T-Mobile Responds To G2 “Self-Repairing” Problem

The last few days have seen a flurry of activity regarding the T-Mobile G2 and the revelation that the phone itself, won’t stay “rooted.” As it turns out, as discovered by the experts at XDA Forums, the phone will self-repair per a built-in lock that ensures the handset will find itself back to a stock state.

Now of course, we have to play devils advocate for a second and say that while hacking and rooting and all that good stuff is perfectly legal, T-Mobile and HTC have a right to protect their property. It’s possible that those unfamiliar with the tenants of rooting can find themselves in a position where they need to take their phones to a T-Mobile retail store and present it to a befuddled sales rep who is clueless to help. This will just aggravate everyone involved making for a bad customer experience that will ultimately get blamed on T-Mobile and leave the customer with a bad taste in their mouth.

On the flip side, the entire concept of Android is supposed to be open, it’s a term championed by Android proponents everywhere. Customization is one of the major selling points of Android and the ability to root, opens up further possibilities with the Android platform to go even further on the customization level. There is no way this ends well.

With all that in mind though, T-Mobile has released a statement:

As pioneers in Android-powered mobile devices, T-Mobile and HTC strive to support innovation.  The T-Mobile G2 is a powerful and highly customizable Android-powered smartphone, which customers can personalize and make their own, from the look of their home screen to adding their favorite applications and more.

The HTC software implementation on the G2 stores some components in read-only memory as a security measure to prevent key operating system software from becoming corrupted and rendering the device inoperable. There is a small subset of highly technical users who may want to modify and re-engineer their devices at the code level, known as “rooting,” but a side effect of HTC’s security measure is that these modifications are temporary and cannot be saved to permanent memory.  As a result the original code is restored.

T-Mobile

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  • DDD

    Is there an app for hotspot tethering for the G2? I don’t really need to root but would like wifi tethering…

    • Paul

      I’d like to know that too… otherwise, I’ll be getting the Vibrant.

    • Bimmerz

      I’ve heard that PDAnet works, without being rooted – and is free from the market.

      • pimpstrong

        PDAnet does work fine and unrooted. Only problem is that the free version won’t let you access secure websites such as simply logging into Facebook. The paid version is like fifteen bucks.

      • Bimmerz

        @ Pimpstrong What about EasyTether? I’ve that they have a free version too, and I gather their paid version is cheaper than PDAnet. I agree though, I’d rather be able to tether without having to pay for it.

      • DDD

        I am using PDAnet right now on my G1. Easytether needs SP3 for WINXP. I didn’t upgrade because SP3 crashed my pc one time. Anyways I think both only offer USB or Bluetooth tethering. Correct me if I am wrong?

    • Frigadroid

      What’s this with the Vibrant update disabling tethering through samsung kies? I think the “T” in T-mobile stands for Tricky mobile. If they want to charge for it okay already, but this keeping your customers in the dark and locking out features is totaly uncool.

  • TheLight

    Does this mean they could make the G2 non-upgradeable and make you buy another device to get the update? Since it’s a root-kit it activates with boot and even if T-Mobile sent a firmware update, wouldn’t the phone stay on FroYo? If not, then they should XDA and the Mod Community should be able to crack the kernel when the update comes out.Since the source code would have to have a back door to flash the rom with the updated material. I’m not a pro but they been trying crack this for a couple of months and their getting closer just stuck at how the actual root-kit is being worked so they can figure out how to crack it. Patience young grasshoppers…patience…wax onnn, wax off.

    • TheLight

      I meant for almost a month they been trying to crack it. They just got phones to start using to crack it like a week ago. WE will succeed and manufacturers will fail.

    • D3mon

      The problem is hardware not software some iNand chip or something like that (got tired of reading 40 + pages at the XDA forums) but they will crack it and it will be awesome, also some of the “big chefs” don’t have the phone yet so it is a matter of time till it gets rooted.

    • recharged95

      If the phone is not upgradeable from Froyo to Gingerbread, they will lose a lot customers VERY quickly (reason why most are buying the G2, it’s vanilla Android == OTA upgradeable).

      I would not be surprised if it’s a memory area that needs a encryption key, much like DVD protection–which will be hard to crack, but nonetheless crackable.

      Hopefully folks at XDA are preparing to sniff the OS when the 1st OTA update comes across.

  • Wayne

    Their property? It becomes the consumer’s property once they purchase it from the carrier.

    • Pete

      For T-Mobile, how about their network, tech support costs, making sure updates are going to be stable, etc. I’m sure T-Mobile doesn’t want to spend a lot of money helping or even replacing phones that were bricked by some one trying to root their phone or fried it by overclocking (heat reduces the lifespan of electronics). I’m sure less people who get their phone to tether won’t exactly be a bad thing in their eyes and also to their not so great network (though it is expanding both in coverage and backhaul).

      It’s your phone but its their network so they could place restrictions on what can use their network and tech support.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      You are correct, but only about the phone.

