC sees an openning (3, Insightful)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265814)

The HTC Incredible was a real contender, and the Droid X stole its thunder. I know, because I switched. The Incredible had one of the loudest speakers I'd ever heard (music) and I prefer soft buttons, not the plastic junk on Droid X. But, I had 2 speakers actually blow. For free, I was able to switch to the Droid X with its larger screen. But the Incredible was a joy to hold and use.

HTC sees an opening here to jump ahead of the competition. HTC has no real stake in caring about Cyanogen root users. The phone companies do, because of not being able to charge for tethering and other locked down features not available to non-root users.

But it doesn't matter to HTC. They sell the hardware and design, and if you get the geeks raging about something that costs you nothing, it may give you an edge.

I have no phone loyalty yet. Most don't. If HTC stays open, I will most likely switch to them when I upgrade in about 3 more generations. They're all android, and all settings and apps import, so Android phones can't vendor lock very well.

Just because you have a customer now, Moto, doesn't mean anything come renewal time and $100 rebates on new phones.

Re:HTC sees an openning (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265982)

I like HTC for a few reasons.

The G1 had the best keyboard on any device I've ever used. The Nexus One is a great phone, and the G2 has a good battery life and a decent keyboard.

Motorola doesn't have any quality phones on T-Mobile, and lied about updates (Cliq XT).

I don't know that I would say I'm an HTC loyalist, but I am unlikely to buy another brand, being burned by Motorola, and not feeling great about Samsung in general.

I feel about HTC the way I used to feel about Nokia when I first had a phone. My first 3 phones were Nokia's and I thought they were all great build quality and decent value. I've now owned three HTC phones and feel the same way.

Re:HTC sees an openning (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266742)

HTC consistently seems to be less crappy than the competition. Pioneering Android with the G1 certainly won some of my mindshare as well.

Re:HTC sees an openning (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266472)

I'm not having loyalty yet, but I certainly avoid anything by Motorola, LG and Nokia: I've had phones for all free, and all had issues with hardware and software compounded by horrendous service. Sine my HTC HD2 is the first phone in 10 yrs I'm happy with, I'm really trying to stick with them. Hopefully they unlock the Sensation soon, otherwise I'll give Samsung's Galaxy S 2 a try.

Re:HTC sees an openning (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266488)

mmm. not "for all free", but "from all three". sorry, tired.

The cost of this is a $5 fee to MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265820)

I find it slightly ironic that news of the $5/phone levy paid to MS comes out on the same day this does.
They give with one hand and take with another.
 

Warranty? (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265920)

Will entire runs of specific HTC model phones have unlocked bootloaders or just a subset? Will this subset have a warranty? Does this decision in any way affect people with older HTC phones who had to void their warranty in order to unlock the bootloader?

So many questions, so little information at this point...

What was Old is New Again (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265954)

Great news indeed! Except for all those poor bastards who just bought one of the many HTC devices making the rounds, such as the Thunderbolt or the Incredible II.

Samsung, as much as they do wrong, got an early start. The Galaxy S and Galaxy S II are both unlocked, and they also make the Nexus line of Google's official phones.

What's odd is that HTC's early phones are all unlocked. The G1 and Eris are both easily hacked, with one-click root apps being openly available on the Android market, and ROM flashing as simple as a reboot. I find it mind-numbingly hilarious that my discontinued HTC Droid Eris is running the latest Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4) release, while brand new phones from HTC, Motorola, and LG, are all saddled with 2.1, or 2.2 if they're lucky.

Re:What was Old is New Again (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265990)

Not to mention that Droid Eris is the only decent Android phone available on Verizon that isn't fucking gigantic

Re:What was Old is New Again (1)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266328)

they also make the Nexus line of Google's official phones.

What's odd is that HTC's early phones are all unlocked.

Samsung didn't make the nexus One, HTC did...

The G1 and Eris are both easily hacked, with one-click root apps being openly available on the Android market, and ROM flashing as simple as a reboot.

None of previous HTC phones were "open", except for the dev phones. The G1 was locked, and was only rootable through exploits. It's been that way since HTC delivered its first windows mobile phones years ago.
The facts that those exploits were relatively easy to find did not make the phones "open".

The bootloader signing is only the latest weapon in HTC arsenal, and one that's much harder to defeat, hence the outcry.

Re:What was Old is New Again (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266782)

My bad. For some reason, I associated the Nexus S with previous versions. I didn't realize they changed manufacturers.

It's interesting that exploits are openly available on the Android market. Clearly Google isn't as strict as Apple in that regard.

Either way, that does make more sense. I wonder if they got the whole bootloader idea from Motorola. Those bastards.

Re:What was Old is New Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266438)

It's a shame that Samsung is more or less equal to Nokia in updating phone software, and because the hardware is binary blobs, and anroid gets big revisions in the drivers every once in a while... it's a huge amount of work to update these phones.

And HTC seems to have rather flimsier hardware.

confidential? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265986)

I love how the person who emailed the CEO completely ignored the confidentiality notice in the signature and posted a screenshot of the email.

More proof that those things are completely pointless.

good step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266056)

strike one big item off the list of reasons I would never buy from HTC

Confidentiality fail (2)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266176)

Did anyone notice the confidentiality note on the Evo 3D email? So much for "strictly prohibited" distribution.

Re:Confidentiality fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266582)

Aside from the fact that the information in that email was first unveiled on Facebook and Twitter that is all standard corporate email boilerplate. There are very few (if any) communications at my job that would need to be confidential--my own communications especially--and I have a nearly identical footer on my sig.

What about the Sensation ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266414)

After seeing what CM7 was able to do for my HD2 and an x10, i'm not buying locked phones ever. My HD2 is ripe for an upgrade, and I've been fairly happy with it (which I can't say of my previous Motorola and Nokia, both were riddled with design issues and software bugs). I'd like to reward HTC by sticking with them, but not at the cost of a locked bootloader, especially since it seems Sense is not that good.

So, any announcement on unlocking the Sensation Bootloader ?

Netflix? (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266486)

I wonder how this will affect Netflix on these phones. I am pretty sure that MAFIA is scared about such phones right?

My phone is a brick (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266520)

in 3... 2... 1...

Cost cutting? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266722)

Alternately you can view this as "if you want an OS upgrade build it yourself, we're busy working on another phone".

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