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Old August 1st, 2011, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Why don't Android phones come rooted?

Why do device manufacturers and carriers always insist on adding restrictions into the operating system and taking measures to prevent users from removing them? Google should have put in the Android license that device manufacturers and carriers aren't allowed to add any "features" which cripple the phone in any way, and can only add functionality which can be disabled by the user (and only by the user). This of course does not mean services that actually involve the use of the company's servers, but features that exist solely on the device itself (like the mobile hotspot feature). For example, if a carrier had a music streaming service that was an extra subscription, then they would be allowed to use that, but charging to use the MP3 player on the phone wouldn't be allowed.

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Old August 2nd, 2011, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is normal and comes from the old times. There was also hard to adjust the old "dumb" phones and most people still don't need to "tune" their phone. Of course you can get more from the phone by adjusting the phone system and internal data, but you can also brick the phone by doing this. Manufacturers hold the warranty, test the updates and are therefore sure, the phone will work as promised. Of course sometimes telco also cripples the phone (for example by locking extra RAM, so phones with the same specification but unlocked RAM can be then sold for higher prices, or disabling hotspot features), but mostly they just install harmless apps (MP3 shop, newsreader, not-changeable homepage in webbrowser, ...), but this has nothing to to with phone manufacturer, this action are done solely by carriers. It's not a big problem in Europe, because the phones are sold unlocked to any carrier and if you don't like the "adjustments" made by one telco, you can buy the phone from any other company or unbranded.
The only big unfair thing is, if carrier don't allow to make updates for their branded phone, even if it's available for other carriers and unbranded phones, but this is, again, carrier's responsibility. There's always option to end the contract and find another one.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What I'm saying is Google should add, as part of the Android license, that extra restrictions can't be added, or if they are, require that manufacturers and carriers can't void any kind of warranty or insurance they provide solely because of rooting, maybe even if that did cause the problem. And they shouldn't be allowed to take any kind of measures to prevent rooting either.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mobile carriers don't want users to have super user access to the phone, or they'd delete the pre loaded software that they are paid subsidies to load and have access to other functions of the phone that they can charge for. It also limits the damage people can do to their phone, it'd be hard to offer a warranty if people have full access to the system, users would brick their phones way too often.

Android would have never been adopted if google required carriers to allow root access. Way too much liability on open systems.

However it would be nice if all the carriers offered a "nexus" type phone that is easily unlocked but comes with no warranty and isn't subsidized. Most likely will never happen though.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There are security issues too. What use is having an application to protect your data that can be subverted. Although I suppose a factory reset achieves the same.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Also by locking the phone they can at least keep the numbers on who uses the tethering for free low. And like previously stated above, people can brick their phones flashing shit so they have to limit that too. But you can always flash back to stock and unroot before sending it in for work right.
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