      The OS (Android or any OS) and software are licensed to you. That means you NEVER own it. And when you “click” on installing any software, you signify your agreement to the terms of the license.

      And a software’s license terms can be anything that the developer/vendor/seller wants.

      In this situation, T-Mobile and/or Android could insert a term that says “You give us permission to access your phone remotely to determine if you have altered your phone’s OS code, what is commonly call ‘rooting.’ If we determine from such monitoring that you have rooted your phone, you also give us permission to 1) cancel your account or 2) return your phone’s operating system to its original condition, sometimes called ‘stock,’ either of these at our sole option.”

      While that may sound draconian, sneaky or invasive, as long as T-Mobile discloses these practices in its Terms and Conditions, and license, and as long as you accept the terms, it’s all legal.

      And to those who say “I never agreed to that,” yes you did. T-Mobile and Samsung, like everyone else on the planet, shoves licensing agreements under your nose about three to four times when you buy a phone. Of course what everyone does is ignore the licenses and they simply “click here” to get past those pesky pages that say “read this.”

  • Brian

    wow impressed

  • sorandkairi

    Don’t blame us, blame htc.

    • Wilma Flintstone

      thats exactly what I got out of it too sora.

  • K

    If the phone really wasn’t,”rootable” I’d take it back. Probably leave T-Mobile after 9 years. Its like saying I can’t paint my house or replace the tires on my car. Not only is it an affront to Open Source its telling us we don’t own the phone we rent it subject to your terms.

    • T-Mobile

      Ya, sure you will.

  • themetatron

    Wondering when the smartphone landscape will be like PC landscape. Might take a class action suit against carriers and OEMs.

  • mikeeeee

    i wonder how many people total out of all G-2 users this affects?

    • Tony

      not me! love my g2!

    • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

      I’m not a G2 user and won’t be unless/until the device is confirmed as rootable and ROMable.

      I can barely imaging how much less awesome my G1 would be if I was still living with the Android 1.6 bloated crap that T-Mobile would want me to have.

      • cherbdaherb

        where is the easiest place to root the g1 i started at unlockr but got stuck after rooting the phone. something inbetween rooting and loading the rom.

      • Bill

        /yawn, its HTC’s responsibility to get the software for your phone, tmobile just delivers it through the network.

        Also leaving the cellphone company for a hs manufacturer issue is hilarious to me. That’s like blaming comcast (or any other isp) cause your favorite game is down for maintenance.

    • me

      Not a lot. Most people don’t root their phones. If people don’t buy this or leave T-Mobile because of this, it’s not going to make a big dent to the total. It will make a big splash on the internet though with the those few people complaining on every tech site. Of course, those who’re complaining probably won’t leave T-Mobile and might even get G2 anyway and are just talking BS (blowing smoke, hehe).

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Exactly right Me… all one has to do is think of how many millions of handsets T-Mobile sells and how many customers it has and compare that with the number of comments on the Net, including here, where people complain about a phone that can’t be rooted. What is that, about 100 in 100 million.

        The fact is that T-Mobile, HTC, Google, Samsung, Microsoft and others won’t give a ratspitoot about comments on the Net where a few hundred people are saying “I won’t buy another HTC, Samsung, Motorola or T-Mobile product if I can’t root my phone.”

        The reality is that all manufacturers, software developers (OS) and carriers are moving to the Apple way of doing business, controlling access to the hardware and software, making handsets hack and crack proof.

        And while the naive think the “experts at XDA” can do anything, no they can’t. Look at the threads, there’s many things “XDA experts” have tried to do, but they could not.

        Even if someone is successful at cracking WP7 or tethering, for example, the carriers will be able to tell what you are doing and it will only take a few keystrokes to cancel your account, or if you a long-term customer, to send you a warning.

        People are naive if they think T-Mobile won’t be able to tell what we are doing to or with our phones. (For example, I suspect few consumers know that T-Mobile is able to remotely detect exactly what phone you are using and even what features you have activated: GPS, WiFi, tethering, etc.)

        This is all about money folks, something Apple has been a master at making simply by tightly controlling the user experience (what Apple calls “enhancing” the user experience or because it cares about the user). Gimme a break.

        Does anyone seriously not know why the iPhone is the only smartphone on the planet without a microSD expansion slot. Could it possibly be, for example, that Apple wants to control all apps and files the user installs on the iPhone and because Apple wants to sell you a new iPhone every year, simply to get more storage? LOL.

        Yeah, some in here will go down kicking and screaming bloody murder, but in two years there won’t be anywhere to turn because all manufacturers and carriers are going to be in handset lockdown mode, so to speak.

        There’s simply too much money to be made by controlling all aspects of the user experience.

    • pimpstrong

      As a vibrant owner I would be perfectly fine with my phone unrooted with stock FroYo on it. Only reason I even rooted this thing is because the Lag Fix made it as fast as it will probly be when it gets 2.2 Other than that I have no rooted phone Apps that make it oh-so worth it.

