Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why I’ll never buy motorola

Read this article about the latest generation of Android handsets from Motorola and why they are so hard (maybe impossible) to hack.

OK, THATS why I wont buy motorola headsets anymore. Moto is saying that if I purchase their phone that I can not then subsequently upgrade, modify or otherwise play with my phone. So you SOLD me a phone for $500, and I cant play with it? Ok, I only paid $200 cash and the rest is on my two year Verizon contract, but still, I AM paying for it. And about that two year contract…

I bought my Motorola Droid (which DOES take custom kernels) the first month it came out. I got it on a two year contract. One year later Motorola has end of lifed the phone and I can longer get support, maintenance or upgrades. Uhh, hello? You sold a phone on a two year contract and EOL’d it after one year? Ok, that’s not cool, but at least I know how you roll and I can act accordingly.

Enter the next generation Androids from Moto. So you buy one today on a two year contract, and in 12 months Moto stops support, THATS when Google comes out with Android 3.1 and it fixes some big bugs and has some great features. Tough. You can’t install unauthorized kernels so you don’t get the upgrade. You can only install OS upgrades (kernels) that come from Moto, and they EOL’d your handset.

Yeah, THATS why no more Moto for PaulC.

Its like buying a new Ford truck and saying “Hey, nice engine, but I want to put a Cummins in it.” and Ford saying “No, you spent $40k on that truck, but we say you can’t replace the engine.” I get that you can’t do that on a lease, but I am talking about a purchase. Or even closer to home, you buy a Dell and 12 months later Microsoft comes out with a security patch and you can’t install it because Dell has EOL’d your computer.

See this is why you don’t want your hardware manufacturer (Motorola) supplying your operating system (Google). Imagine if Motorola said “you can only install applications that we approve”. And really that's not such a stretch, I mean that's what they are saying with the signed kernel. Yeah, then you would have Apple.

At first I thought “this MUST be a Verizon thing.” But if that were the case, why doesn’t Verizon require Samsung, HTC, and others to use a signed kernel? Nope, this is all Motorola.