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Vodafone Backs Down In Row With Android Users 106

jhernik writes with this excerpt from eWEEK Europe: "Vodafone has backed down in the face of angry opposition from Google Android customers, who last week received a software update thinking it contained Android 2.2, but instead found it contained Vodafone's branded 360 service. The Vodafone 360 service was launched in October last year. Essentially, Vodafone 360 is a user interface that puts social networking on the front screen of the phone, and arranges the users' contacts so you can reach any person with a phone call, IM, text or other call — or send a location message to meet up. However it also installs irremovable Vodafone-branded apps and bookmarks, including links to dating sites."
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Vodafone Backs Down In Row With Android Users

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  • Backs down = (Score:5, Informative)

    by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @06:44AM (#33249856) Homepage Journal

    Just in case you're wondering like me how they back down ...

    Following the complaints, Vodafone backed down and said it would now offer an update without the Vodafone-branded applications.

    “Instead, in future we will offer customers two updates. The first will be a rollout of vanilla Android 2.2, once we have carried out appropriate testing to make sure it doesn’t cause any problems on our network or handsets.”

  • Re:Backs down = (Score:5, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @07:59AM (#33250028)
    Actually, in the US most carriers use SIM cards. The exceptions are Sprint and Verizon which are both CDMA carriers. As far as I know, all the GSM carriers in the US use SIM cards. And if you're smart you get a SIM card and then buy a pay as you go card when you go traveling outside the US.

    It doesn't do you a lot of good, since the carriers haven't standardized their spectrum. Which is fine for voice as that is standard, but 3G isn't going to work without the carrier specific support. Around here T-Mobile uses the European equipment and AT&T uses a different part of the spectrum for whatever reason. Meaning that if you want to take your phone with you to the other carrier you're giving up 3G.
  • Re:Backs down = (Score:4, Informative)

    by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @08:13AM (#33250064)

    AT&T is using the same part of the spectrum as Rogers and Bell in Canada, as well as several carriers in South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Rogers got their spectrum license early. Way before it looked like most of the carriers in Europe would be using a different spectrum. Bell is using the same spectrum because they were late to the game and have a tower sharing agreement with Rogers.

    And the part which answers your question... AT&T was part owner of Rogers 10 years ago. Most likely, they bought into that spectrum in the US at the same time as Canada because they wanted to be able to buy the same equipment for both brands and take advantage of economies of scale.

  • Re:Backs down = (Score:3, Informative)

    by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @08:19AM (#33250084) Homepage

    Or you could get a non-proprietary like the Nokia n900.

    Hear, hear -- the N900 is great!

  • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @08:46AM (#33250182)

    Vodafone don't care about firmware upgrades unless they can control the content.

    I have an N900, admittedly a niche product, and they just stalled and stalled about putting newer firmware on it. I think they are currently 2 or 3 versions behind the latest, and they are unlikely to produce a newer version since they dropped the phone from their line up. They probably dropped it because they can't control it.

    They intentionally make vague threats about installing vanilla firmware and losing your warranty. They refuse to clarify their position on the matter.

    The only reason iPhone users get their upgrades on Vodafone is because Apple dictates what software goes on it through their contract.

  • by grumling ( 94709 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @09:34AM (#33250320) Homepage

    Lucky you can do that in Europe. Here in the US, every carrier (save one, which I'll get to) is more than happy to provision your unlocked phone. But if you want to get an unlimited data plan, you have to sign a contract. The contract-free plans are horrible for data, in one case almost $5.00/day. And they don't give you a break on the contract if you have a phone, so you might as well get the cheapest phone with the offer and add on stuff later.

    Verizon's billing system won't let you add anything to a plan unless your phone supports it. I have no idea what they would do with an unlocked phone, but they do say they support them. It isn't as simple as installing a SIM card though.

    T-Mobile is the one beacon of hope. They have re-done their plans to look more like the European model. If you pay upfront for the phone (or buy one unlocked), you save money on service (and no contract). The only problem is that they use an oddball frequency plan that isn't compatible with anything else on the planet (thanks, FCC). So my Galaxy-S wasn't available unlocked, so I had to buy it from them, with their custom version of the Samsung custom Android firmware. I'm hoping there will be a plain vanilla build that will work with Samsung/T-Mobile firmware, but realistically it hasn't done anything I don't like other than clutter up my applications screen with a few things that can't be removed through rooting.

  • Re:Backs down = (Score:3, Informative)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:26AM (#33250844) Journal

    Wassup N900 buddy? (^_^)/\(^_^)

    It's good to be free!

  • Re:Backs down = (Score:2, Informative)

    by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#33251276)

    Ah, my HTC Desire runs a hacker-made Android 2.2 (google "leedroid"), installed using a hacker-made recovery mode (google "unrevoked3"). It runs great, any Vodafone customers reading this should try it.

  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by rawler ( 1005089 ) <> on Saturday August 14, 2010 @04:23PM (#33252448)

    Rory Sutherland touched this subject earlier of Ted. The 12-minute talk is here; []

    Many nice observations there, but instead of ruining it for everybody by trying to rephrase them, just spend 2 minutes and watch the beginning. You'll likely watch the rest too. ;)

  • Re:Backs down = (Score:3, Informative)

    by MobyTurbo ( 537363 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:14PM (#33254664)

    That is the problem with the whole "regulation is bad" dogma. In Brazil telecom companies are forced to use the standards, in a way that I can freely hop between carriers at will. And my phone number is MY phone number. No matter what carrier I contract, my number goes with me. That's how a free market was supposed to work. Competition, folks.

    My number goes with me, if I chose to, in the US too, I think the UK has this regulation as well. I'm not sure who's market you have in mind for that one.

    Of course, the US happens to have a lack of standards, especially with regards CDMA vs GSM and the existence of two standards even for GSM 3g, that make keeping your actual phone, if it's a smartphone, difficult. (Even if you're switching from T-Mobile to AT&T with an unlocked phone, or vice versa, you're unlikely to be able to do better than EDGE speeds on your new carrier; and as for CDMA carriers, there is no such thing basically as an unlocked CDMA phone, and even if you hack one most CDMA carriers besides Cricket don't accept phones from other carriers on their network.)

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.