      As stated above, I really don’t think this makes even a 1% difference in G2 sales since most people don’t hack their phones.

  • McGruber

    This is terrible. I for one will not buy a phone i cant root. There is no real reason for HTC or tmobile to do this. How are they losing out? If anything like the article says It will ultimately end in bad user experience. Who wants a phone (these days) you can’t fully make your own. When they say the G2 is customizable that is them trying to save face. I think it is an insult to any android user to be told “we can think for you, and we don’t think you should be able to root your phone” That is the attraction for some to android and the turn off to apple. Tmobile is just as to blame also, they don’t have a say so? U would think they would say “no, its too expensive to make the phone unrootable”. I hope XDA jailbreaks that phone and teaches HTC and tmobile a lessen!I was thinking about a MYtouchHD, but IF I CAN”T root it, I’ll stick with my Vibrant Which I am waiting the FFC parts in the mail, So I won’t be losing out much, if any, cause once Froyo gets put on Vibe’s Its over.So much for android being totally open, hopefully, they wont turn into apple cuz if they do I hear verizon is getting a new Iphone and droves of android users may switch sides and that put googles cause back a decade!

  • pjcamp

    It’s not their property.

    I bought it. It’s my property, and this should have been mentioned up front. It is a potentially important consideration in making a purchase.

    They are within their rights to refuse service to anyone who rooted their phone but by keeping this “feature” secret, they essentially committed fraud.

    • Hmmmm?

      When you sign a contract with T-Mobile and purchase the phone you are only purchasing the phone to use on their terms. It actually states quite clearly that they can and will stop you from doing this if they wish. From the General Terms and Conditions for T-Mobile USA:

      17. * Misuse of Service or Device. You agree not to misuse the Service or Device, including but not limited to:(d) tampering with or modifying your T-Mobile Device; 18. Our Rights to Limit or End Service or the Agreement. WE MAY LIMIT, SUSPEND OR TERMINATE YOUR SERVICE OR AGREEMENT WITHOUT NOTICE FOR ANY REASON, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, if you, any user of your Device, or any user on your account: (a) breaches the Agreement;(g) misuses your Service or Device as described in Section 17, above.

      I don’t work for T-Mobile or any other communications company, I have just been a consumer long enough to know that, the last thing you have the right to do with most products you by is “Anything you want”. Also, they will certainly tell you that it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the user’s terms, since that is you. This is almost the same with Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Apple, Google, Sony, etc..

      It sucks, but it is what we all agree to when we buy such products, they won this round. I’m sure someone soon will figure out how to bypass it, and then the whole cycle will begin again.

      • sorandkairi

        This is very true but the same is also true when purchasing a phone from Tmobile without a contract as well. No matter how messed up it is, the same Terms of Use/Conditions still apply because the device is still “branded” Tmobile!

  • keeping it real

    Didn’t we depend on the hackers to crack open theses phones in the first place. now that they got a little challange. its the companies fault now! stop your crying. Theres always a way around this. I need somebody to crack this phone open. if these people are out hear taking a meat cleaver to a sim card and jail-breaking iphones in 30 second or even installing their own front facing camera to frikin vibrants. than somebody can root this phone. With the self repair thing and all.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Man, that Nokia E7 is looking better and better by the day.

    • 2fr35h

      You mean E8

      • MattB

        No… He meant e7, and you mean n8.

  • Saintory

    IANAL but it seems pretty clear cut that T-Mobile has a right to control what’s on your device and it’s not a new power.

    T-Mobile’s latest Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) Section 17(d) states “You agree not to misuse the Service or Device, including but not limited to… (d) tampering with or modifying your T-Mobile Device;” While taken out of context this seems all powerful, but if you read the complete Ts&Cs you’ll note that they reserve this right while the device is on their network in order to protect their network property.

    So you bought the device and you own the device, but you only license usage of their network and your device must comply with their rules to be on this network.

    Interestingly enough, Section 6 of the Ts&Cs talk about your device and opening it up to other networks by T-Mobile. While it clearly states that not all devices are reprogrammable I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that T-Mobile has a way to open the G2 so it can be customizable by the user. I’m sure they would remove it’s access to their network in exchange.

    IMO, I believe that the XDA community should be working more closely with T-Mobile (and/or vice versa) to allow a hacker community to thrive on it’s network. Afterall, the hacker community is a free stress tester of software and hardware.

    • Hmmmm?

      LOL, that’s funny, we must have been typing this at the same time, why pretty much brought up the same point.

      • 2fr35h

        Actually no his point is counter towards your point he says while you are partially right you are part wrong because that is only when in use on the network

      • Saintory

        Our points reference the same material and are close but I think we came to different conclusions. To your point, while it’s branded a T-Mobile device the Ts&Cs state they have final say.

