Welcome to the Android Central Forums Create Your Account or Ask a Question Answers in 5 minutes - no registration required!
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default 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 =)
  2. #2  
    DroidXcon's Avatar

    Posts
    11,644 Posts
    Global Posts
    11,775 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock for now

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspern View Post
    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 =)
    because its a paradox,,,if they give stipulations then its no longer open source so to speak...it is open source for all of us, so if you built your own phone and know how to apply android to it, they can not tell you how to use it.....so when the carriers get it they can manipulate it how they wish...if i give you a house, by principle/by law, i cant come into the house and demand you paint the walls certain colors or that you should leave the doors unlocked. once i give you something its yours.

    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
    If i've made life easier buy me a Macchiato
  3. #3  

    Default

    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.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default

    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.
  5. #5  
    Chris Kerrigan's Avatar

    Posts
    3,876 Posts
    Global Posts
    4,142 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspern View Post
    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.
    I think you partially answered your own question regarding Motorola. You're exactly right, as long as profits are up, who cares? In the case of Motorola, profits are WAY up even after locking bootloaders and such, so they see no real need in changing it.

    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.

    New York Giants | New Jersey Devils | Colorado Avalanche | New York Knicks
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default

    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.
  7. #7  

    Default

    Well said all round...

    The open source sword swings both ways...
  8. #8  
    DroidXcon's Avatar

    Posts
    11,644 Posts
    Global Posts
    11,775 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock for now

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspern View Post
    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.
    couple last thoughts on the subject

    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
    If i've made life easier buy me a Macchiato
    Thanked by:
  9. #9  

    Default

    I'm just glad that PC manufacturers aren't as bad as cell phone manufacturers. I mean they do load tons of demo software and other crap on their machines, but at least it can be removed.
  10. #10  

    Default

    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.
  11. #11  
    dwhall's Avatar

    Posts
    33 Posts
    Global Posts
    107 Global Posts

    Default

    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
    Thanked by:
  12. #12  
    WarER4X's Avatar

    Posts
    192 Posts
    Global Posts
    337 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof-KOS View Post
    ...Instead they keep a top tier dev phone that is easy to unlock for those of us that want that option easily...
    And then pair it with one of the weakest carriers in the US. :P

    -SR-
  13. #13  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DroidXcon View Post
    couple last thoughts on the subject

    3. argument can be made that a lot 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.
    I think this is the key right here - there are endless number of threads of people that root their phones when they don't really know what they are doing, brick the phone (or think it is bricked), and then return it to the store for a replacement.... and despite all the talk of "rooting voids your warranty," it seems like all of these phone do indeed get replaced under warranty. That costs the carrier or manufacturer money.
    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).

    /soapbox
  14. #14  
    rugbyua9's Avatar

    Posts
    537 Posts
    Global Posts
    536 Global Posts
    ROM
    AOKP

    Default

    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?
  15. #15  
    Chris Kerrigan's Avatar

    Posts
    3,876 Posts
    Global Posts
    4,142 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by albertdc View Post
    I think this is the key right here - there are endless number of threads of people that root their phones when they don't really know what they are doing, brick the phone (or think it is bricked), and then return it to the store for a replacement.... and despite all the talk of "rooting voids your warranty," it seems like all of these phone do indeed get replaced under warranty. That costs the carrier or manufacturer money.
    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).

    /soapbox
    Can't tell you how many times I've WANTED to put my phone in the Microwave...but I'd never actually do it!

    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.

    New York Giants | New Jersey Devils | Colorado Avalanche | New York Knicks
  16. #16  
    DroidXcon's Avatar

    Posts
    11,644 Posts
    Global Posts
    11,775 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock for now

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rugbyua9 View Post
    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?
    think about this, i brick a phone,,,, i walk into verizion,,how do they know if it was a phone defect or that you tampered with it??? their in house techs are general technicians they know basics. They are not going to sit there and argue that you hacked the phone thats why it is dead, how can they prove it, they have no choice but to replace your phone..

