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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @06:43AM (#33249846)

    ...lead to more usage of data sites with the SO picks it up and goes "Honey, why is Match.com on your phone?"

    Whoever thought of this was a total idiot.

  • by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <web@pineapple.vg> on Saturday August 14, 2010 @06:50AM (#33249874) Homepage
    This shows once again that the little bit of a subsidy the network gives is never worth it.

    Remember lads this is in the UK where all networks offer good SIM-only plans and prepaid doesn't suck ass like it does in the States.
  • Re:Backs down = (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Teun ( 17872 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @07:09AM (#33249908) Homepage
    Or you could get a non-proprietary like the Nokia n900.
  • Re:Backs down = (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Briareos ( 21163 ) * on Saturday August 14, 2010 @07:30AM (#33249948)

    Or you could get a non-proprietary like any Android phone NOT sold by the carrier directly.

    At least that's how it works here in Europe; dunno if the US has caught up with the times yet - do you still have no SIM cards?

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @07:40AM (#33249972)

    I couldn't quite put my finger on what problem Vodafone 360 was designed to solve...

    The cashflow problem.

    These guys have 2 products: the phone which they sell to you, and you who they sell to their partners.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @08:03AM (#33250038)
    Perhaps in general there ought to be laws against that. In the US it's absolutely ridiculous that Fair Isaac Co., thinks that it owns my credit score. They calculate it, but they do so in a relatively fixed way on my data. They don't ask or get a waiver, they just spy on everybody and then expect to be paid. Likewise computer and phone manufacturers include software by companies that pay them to install it, but don't ask permission of the people buying the items. Given how prevalent it's become and the lack of disclosure it's really tough to avoid for a lot of people.
  • by wigaloo ( 897600 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @08:19AM (#33250086)

    To me, this shows we need a truly open distribution of Android that isn't controlled by any company. i.e., the Debian of Android. Debiandroid?

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

    by Night64 ( 1175319 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @09:33AM (#33250316)
    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.
  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @10:31AM (#33250540)

    You seem to be under the misperception that companies want you to like them.
    While this may be true in a competitive free market, where a customer can easily switch to a competitor with a better deal, it is not always the case.

    In a market with little competition, or with significant barriers to switching to competitors (contracts, investments that are tied to one supplier, etc), how much you dislike a company is a decent measure of how much money they are extracting from you for a given level of service. If you can't leave, and yet you don't hate them, that means they are wasting money by giving you too much and/or not charging enough.

  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @10:45AM (#33250606)

    It should be common sense, really, that not loading your device up with crap would be the way to keep customers, but businesses don't care enough and in the US the government doesn't force them to care either.

    Well, for a lot of users, the crap is actually considered vital software.

    "What, you don't have Norton McAfee VirusBuster 2000? Don't you know that makes you vulnerable to random monkey attacks? Look, it says so right here in this email that somebody forwarded to me. Sending you a copy right now. Make sure you run the .EXE file for a full explanation."

  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:50AM (#33250962)
    I made the same mistake. My contract was up at a time when AT&T had just gotten their first Android phone - sign me up.

    It had the same thing as this Vodaphone garbage, "Motoblur", a bloatware suite that is essentially just a package of widgets and apps that you can't uninstall and which deliver social networking content straight to the handset without having to use those well-designed specialty apps.

    Eventually I got sick of that phone's random reboots, slowness, and other software issues. I've never hated a phone so much I bought a new one outright but... Yuck.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @12:58PM (#33251392) Homepage

    As a "CLIQ with MOTOBLUR" victim, I also have a bunch of non-removable shovelware on this thing - plus Motorola appears to have removed certain basic functionality from the stock Android.

    And don't get me started on their indefinitely delaying the long-promised update out of the Android 1.5 pit in order to "optimize the user experience in some key areas".

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

    by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Saturday August 14, 2010 @02:01PM (#33251774) Homepage Journal

    And this is why my phone isn't a smart phone.
    Any convenience or value provided by these devices, is never going to be worth placing myself in someone's walled garden.

    An Android phone is no more 'inside someone else's walled garden' than an Ubuntu[1] PC is. You can accept the updates offered to you by your supplier, whether that's Vodafone or Canonical, if you want to. You don't have to. And you can install third party applications through the provider's repository, if you want to, but you don't have to. You can download them directly from third party suppliers and install them, or write them yourself and install them. In what way is this a 'walled garden'?

    [1] Or Debian or SuSE or RedHat or, for that matter, Microsoft or Apple.

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

    by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @04:54PM (#33252634)
    Except that the "regulation is bad" dogma worked. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA providers while GSM originally used TDMA. The marketplace in the U.S. chose CDMA as the winner because it worked better and wasted less bandwidth than TDMA. The folks making the GSM spec agreed, and the 3G version of GSM in Europe (UMTS) used wideband CDMA.

    In fact you can probably thank CDMA in the U.S. and Japan for getting you UMTS and HSDPA as quickly as you got it. The CDMA carriers got 3G speeds almost two years before GSM. GSM had to scramble to develop and push out technology would could offer 3G speeds ASAP to remain competitive. What would the world have missed out on if the U.S. had initially forced all its carriers to use the GSM standard? Standards are fine (I think SIM cards are a great idea), but some competition between standards is also necessary to keep technological improvements coming.

    People seem to think that GSM is some static, monolithic standard. It's not - it is constantly changing and improving. About the only thing that's still the same with GSM is the SIM card. It's been integrating new technologies into the spec as we find out from real-world use what exactly works better. The same is happening with LTE - rather than a strict standard which defines exactly what technology you must implement, it's focusing more on flexibility and interoperability regardless of the specifics each company chooses to implement. That way you keep competition alive, but phones are still able to interoperate. Kinda like TCP/IP and how the Internet works regardless of your specific hardware.
  • by Cyberllama ( 113628 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @05:02PM (#33252686)

    I don't have to deal with Vodafone, but I get so much ridiculous crap from AT&T I've started to wonder how long before *customers* have to form unions to protect themselves from this sort of garbage. One person threatening to take their business elsewhere gets no notice, but if you could organize and get thousands of customers willing to "strike" together, maybe we could actaully have telcos that don't act like they're monopolies. I think a little bit of collective bargaining could really help us out on the monthly fees department too.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990