        My point was they offer in their Ts&Cs the ability of the consumer to ask to unbrand the phone (Sec 6 I think). To this T-Mobile could say no or they could say yes. If no, your stuck with the Ts&Cs. If yes, you now have a device that they can technically prohibit on their network, and most likely will.

        The point I want to make here is that a T-Mobile G2 is at least a high-end electronic paperweight and at most a high-end portable computer without the T-Mobile network. The hardware and the service are complementary.

  • nerd lust

    This is a nice safety feature, if a virus cannot take over the device.

  • ken

    You guy get the occasional reboots and phone just turn it self off? Then you would need to pull out the battery and pop it back in. This g2 is really frustrating

    • jc

      I had a reboot the other day, not doing anything special that I remember. And last night I went to wake the phone, and it was locked solid. Had to pop the battery and power back up.

      So yea, I have.

  • nerd lust

    99.9% don’t care about rooting. This a non issue. Hopefully business people will see this as a more secure device for their workforce.

    • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

      Do you have a source for that 99.9% statistic? Cause I think it’s considerably lower than than (though still over 90%).

      • pimpstrong

        94.314159265% to be exact.

      • ogopogo

        Consumer products are designed and marketed to the MAJORITY of consumers. Whether it is 50.1%, or 80%, or 99.9%. It is still the majority. In other words, the “Majority” of consumers don’t care about rooting. So, to his point, this is a non-issue for the majority of consumers. This is what Tmo and HTC care about – the MAJORITY.

      • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

        Obviously HTC ad TMO only care about not pissing off the majority but there’s a big difference between 99.9% (1 out of 1000) and for example 95% (1 out of 20).

        The people who root are also some of the most vocal ambassadors of Android phones and not the kind of people that HTC or TMO want on their bad side. The last thing they want is for these vocal people to tell their friends to avoid T-Mobile or HTC devices.

        Also I think as time goes on you will see more people rooting and using custom ROMs especially as phones get older and stop receiving “official” updates, what are the odds that an original Droid will ever see an official OTA release for Android 3.x?

  • J G

    OK…self repairing. Simple, I WON’t by the phone !!! The FCC made a ruling stating that anyone can root their phone, so I think this will be a lawsuit to come. The only reason I root my phones, is to get RID of all the crap that is added to it that I don’t want and can’t remove because I don’t permission to do so. If they give me full permission to delete whatever app I don’t want (except OS dependent apps and services), then okay. Okay because I do want the phone work correctly and would not want to install a hacked ROM that does not allow this.

    Once again, my only reason for installing custom ROMs is to be able to delete the any app I don’t want. Give me this and I’m okay with leaving things the way they are. Until then, I’ll another device !!

    Since I am paying for the phone, it is belongs to me, not t-mobile or some other company, there fore should be able to do what I want with it…..if I wreck it, that’s my business.

    • Hmmmm?

      I don’t think there will be a lawsuit, and if there was it would probably not end the way you think that it would. You can read this (http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/26/library-of-congress-adds-dmca-exception-for-jailbreaking-or-root/) Engadget article if you would like, it basically spells it out. All the FCC did was make it so that T-Mobile and HTC can’t sue you for rooting your phone. It says nothing about them not being able to make it harder for you to do so. Also, I thought we already covered this if you had read some of the earlier posts that state in your contract that they can and will exercise their right to keep you from “Modifying your device”.

    • ogopogo

      At first, I wasn’t too concerned about this, but you are correct. If they allow us to remove the bloatware that comes with the phone, then fine – protecting the OS is ok with me. If they continue to shove or ship apps with the phone that we cannot remove and don’t want, then they should allow custom ROMs to be installed.

      I for one hate the bloatware that is pushed to my BB9700 from T-mobile. It is stuff that I don’t want, and don’t need.

  • http://none smirk

    this is a pretty big issue. i can’t see myself returning it because of this but i think in due time it’ll get rooted. its a cat and mouse game, android hackers needa make their move

  • J1 Love’s his G2

    Wow, this news doesnt necessarily turn me off to the G2 persay(so happy i got it), but i can understand it being an insult to the “Highly Technical Users” aka G1 early adopters.. I mean rooting is the life blood that kept the G1 alive and kicking to this day.. pre-release the G2 was being touted as the next dev phone/N2.. now its like a dog that has been neutered(no tethering and no rooting snip snip)..

    Its seems like somebody spiked htc’s and tmobile’s punch with some apple(flavored) koolaid, now they’re feeling a lil typsy.. I just hope that there isnt any long term brain damage.. But it looks as if the new Mytouch will suffer the same fate(ready the pitch forks and nooses if it does’nt)..

    Dont get me wrong because i friggin love my G2(like a fat kid loves cake).. But after reading that official statement,it should be crystal clear to everyone, who tmobile regards as their base(teenie-boppers cough), and who they target with their phone selection..

