I just bought a Galaxy because SG phones can be easily unlocked. That's a lost sale for Motorola - as my first option was a Defy (those phones are cheap and solid and I tend to mistreat my phones, so Defy seemed like a good option, until I found out that unlocking them is a bitch)
"unlocked phones" mean that you are not restricted to using one service provider and you can just change your SIM cards to subscribe to a new service.
But this still does not mean that you can change the operating system of your phone hardware.
This is the bootloader. Unlocking the bootloader gives you to freedom to flash community developed Android variants.
HTC's commitment is to unlocking the bootloader - not the service provider SIM unlock (though you might be able to do so - however they are NOT the same thing)
But they are so expensive!!!!
Well, yeah, that's because you're paying the real price, not a subsidized price. When you're paying the subsidized price, IMHO you have less leeway to complain about carrier lockdown.
The carrier I'm talking about is a smaller one from Europe. It's unthinkable to ask this of Vodafone or Orange (the 2 big ones) since their heads are really up their buts. And the unlocking prices they charge are freakin` insane! It's not as if carriers can't do this, they just don't want to.
I really don't understand what's their problem. If I'm terminating my contract I have to pay the phone's subsidized price for the months remaining, their only loss is me as their customer, so WTF is the deal with sim-locked phones? I hate it when companies, instead of pleasing customers, are innovating in better lock-in methods.
But yes, I was talking about bootloader-unlock in my previous message. Really, Nexus S is the best Android sold right now, unfortunately it was only available from Vodafone and I'll never make a contract with Vodafone again.
Should have gone for the Desire, after all.
(Yes, I know that these are FlexPay as well, but the prices are the same)
If I want to buy a new phone I can either pay full price for an unlocked one, get a small subsidy to lock myself to a carrier for 12 or 24 months, or I can get an even bigger subsidy by paying an increased subscription price for 12 or 24 months.
More at http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=3285
And until last week, he didn't know that the iPod Touch would run apps.
At first, factories would install a single giant motor with belts running everywhere, and Sears sold a general-purpose home motor. Eventually, motors were miniaturized and specialized into all kinds of devices. Now nobody thinks about using a motor; they think about using a lathe, blender, or sewing machine.
The same trend is happening with computers. Initially, people had generic computers (ignoring the anomaly of the standalone word processor). Increasingly powerful computers are gradually getting built into everything. You and I see computers everywhere, but everyone else just sees smarter devices.
Here's how I explained the bootloader issue to some people yesterday who I think were average:
The bootloader is the software that runs on your phone when you turn it on. It starts up the rest of the software on the phone, and if it's "locked", it will only start up software that the phone's maker has approved to run. This enables your cell phone company to cheat you by, for example, charging you a dollar for a ringtone that the musician released for free, or to charge you rates a hundred times as high for text messages as for other data transfer.
There are worse things they could do, too, like making your phone never turn on again if they have a contract dispute with you, or activating the camera or microphone without you noticing upon a request from law enforcement or because some guy in their law enforcement service center wants to see you get undressed. They haven't been caught doing those things yet, but when they do, people with unlocked bootloaders will be able to stop them, and other people won't.
Motors do not require an operating system.
There is something else that bothers me with this analogy...
The computer (as the 'average person' uses them) is a synergistic experience between both the hardware AND the software.
Without the software, it would be useless. Without the hardware, the software would be useless.
For the motor analogy, I assume the motor is the hardware, and the belts are the OS?
Motive power and computer power are 2 different things.
Personally, I like to put myself in terms of the second two. The first carries connotations of more passivity. The second has that old "... is always right" adage on its side. The last takes the money out of the discussion and bridges nicely back to other movements toward user freedom in the realm of computers.
Is that an oxymoron?
EDIT: To add to this, it's likely Verizon's fault for the Incredible's battery life, because they require the vendors to install terrible, low quality applications & system extensions that can't be uninstalled from the phone.
I've never had the spare money to buy a smartphone, but isn't that /ludicrously/ low? My cheap little nokia brick lasts (under normal usage) for a bit less than a week. Admittedly, the power drawn is not comparable, but I'd still think the manufacturers would try to give the users a somewhat longer battery life.
These things are full-on computers, in your pocket. Woot!
I stream Pandora/Rhapsody at the gym in the morning, watch tv shows movies (transcoded for android), read email, rss, run python scripts at night to copy off my pictures, run locale to automatically adjust my ringer volume for work, etc, etc, etc.
A cell phone is not even close to a the computer that is the android phone.
A better comparison is a laptop.
And like a laptop, a lot of power is going to the fancy screen.
However, I get a couple of days out of mine with cyanogen + extended battery.
I got mine from Verizon but there are others available on Amazon, etc.
Meanwhile, Motorola vaguely semi-committed months ago and nothing has happened.
I don't really buy that carriers are demanding this as Samsung currently doesn't do this.
My only gripe was that it was built with TMO in mind, and didn't have the right radio to talk 3G on AT&T. The battery didn't last too long either, but it was user-replaceable, so not that big of a deal.
Carrier-branded HTC phones are locked down, but IMO that's OK and I have no problem with that as long as I have the choice to buy and use an unbranded phone.
Seems this will be standard for android devices very soon.
I do like these steps in the right direction, but HTC won't win me back for a long while after receiving my (pre-ordered, one of the first in DE) Hero and waiting ages to receive any updates/support on it afterwards. It was more or less dead on arrival and really only usable because of the fine folks over at VillainRom.
For some history, the Droid 1 was very open and easy to flash with custom ROMs. It's European brother, the Milestone, featured on-chip security that verified the signature of the bootloader which in turn verified the signature of various boot files including the linux kernel at the heart of Android. Subsequent Motorola devices in the US featured similar security and thus do not have official CM7 builds.
HTC recently adopted a similar strategy with respect to some of their more recent phones. The Thunderbolt had a buggy implementation though, and was still hacked quite quickly. The Evo 3d (And another? maybe?) featured a fixed version that more closely represented the impenetrable Motorola style bootloader.
Anyway, it appears now, that they maybe embracing the community more, which makes me happy. My mom won't stop talking about how fast her Droid OG is. I put CM7 on it which includes Gingerbread... a treat her phone would have never otherwise seen. Meaning it also includes a fix for an awful race condition that can make it impossible to answer phone calls. Good stuff all around.
Also, for context, this is the statement Motorola made a month ago: http://ausdroid.net/2011/04/27/confirmation-motorola-to-unlo... They make very specific caveats for "where carriers allow it".