Idea to make ulocking safe for all parties


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  1. pjsockett

    pjsockett Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I have had an idea for safely unlocking Motorola devices on Verizon’s network since all of the efuse business started floating up. I figured no one would care or listen, so why bother bringing anything up about it. It’s starting to look as though the efuse/locked bootloader may not ever be cracked which changes things quite a bit for Android, Verizon, Motorola, and the Android community that has made the OS what it is today. It is my belief that Android wouldn’t have taken off like it has without the underlying modding community. It is that community that got behind Android, strived to make it better, and spread the word about how great it could be.



    Motorola has taken the stance that they don’t want to deal with returns caused by problems related to unlicensed software and in turn decided locking down the system was the safest financial solution. I think that was true to a point and has worked until now. People were willing to give the Droid X and Droid 2 a shot hoping that it could be defeated. Now many users are looking to jump ship and sell their device and never return to Motorola. Sure this is a fairly small percentage of their overall business but why give up any business when the alternative of providing unlocked devices would ultimate lead to more business to both Motorola and Verizon. The people that don’t care about unlocking their devices would be none the wiser the community would be grateful for the opportunity and flock to what everyone is striving for. Finally, on to the idea for device unlocking.


    I would like to see Motorola work hand in hand with Verizon to provide a safe unlocking method for all parties involved. This could be achieved by a fairly simple Verizon app. The app would give a disclaimer that unlocking would void your manufacturer’s warranty and prevent you from receiving any future official software updates. Once the disclaimer is approved it would match the MEID/Serial Number of your device to your account, record it Verizon system as a voided/unlocked device and send an SMS with an unlock code for your device. A custom OTA update from Motorola would then be initiated with a fully rooted, unlocked rom image. As part of the initial system setup one of the screens would require you to enter the unlock code you were sent to verify that you went through the process and didn’t just download a leaked version of the unlocked rom. This would allow Verizon to keep track of unlocked devices in turn allowing fewer returns from unlicensed software related issues satisfying their security needs. As the customer, we would enjoy immediate unlocking the day of a device launch without having to wait weeks or even month for a method to be developed. When people see that one of the largest Android vendors and the Verizon network have teamed up to support Android development, I am certain business from other carriers would transfer over.


    Sorry for the long drawn out post, but I think that is starting to look like presenting this type of option to Verizon or Motorola may not be any more of a long shot than the methods we are presently trying. If something isn’t done soon both Verizon and Motorola are going to lose a substantial amount of business that could be easily avoided. I know that this isn’t the type of openness that everyone is looking for but if it is a necessary compromise, I am willing to officially forfeit my warranty to have my device the way I want it to be.
     

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  2. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

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    A big part of the problem with all of this is developing an infrastructure for all of it. They need a tracking system for the voided warranties, they need as push process for the unlocked OTA, they need software developers to create the unlocked OTA, they need a process for generating unlock codes and sending SMS messages to share it, they need to track all of these projects in their build control & business processes...

    I've said this a lot so I may be coming across like a broken record, but adding a process or a part into a big business like Motorola isn't as simple as just having the part/process exist. There also has to be all of the associated documentation, integration into their change control, supply chain, distribution, etc.

    IMO, the best way to do it is the way the Nexus One handled it. Once the device was set to S-off, a lock icon appeared on the boot screen and could not be removed (unless they have since figured out a way to remove it). That doesn't help the phone support issue but it prevents warranty claims for the most part.

    I think the way you laid it out is a great idea - for me, and for you, and for the community. It's not profitable for Motorola, though, so they are unlikely to adopt such a procedure.

    I think some company, maybe Google, will eventually produce a current-generation (i.e. not a Nexus One) phone that's designed from the ground up to be a development phone and it will sell like hotcakes to the dev community - but pretty much nowhere else, which means it will be a small profit margin phone.
     
  3. pjsockett

    pjsockett Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Maybe I am severely under thinking this but to me an unlock code would just be another column in a database of information the Moto must already communicate to Verizon so they know what MEID numbers are in their system. I can't image is it all that hard to create software to generate a code based off of the meid so the only thing that would need to be developed would be a an app to send your unlock request to verizon and initiate an OTA update. I would think that it could even be added to the My Verizon app. The dev phones for motorola are all unlocked so the software already exits. Like I said I may very well be under thinking this but it doesn't seem impossible or unprofitable if it can prevent them from losing business based on their current practice.
     
  4. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

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    I know. Sounds simple, right?

    I've worked with or in a pretty wide variety of departments including regulatory, supply chain, and r&d. It's amazing what has to be done to support ostensibly simple changes to the infrastructure. Not only do you need support processes/documentation/actual changes, but you need training and training documents.
     