    Since htc and tmobile are in the mood to release official statements.. How about one regarding the infamous hinge (non)issue.. I mean is it a manufacturer defect(not likey), or simply the way a hinge is designed to work(more likely)..

    wow paragraphs fly by when you’re ranting lol.. apologies folks

    • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

      Maybe that’s part of the reasoning, how many G1s are in service right now that wouldn’t be if you couldn’t load Android 2.x on it via custom ROMs?

      TMO and HTC both want people to buy new phones and continuously extend their contracts, having a phone running current software 2 years after it’s released doesn’t benefit them one bit.

      One other possible motivation is HTC is using the G2 to test this new technology, in the future they could make it harder for users to banish Sense from their phones.

    • Foxeh

      Speaking of the hinge, that is indeed a defect. T-Mo seems to try to sweep it under the rug, but HTC has fixed this issue, though T-Mo is selling the faulty units anyway.

  • OtherGuy

    What does rooting allow you to do with a cell that you wouldnt normally be able to do?

  • http://none smirk

    ever search the market? most of the worthy apps require root lol

  • tmolol

    Rooting your phone is good for getting rid of blotware that comes preinstalled, also for me personally rooting lets me have the complete free android market cracked app :)

  • JM77

    OK, I didn’t care about the hinge bc it didn’t hamper usage. I didn’t care about the memory bc its there for the system even if I can’t touch it.

    But this REALLY irks me! If android phones “with google” are only “open” to the manufacturer and NOT the end user, then why should I choose an android phone?!
    (deep breath)

    I have one more week to decide if I wanna keep this phone. I currently love it, but if it can’t support custom kernels then it will get left behind in 6 months to a year when htc stops supporting it.

    The droid x with its locked down system can now run roms but still no kernels. Cyanogen seems confident it’ll happen but he doesn’t root the phone himself.

    XDA we need you evil geniuses now more than ever! Hack hard and hack well!

    • Foxeh

      You might want to listen to yesterday’s Android Central Podcast, they have a pretty good discussion regarding the G2 about all of this. They discuss it for a good ten minutes starting around half an hour in.

      http://www.androidcentral.com/podcast/android-central-podcast-episode-33

      30:45 – They bring up the G2
      33:00 – Talk about the hinge
      33:55 – What HTC’s engineering said about the hinge
      35:35 – Discussion about the rooting issue

      To summarize:
      -Limp hinges are defective units, not working as intended.
      -The rollback feature is an awesome failsafe for people who aren’t interested in rooting.
      -They didn’t exactly take any extra steps what so ever to make it easier to root.
      -Lots of hyperbole around this.

      That being said, I’ve yet to see anything that was unhackable and once they break open the G2, I imagine it’ll open the door to subsequent devices that utilizes this feature. I’m not convinced that this was put here for the sole purpose of blocking rooters quite yet. We’ll see if this turns into a game of cat and mouse.

  • McLovin

    This definitely puts the breaks on me running out and getting this phone now. I was super excited over this phone.

    I’m 3 months shy of contract renewal and was considering spending the $50 early termination fee just to get this phone. I think I can wait until it’s successfully rooted now. Or wait and look for a better phone elsewhere.

  • Heath

    I say give it a couple of months and savvy Android users will find a away around the anti-root. Some may even find a way to “retain” the backup security feature while still rooting permanently.

  • sadtruth

    First off the g2 is a great phone, though i find it funny how now most of the g2 fanboys who like to bash other tmobile phones have suddenly been silenced for the moment, haha! Its like your manhood was taken!

    • Zapote21

      Sadly you are correct…

  • joboy

    I work for T-Mobile tech care, and I’m not privy to high-level decisions. But I can tell you what this looks like to me.

    First, it looks like something T-Mobile requested specifically from HTC to reduce software issues on the device for the average user. It sounds to me like this feature will dramatically reduce the number of calls we take on this phone. So far I’ve had relatively few calls about it, and none with software issues. Maybe the phone just hasn’t sold that many units, but I usually get more calls than this when a device launches. From my perspective, this feature seems to be making my job easier.

    Second, T-Mobile has nothing to gain (so far as I know) by preventing you from rooting the phone. In my experience, people who root their phones are not the kind of people who then turn around and get upset and call tech support when something goes wonky. Quite the opposite- they’re the people who usually do my job for me, and thoroughly troubleshoot their phones before calling in. I love ‘em.

    To me, this feature seems like a more advanced version of the backup-during-master-reset feature on the myTouch Slide: something to improve the customer experience for the average user in case something goes wrong.

    Since T-Mo has nothing to gain by blocking rooting, and I can see the benefits of this feature, I suspect the rooting difficulty is a side effect, and not the intended consequence of the “HTC security feature.” If it *was* intentional, then it just seems stupid. I also suspect that it’s a speedbump (as opposed to a roadblock) and the geniuses at XDA will make short work of it.

    • Ryan

      Agreed. Tmobile wants to reduce the support headaches. If the rooters succeed, all the better.

