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Why does Verizon lock devices?

Member

I've been a Verizon customer for more than a decade, and have a real concern as a software developer that may make me switch to another carrier:  Verizon continues to lock down as many devices as possible, while other carriers do not.  Why?  I need to unlock my HTC One, but I can't with Verizon.  This hampers my ability to succeed as an app developer.  Surely it is of benefit to Verizon if I build and certify my apps on your network and hardware, but Verizon makes it hard for me to stay loyal!  What gives?

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Leader

This hampers your ability to succeed? Are you just noticing this after ten "loyal" years?!

Just cxl andgo to another carrier if its THAT important.

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Member

Haven't needed to unlock an Android device for the past ten years, ummm, since Android has only been on Verizon since October 2009.  ...and I could buy an acceptable, unlockable Google phone (i.e. Galaxy Nexus) that was current in the past... Now is the first time that the latest hardware does not include an unlockable device (since the current Nexus device does not support Verizon.)  Now, are there any _real_ answers out there?

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Novice

Verizon..Locks Bootloaders Because Unapproved Software on Devices Will Ruin the Earth

Seriously..

The share everything plans, encrypted bootloaders, and the phasing out of unlimited data plans entirely, all point to one thing: VZW has declared a halt  on the Super User.


They were fine with exclusively releasing the Galaxy Nexus back when.. with an unlockable bootloader,.

The fact that every other carrier on the planet seems to be fine with an unlockable bootloader on the biggest phone(s) of the year, doesn’t mean a thing either.

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Expert

Might want to look at AT&T's bootloader policy for their branded devices.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Novice

What's the solution? Easy: buy unlocked devices off-contract and pop in your AT&T SIM, or just switch to another carrier. Of course this isn't great if you like the savings of the contract -subsidy model that's become the standard for American carriers. I can't help but feel like all this would be much less of a problem if carriers (and to a lesser extent, device manufacturers) were more on the ball when it comes to software updates.

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Leader

I'm not sure what unlocking the device has to do with developing apps for Android.  Unless you are developing apps that require more than normal access to your phone, in which case no, Verizon does not want you developing apps to use on their devices.

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Expert

That's what I was wondering too, demmo86rt.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

To be fair, Sense strips out a number of stock Android features that are very useful for development, like being able to wipe an app's cache on the emulated SD from the storage menu. (the "other" category")

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Re: Why does Verizon lock devices?

Member

OK.  So Android is an _Open Source_ initiative.  It has grown in popularity due largely to its AOSP community.  For proof of that, look here:

http://www.infoworld.com/sites/infoworld.com/files/media/image/Cumulative-Open-Source-Mobile-Project...

Verizon, more than any other carrier, hinders the open source culture with its restrictive approach to consumer devices.  If it were a customer support issue, as some claim, then I would expect Verizon's approach to make them number 1 in support.  But the data suggests otherwise.  Look here for verification:

http://asset1.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim2/2013/08/01/jdpower-wireless-cust-sat.jpg

As a developer, if I am willing to void my warranty, forego support services, and run the risk of being cut off if I try to mess with the carrier's communications link, I should be allowed to do anything I want with my phone.

At the moment, I want to connect the phone via Bluetooth to a set of glasses using my own protocol.  I need stock Android to do that and know that I am not solving problems that are specific to a particular manufacturer's interface-du-jour. Therefore, I want to wipe the phone and load stock Android. 

Alas, Verizon won't allow it.  There is absolutely no reason I have heard so far that convinces me that their decision is sound.