    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.

    thats $60

    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
    If i've made life easier buy me a Macchiato
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rugbyua9 View Post
    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?
    Then after that they sell the device for lower then retail price as a remanufactured device. Or send it out to someone else as a warranty exchange.
  18. #18  
    CeluGeek's Avatar

    Posts
    64 Posts
    Global Posts
    260 Global Posts

    Default

    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 11:30 AM.
    Thanked by 2:
  19. #19  
    DroidXcon's Avatar

    Posts
    11,644 Posts
    Global Posts
    11,775 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock for now

    Default

    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......
    Quote Originally Posted by CeluGeek View Post
    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.


    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
    If i've made life easier buy me a Macchiato
  20. #20  
    Chris Kerrigan's Avatar

    Posts
    3,876 Posts
    Global Posts
    4,142 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CeluGeek View Post
    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.
    The Android OS *IS* open. No one is stopping you from going on Google's website, downloading the SDK, and you building your own AOSP build of Android. What the OEM's do with Android is a totally different story, but the fact that they can do whatever the hell they like with it proves the Open Source point in itself.

    New York Giants | New Jersey Devils | Colorado Avalanche | New York Knicks
    Thanked by:
  21. #21  

    Default

    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)
    Thanked by:
  22. #22  
    CeluGeek's Avatar

    Posts
    64 Posts
    Global Posts
    260 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Kerrigan View Post
    The Android OS *IS* open. No one is stopping you from going on Google's website, downloading the SDK, and you building your own AOSP build of Android. What the OEM's do with Android is a totally different story, but the fact that they can do whatever the hell they like with it proves the Open Source point in itself.
    You guys are missing the whole point. Like I said, Android is not open to end users, it just isn't. Until the time comes when you don't have to run exploits on your phones to do stuff as basic as taking a screenshot or removing bloatware, Android is not going to be an OS open to the user. If you are building your own phone then yes, you can download the Android source and SDK and do whatever the heck you want with the OS... including locking other users out of it like phone manufacturers are doing. But for those of us who aren't into designing and building our own phones, Android isn't open... PERIOD. End of discusssion.
    Thanked by:
  23. #23  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspern View Post
    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.
    How are you sure? Citation? Numbers?

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspern View Post
    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?
    Again, based on what numbers? If you think you have a reasonable number then do the math. How many millions of Android devices are out there? Even a couple hundred thousand is a tiny fraction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clak View Post
    I'm just glad that PC manufacturers aren't as bad as cell phone manufacturers. I mean they do load tons of demo software and other crap on their machines, but at least it can be removed.
    Apples and oranges.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarER4X View Post
    And then pair it with one of the weakest carriers in the US. :P
    Weakest doesn't really mean anything in this context. Coverage varies and for many people TMO meets their requirements.

    Quote Originally Posted by quothmarc View Post
    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.
    It's not just the OEM's insisting. Android was designed with this intent in mind. It was always meant to be a platform for the OEM's.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeluGeek View Post
    If you are building your own phone then yes, you can download the Android source and SDK and do whatever the heck you want with the OS...
    The OEM products aren't open to the user but, as already stated above, nothing is stopping anyone from obtaining the source. One doesn't need to "build a phone" to get the source.
    Last edited by takeshi; 01-27-2011 at 08:47 AM.
  24. #24  
    DroidXcon's Avatar

    Posts
    11,644 Posts
    Global Posts
    11,775 Global Posts
    ROM
    Stock for now

    Default

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeluGeek View Post
    You guys are missing the whole point. Like I said, Android is not open to end users, it just isn't. Until the time comes when you don't have to run exploits on your phones to do stuff as basic as taking a screenshot or removing bloatware, Android is not going to be an OS open to the user. If you are building your own phone then yes, you can download the Android source and SDK and do whatever the heck you want with the OS... including locking other users out of it like phone manufacturers are doing. But for those of us who aren't into designing and building our own phones, Android isn't open... PERIOD. End of discusssion.


    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
    If i've made life easier buy me a Macchiato

Posting Permissions