    • Carlos

      I tend to agree with this in part….It is important for T-mo to be able to offer seamless service to have this. The part that I disagree is that T-Mo does have something to loose, and that is bandwidth. If un-rooted you could make the phone tether, and possibly function as a hot spot, which will put a strain on the network if everyone uses it. So T-mo has something to gain..I cannot see what htc has to gain from the move.

      As for open system, I’m coming over from BB which you can only use leaked OS and hybrids of leaks to make your experience that much more enjoyable. I can say I installed leaks about 3 mo after first getting my device, and never looked back. If the upgrade sucked I either reverted to the previous leaked version or wait a few weeks and see comes out. I never called T-mo to complain nor expect a new device when I bricked it.

      I do have to say that the majority of users don’t know that they can mess with the OS, and even those that have some experience, may not even attempt it is the phone is working fine. I did my upgrades on BB to improve battery life, signal strengths, and slow down the memory leaks the my phone suffered from. If the G2 is as solid as they say, then most people wont tinker with the system.

      One of the reasons I came to android was to get rid of all the dev issues with RIM products, and I think an open source system encourages that and really makes the OS that much better…closing it for the G2 I think is a grave mistake by either htc or T-Mo. If HTC goes this iNAND route in future models, I think the company will begin it’s own demise…going in opposite direction of what got it to is at now.

      • joboy

        Maybe so. Like I said, I’m not privy to the high-level decisions. It just seems doubtful to me. My understanding has been that T-Mo isn’t as concerned with clogged bandwidth as they are with unused bandwidth, especially as the HSPA+ upgrades go in. If tethering were that big a problem, T-Mobile would replace the “How do I tether my XYZ?” threads in the forums with big red disclaimers about how tethering is not allowed.

        Most people never tinker with their phone’s OS, and are even leery of official software updates. But that’s not really the point. The point is that I still find it hard to believe that Android rooting is even considered to be a problem by T-Mobile or HTC, or even Google. All this talk about how they really own the software and network and want to control it seems silly to me. As long as you pay for your device and pay your monthly bill, they’re already getting exactly what they want; why wouldn’t they want you to get exactly what you want too? Who gets to control which apps are on your phone is pretty much irrelevant to your cell service provider, assuming you’re a happy customer who pays his bills on time. I could be missing something, but that’s what it seems like to me, and I’m inclined to take this feature at face value.

        And for the record, I’m betting we see a root hack for the G2 on XDA by the end of the month.

    • 2Noob4U

      This is absolutely true. There were several “roadblocks” for some users rooting the MTS. It was nearly a week or so after it’s launch before a developer (Eugene) had it rooted. If any of you know what I’m talking about rooting the MTS is quite involved… More so than the “one click root” for the G1 and Mytouch 1 Gen. Everyone wants a 6 minute root process or a self rooting program that they can instantly root their phones. (ME Included) I say save the tech care guys the headache and make it a little more difficult to root so that advanced users will root and 90% 99% 80% (Based on my “statistical” knowledge of previous posts) will steer clear of rooting their phones because it’s “too difficult”. If Microsoft can’t protect Windows 7 and Office 2010 from being cracked, don’t you think HTC is going to have some difficulty keeping the G2 out of reach?

  • John

    “have a right to protect their property”

    IANAL, but you are not leasing the handset from TMO or HTC, you are purchasing it. It is not their property, but yours. You have a right to do as you please with your property. TMobile has a right to refuse you customer support if they see your phone has been rooted.

    • Bill

      Property in this reference = network

    • Bill

      Property in this reference = network, which you do not own.

  • Bimmerz

    Well I hate to say this, but this may become the way of phones in the future…

    So perhaps instead of the devs at XDA constantly trying to keep up with a way around these locked down phones, maybe someone needs to come up with an app that allows the user to remove bloatware from their devices (since this seems to be the main reason most people root).

    The downside of course, is not being able to upgrade to the newest OS and having to wait for/rely on the carrier/and developer of the device for the OTA upgrade.

  • rickb928

    This is disappointing.

    First, buying a G2 with the hope to run Gingerbread is now a much less attractive option.

    Second, if this works, I expect more HTC phones to have this ‘feature’. and I expect other makers to follow along.

    Sounds like the Android platform may get locked down eventually. Ah well, fun while it lasted. Now I can go out and buy a tablet to mess with.

    • 2FR35H

      You know what is even funnier yet maybe ironic? Is soon if moto and htc continue down this road people will be praising samsung for being hackable despite probably having suckish support lol

      Why do I think samsung wouldn’t lock a device down like this? Cincinati’s Behold 2 has Eugene_373 aka BH_Man’s android 1.6 custom build lmao!right down to the tee amazing no? so instead of blocking they would just take advantage of the mod community and possibly use their roms for future releases because samsung are cheap azzes when it comes to support, anything to save face I guess, better than no root.

