Why does google let manufacturers/carriers lock down their open source o/s?
Hello all first time poster here.. Quick question, why cant google tell manufacturers that if they want to use their os on their device they must leave it open sourced? Easy way of rooting and loading custom roms? Just dont get why most manufacturers are so anal about it? Thanks for any info =)
- 01-25-2011, 12:25 PM #2
Google doesnt care either , they are not in the buisness of makine software they are in the buisness of advertisment their are alot of other reasons this cant be done but i would be typing all day
- 01-25-2011, 12:51 PM #3
- 249 Posts
Also, you have to understand what Open Source means. To use the Android code they have to comply with Open Source rules and release source code They can, however, keep their own software (Sense, Blur, Touchwiz) as proprietary. They only have to release the code that is open-source (including changes they make to it).
Hardware is not open source. That is the justification for locked bootloaders, etc. Google can't force the manufacturers to do this. They could, if they wanted to, exert control by withholding licensing of Google Apps like Gmail, Youtube, Market, etc. that are also not Open Source. This would be a very un-Google thing to do.
Instead they keep a top tier dev phone that is easy to unlock for those of us that want that option easily.
The other thing that is important to remember is that Google isn't a technology company, nor do they (really) sell products (even though they do a little bit). They are an Advertising Company. 97% of their enormous earnings come from advertising. Having ridiculous numbers of Android phones with Google Ads running in their main apps in addition to iPhone, Windows Phone 7 and Palm devices that are, many of them, being used to to do Google searches and run a myriad of Google apps puts eyeballs in front of their ads. This doesn't even take in-app ads into account. There is no business reason for Google to care about hardware being locked down. They might require it on Nexus devices because they believe in the full concept of open, but they aren't going to pressure manufacturers to do it on their devices. I wish they would, especially after being a Milestone owner, but that's the reality.
Thanks for the replys guys =) i just dont get why companies like motorola/apple kinda go to the extra mile to lock down the device. If we brick our phone were most likely going to get another one which means more money in their pocket? Isnt thats what its about anyways? Every customer counts? Im sure motorola lost alot of customers after pissing people off with locking down the bootloader and their latest PR stunt on their youtube page. As long as profits are record high who cares? Instead of wating money on development of motoblur, htc sense or whatever else manufacturers develop, load up vanilla android on the devices instead.
- 01-25-2011, 01:55 PM #5
You have to keep in mind that although our community is large, it's still the minority. To the average consumer, it makes absolutely zero difference if their bootloader is locked -- half of them don't even know what rooting is and that it even exists. As long as Motorola is pumping stuff out that makes the majority of buyers happy, then that's all they care about.
I agree majority of phone users are average joes that have no clue how to root. But im sure our community is cpl 100 thousand strong? I read somewhere that all the parts in a iphone 4 cost just around 200 some bucks. with 600 bucks retail that is quite a bit of a profit per unit. I mean look at the latest Q1 earnings from apple lol. Moto can always do better, or any manufacturer as a matter of fact just by not being ****s. I mean apple has lost me as a customer just because of their "I cant be touched" and control-freak attitude. Im sure im not the only one in the boat.
- 01-25-2011, 05:09 PM #7
- 01-25-2011, 05:29 PM #8
1. they develop motoblur and throw it on great phones.. The phone's selling awesome and someone somewhere says See everyone loves motoblur and they keep producing it .
2. carriers dont want you to have the ability to remove things like madden or blockbuster app.. they have contracts with these companys too keep their apps on these phones.
3. arguement can be made that alot of people will be hacking that have no business doing so and they will end up having to replace or take back phones because someone had a bad experience.
its not a clean cut issue
- 01-25-2011, 05:56 PM #9
- 01-25-2011, 06:36 PM #10
- 19 Posts
Just to sum everything up, when the average person has an issue with anything they buy, they want the place that sold the item to replace it for free. Why should Motorola, HTC, or Verizon replace your phone because you pulled the battery in the middle of rooting to open the system to remove an app you don't like or because you were trying to get a service for free? Much easier to keep killing the app you don't want or to just ignore it.
- 01-25-2011, 07:54 PM #11
Android and the Kernel within are distributed under 2 different licenses.
Good read through on both of these should answer your question.
Kernel - GNU General Public License v2.0 - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
Android - Apache License, Version 2.0
- 01-25-2011, 09:21 PM #12
- 01-25-2011, 09:29 PM #13
Heck, I read a reply the other day that made me cringe - a person suggested that someone with a seemingly bricked phone should microwave it to ruin the board so that there would be no way to discover that it had been rooted. Someone else replied that the trick does indeed work! So now they have taken a bricked phone, which probably can easily be brought back to life by the manufacturer and physically ruined it...again costing them more money... just because someone did not want to take responsibility for messing up the root or custom ROM process!