  5. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

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    You really think that providing an app to do this and then saying "we aren't responsible" would hold any weight with the average WALMART-MENTALITY(return if I don't like the color of my phone) IDIOT, let alone a court of law?

    The problem is the end user IDIOT, not Motorola.
     
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  6. JustinHEMI

    JustinHEMI Well-Known Member

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    Where is the data to support your claim that they are going to lose substantially by not allowing you free reign?

    My bet is, that is isn't as substantial as you make it out to be and that it wont hurt their bottom line in anyway. But I ain't a doctor.
     
  7. dhoffman1421

    dhoffman1421 Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, this is from Bloomberg today. Motorla is going to be sorry if it does anything to lose the momentum Android has right now. These numbers are telling.

    SMART PHONES Big sales jump for Android
     
  8. SgtBaxter

    SgtBaxter Well-Known Member

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    You're right, average Joe could give two craps about rooting their phones, unlocking their phones, installing custom crap on their phones.

    After all, to most people these are still just that... a phone. But a phone you can easily do facebook and twitter on, and tells you where to drive. They just want to pick it up and have it work, not bother with the hassle of stuff like rooting.
     
  9. pjsockett

    pjsockett Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Most people that partake in forums like this one do so because they want customize their device to their liking. If the aren't given the opportunity to do so they will go elsewhere to get it. I said that the community is small in the overall picture but it is a very influential piece of android and an unnecessary lose. The android OS is growing rapidly and so is the community that wishes to mod it. Why shut people out when you can use the open aspect of android to expand your business.
     
  10. SlvrScoobie

    SlvrScoobie Well-Known Member

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    or in my dads case, a phone with a big screen and bigger clock so he can read it without putting his glasses on (HTC inc. at least)
    I cant believe the number of people on This forum that dont at least root the damn thing. and they're on here DOING stuff with thier phones. theres probably 20-30 for every one here that just got the phone and doesnt even notice the Android "tips and tricks" widget at the top of their device, or even know you can remove it.
    "The Masses" - they're bigger than you think.
     
  11. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

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    I bet the root 'market' is 10% at tops. Could be wrong...Might be 5% ;)
     
  12. chammer

    chammer Active Member

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    I really dislike the idea you have presented, but to a corporation it's probably second to what we have now. However, a better idea that I've seen presented in the past is one which we had with 2.1: SBF. Moto/Verizon could, at not much effort, with every OTA update provide an image and flashing utility so that if anything ever screws up or you'd like or need to revert back to stock, you can very easily instead of taking your bricked phone in and tell some BS story about how the OTA bricked the phone.

    ...and I rooted my phone if for no other reason than because it's mine and I can. I don't really use root for much more than replacing a couple files to get a shiny black notification bar, and for rebooting the phone through a terminal.
     
  13. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Well-Known Member

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    Sadly it has nothing to do with how easy it could or would be, it has everything to do with 'will it make Motorola money'? That's all they care about. If you could prove without a doubt that giving away their phones would in the end make them more money, you would have a much easier time convincing them to do that than to do anything simply for the sake of being nice, which is honestly what your presentation is all about, being nice to the mod community.

    And I agree with you btw, heck they could come out with a 'white' phone that came unlocked that you signed off on when you took possession of it saying you'll never bring the white phone back to Verizon because there is no support for the white phone, no insurance to take out on it and all the rest of it. But they aren't going to do that unless you can somehow convince them that selling a white phone goes beyond being nice to the consumer base that wants a white phone, and instead show them how it improves their bottom line. And unfortunately a theory that it's that very community that drives the Android market is probably going to fall on deaf ears over at Motorola.

    It's going to take one of the manufacturers to come out with a line of completely unlocked devices to change anything. If and when that happens, and if and when everyone drops Motorola like a hot potato and flee over to this new unlocked device will be the only way to convince Motorola that they had better change their stance. That's just about the only way it will ever work.

    The other thing that could happen is another developer similar to Android could come out with an open OS which carriers would not be aloud to lock down. The license aquisition would be conditional in that they had to remain completely and 100% customizable. Unfortunately that wouldn't even hurt Motorola at all, because they would probably just make a ton of money making those phones as well.

    Sucks.
     
  14. BCox

    BCox Well-Known Member

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    The issue that I have with this is that I'd hate to not be able to get a new phone due to a hardware issue because verizon saw that I had rooted and said "oh, its because you're rooted"

    similarly to how if you go in with an issue, its because you dont have atk on your phone...
     

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