  • speedofsound

    How about the Led in the G2 speaker are not working for messages. it doesn’t notify you when you receive any kinds of messages, only when charging the phone it’s orange and green when fully charge. But HTC is fully aware of this issue and they are working on it. Lets see how long they take to fix this.

  • chris

    I don’t think its a big deal because like it was said before most ppl don’t root their phones. Plus as a sales Rep I deal with the noobs that have tried to root their devices and then bricked them, or that have loaded custom roms and try to get me to do warranty exchanges on them thinking I don’t know what they’ve done. In the end it saves T-mobile money by not replacing good phones and it saves me the headache of explaining to the customer that I know 10x more about what they did to the phone than they do…

  • Phace

    Well, this gives me a reason to keep my Vibrant! I was gonna sell it on CL and get either the G2 or the MyTouch HD, but if HTC is gonna lock down the software then even if I get a new phone i will still keep this Vibrant that i have rooted for other things That i wont be able to do with the G2 or future phones!

  • J G

    Okay Hmmmmmmm. I got your point. BUT, allow me to remove the app I don’t want and that is fine. In addition, many android customers don’t knwo that some the apps they install from the market collect information about what you do on your phone. Numbers you call, when, where you are, what apps you use the most, voice mails, etc. the list goes on….most customers don’t know this….and there is currently a lwasuit about this. Apple, does better with this than android. Before an iPhone gets published in the app store, the developer has to submit the code to Apple for review, with android, this is not the case. Any developer can publish whatever they want in the market as long as they are willing to pay the price.

    When I call t-mobile about my data usage, I find out that there is a lot activity from my phone than what I use it for. This is because of the app that launch in the background without me knowing and then they start to do their thing.

    Let me remind you, I buy the phone, therefore it belongs to me and not t-mobile. Think of it this way, my phone is a computer…therefore if I want install a different OS or change the hardware, that is my business. Now, if I want to use it on someones network, then yes, I will need play by their rules while doing so.

    There is some other reason for t-mobile wanting HTC to do this. They want to monitor us and rooted (customer ROMs) strips out their monitoring apps.

    • Hmmmm?

      Okay, I understand what you are saying as well. I get with a limited amount of on-board memory that it is desirable to want to remove some of these apps. I haven’t run across it personally, but I had a friend that had a 1st gen BB Storm, and it had tons of crap on it, and you couldn’t save apps to the sd card, (I don’t think anyhow). So that was annoying, basically I was just saying that T-Mobile and whoever else sells such a device is going to make sure legally that they have as much right over the device as possible and that’s something we usually have to deal with.

      I don’t care if people root their phones, as you compared it with computers, I modify lots of things on my computer at home, but I accept the risk when it comes to the warranty as well.

      I can see why T-Mobile does this with a percentage of users not experienced with rooting their phones doing it and having to bring it to a T-Mobile store to have to fix it, that costs them money. But, again, I don’t think it’s a huge deal, (in the long run) as if someone wants to bad enough, they will modify their phone. T-Mobile won this time, but it’s just an ongoing battle between users wanting to make their device their own and the company wanting you to use the device in a way that is still profitable to them.

  • TroyAG1

    I Pre-ordered a G1 the biggest thing it meant to me was that finally the Hardware and software are separable like a PC. Now I’m buying hardware with software pre-installed great but I want the ability to upgrade that software when and how I want. I have 5 lines 3 w/data I will looking at this device when it comes to Verizon to see if it has the same BS restriction.

    One way T-Mobile could save face on this on in my opinion is allowing users who request a key and sign a waiver to unlock their devices.

  • J G

    Hmmmm,

    I hear you.

    Customers need to remember, t-mobile and other phone carriers, need us! So we do have a lot of power over these companies, it is just a matter of knowing what they are and exercising them. Most customer just can’t be bothered until they realize what they have lost and by then , it’s too late.

    As T-mobile stated , the % of users who root their phone is very small…so what’s the problem….they are not loosing anything. Matter of fact, most of the innovative features comes from hackers or developer that produce customer ROMs (Cyanogen for one – Google did not shut him down because need to know the things he comes up with so that they can improve their OS). The issue is the BIG BROTHER effect. Slow in this country, the consumer is loosing their rights….look at what customer service used to be like six years ago compared to today!!

    I have had quite a few dropped call, gabbled calls, late messages, 3G outages and more within a year of being with T-mobile. I did not have this with AT&T. When you TMOs customer Service, they really have no clue, just talk the same old talk.

    So for those who work with and understand technology like I do, let us ROOT !!! There are benefits to both sides !!!

    • joboy

      LOL @ all the “Power to the people” posts.