Computers are very different - most people do not have a warranty or have a very limited warranty compared to what we have/expect with our phones. If I load a bunch of junk or mess up my computer so it won't boot, I can't return it like I can with the phone. If I can't fix it, I either have to pay someone else to do it or buy another one (without subsidies, I might add).
- 01-25-2011, 09:54 PM #14
One thing i might add coming from the root side of the community... wouldn't an easier method of "cutting costs to the manufacturer" when a bricked phone comes, just sayto say "SORRY, you voided your warranty, time to buy a phone retail"?
They have a return policy for a reason... if they can't enforce it according then shouldn't the blame lie on the carrier?
A bricked phone is nothing more than a software issue which could be fixed by a simple "RUU flash" by the carrier/manufacter which gets me wondering, how much of a "cost" issue this really is? Right?
- 01-25-2011, 09:59 PM #15
For the record, rooting/jailbreaking is considered fair practice now by the Federal Trade Commission. That doesn't stop them from voiding your warranty, but it stops carriers and OEM's from refusing to acknowledge you, as well.
- 01-25-2011, 10:10 PM #16
now they have this phone, they have to do all types of paperwork to send it back to the manufacturer. someone has to pay for shipping. then when it gets to the technicians to fix this, they need to log it in, test it, flash it, test it again, do more logging and paper work. then it needs to be repackaged as refurbished.. lets say it took $40 to go from verizon to lets say samsung between shipping expenses and time for paper work...lets say a tech takes an hour working on the phone to make sure its working properly and nothing else is wrong. and this tech gets paid $20 an hour.
now lets say they sold $3million phones
and 3% are defective
So thats 90,000 defective phones
90,000 X $60 = thats a loss of 5.4 million dollars
even if the cost is have of this, as a buisness thats to much loss
- 01-26-2011, 10:24 AM #18
There is a big problem that Google, the manufacturers, the carriers and even the tech blogs have created and none of them have intention to correct. They all in one way or another are selling us Android as an open platform when it isn't. Just because you can sideload apps doesn't mean you have an open OS. Then all smartphones sold (before the iPhone came to ruin everything that was good about owning a smartphone), were basically open.
Unless you are manufacturing your own phone, Android is NOT open. We have been mislead by false advertising of an open OS whose openness have never existed for end users and probably never will. The closest an end user will come on to an open Android is with the Nexus phones. Good luck with that if you get better wireless service from a CDMA carrier!
Once we have accepted the fact that we have been mislead, we can come to one of two realizations: either accept Android for what it is, yet another OS that we as end users have to exploit and jailbreak to gain full ownership of our devices, or switch to another less misleading platform.
Last edited by CeluGeek; 01-26-2011 at 10:30 AM.
- 01-26-2011, 01:48 PM #19
Misled? I'm pretty sure that they act as open source anything else .that they release their source code to everyone so its pretty much what they claim.what the carriers and manufacturers do after is not open.but android is....so......
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- 01-26-2011, 02:20 PM #20
- 01-26-2011, 02:25 PM #21
- 1 Posts
I think at least part of the reason why manufacturers are so insistent on their (stupid, bloated, unnecessary, obnoxious) custom UIs is the notion that it separates them from other Android phone manufacturers and theoretically builds a loyal customer base to that specific phone manufacturer, instead of just Android phones in general.
They want people to say "I just love TouchWiz SO MUCH that even though this HTC phone came out with all the features I want I'm just going to wait for a Samsung phone."
Cost of repair is, I think, less of an issue because they farm all the replacement stuff out to the 3rd parties (ie Verizon -> Asurion). But by locking the bootloaders, they ensure that you can't remove their prepackaged apps (which in turn makes for a better sales pitch to those companies to whom they're trying to sell that space) and you can't remove their custom UIs, forcing users to deal with them and, theoretically, grow to love them.
But srsly, to all you asshat execs who insist on this custom crap that is RUINING Android, well, ......t(-_-t)
- 01-26-2011, 09:47 PM #22
- 01-27-2011, 07:36 AM #23
Something that enthusiasts on forum sites frequently forget is that they represent a tiny fraction of the overall market (even for smartphones). Most consumers don't know and don't care about locked bootloaders.
Anyway, this topic is a fairly well beaten dead horse on any Android forum site.
Last edited by takeshi; 01-27-2011 at 07:47 AM.
- 01-27-2011, 12:12 PM #24
Stop Saying android isn't open....when you go to a restaurant and your steak sucks do you blame the cow??? Android is open.the carriers and manufacturers are not, and don't have to be.
And just because you don't know how to manipulate code doesn't mean its not open. No where in any open source software does it say, open source =easy to manipulate.
I get what your saying but if you want to point fingers point them in the right direction. Google gives you all the resources you need for their code. Even the tools to use and manipulate it.
Im probably most upset at the terminology you are using.
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