      But seriously, if you’re having service issues, don’t just put up with it. Call in. I work in tech support and I *love* the “squeaky wheel” customers who call in when things don’t work right. It helps the company identify, track, and repair problem areas, and it helps you get better service. You mentioned that the reps you spoke to had no clue, and it sounds to me like you may have been hitting the wall of customer service without getting transferred to tech care. The quick tip to bypass care and get straight to tech (for technical/network issues) is to call 1-800-937-8997 and tell the automated system, “BlackBerry.” That should usually get you right over to tech support to address the service issues you’re having; I don’t put up with garbled calls, missed messages, or dropped calls on my phone, and you shouldn’t have to either. Be prepared to give specific examples, and tell the truth about the issues you have- that will help the reps better isolate the cause of the problems.

  • johnmed3

    I don’t care about rooting this phone. Now my my touch and my g1 git rooted. But this phone in my opinion does not need it.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      A very common sense statement. Some people root simply because that’s what others are doing or they think there’s improvements.

      Instead, people should ask themselves if the phone actually needs rooting, if it does not, they should pass.

      An example of a phone needing rooting was the G1, as you said. Rooting the G1 allowed us to install later, updated versions of Android, which was cool.

  • http://thecryptonline.com Vega

    This phone hasn’t been out 30 days total right? I’d just send it back. I’m still deciding on the g2 and Vibrant and for some reason the Vibrant is looking better and better to me. The BOGO also makes it more tempting.

  • coreyva

    No root for you!

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    To those who don’t like what seems to be an “anti-rooting” policy, keep in mind that’s what most carriers are going to be moving to. Why?

    1. ROMS, OSs, and other software are intellectual property owned by someone other than YOU. If a company did not enforce its intellectual property rights at some point a competitor could steal the software and T-Mobile, for example, would be without recourse because the thief “copycat” would defend itself in court by saying “T-Mobile did nothing to protect the software or code. Look at all the people who have rooted their phones and T-Mobile said or did nothing to stop the practice. So they can’t selectively come after us. We are not different than other people who have hacked Android.”

    It’s required by law that if you want to enforce and protect your intellectual property rights that you show you have not waived your right to do so because of inaction against violators in the past.

    2. There’s lots of idiots out there who don’t understand squat about rooting phones. (For example, something as basic as making sure the battery is fully charged during the rooting process, making sure the USB cable does not disconnect, or making sure that they are installing the correct ROM.)

    Bonehead users nevertheless visit sites such as TMoNews, HTCPedia or even XDA, see glowing posts about some customization a user installed, get all excited, and then blindly install the software on their phones, and of course end up bricking the phones.

    Rooting a phone is not usually an easy process, albeit the geeks in here will say it’s easy. (Although sometimes simple in concept, there’s a lot of steps and precautions to rooting.) Rooting is only easy to people who have been doing it for a long time.

    Amateurs don’t understand, for example, that there’s major software differences between the various Samsung Galaxy S handsets, or the European HD2 versus the TMOUS HD2, or the “world” Touch Pro2 versus the TMOUS TP2. A lot of these people, for example, install a ROM then ask “What is a radio and do I need to install it?” Or “I installed radio version … and now my phone won’t boot up.”

    While we don’t have to deal with people who have bricked their phones, T-Mobile does. (Actually, I have received hundreds of pleas for help in my “Resetting the G1″ YouTube video from people who have bricked their phones.)

    Most of the morons who bricked their phones are deceptive. They simply tell T-Mobile the phone stopped working and make a warranty claim. (In my YouTube video I have had people ask me how to make the phone “non-rooted” so they can make a warranty claim.)

    In the end, if T-Mobile can’t prove the phone has been rooted, it has to absorb the costs of replacing a rooted phone (actually you and I end up paying for it in higher phone or plan costs).

    3. This is why Apple has always maintained tight control over its customers and why T-Mobile, Microsoft with WP7 and others are moving away from open source ROMS and code.

    Yes, you will be able to customize certain functionality and the look of your phones, but the days of rooting with reckless abandon will soon be over.

    That’s why I have kept my HD2. While people diss WinMo 6.5x the fact remains that all aspects of it can be modified.

    People are in for a rude awakening if they think they will be hacking and cracking the WP7 phones coming out. Microsoft intends to lock out users from tinkering with the OS, much the same as Apple has always done. And Microsoft says its to provide a “better, more richer user experience” aka prevent people from bricking their phones.

    • joboy

      “ROMS, OSs, and other software are intellectual property owned by someone other than YOU. If a company did not enforce its intellectual property rights at some point a competitor could steal the software… It’s required by law that if you want to enforce and protect your intellectual property rights that you show you have not waived your right to do so because of inaction against violators in the past.”

      True, but that doesn’t really apply to rooting. Instead of being an instance of a competitor using your IP, rooting is an instance of a customer NOT using your IP. The whole point of making Android open source is that everyone wins:

      -Handset manufacturers win because it’s a nice OS that makes their handsets more desirable.
      -Cell service providers win because it appeals to customers, draws them to the network, and gives them more options. (Happy customers = profitable business)
      -Developers win because it is easy to develop for the platform and sell apps in the market.
      -Google wins because many of their apps get used in the process (even on cooked ROMs and rooted devices) and they can track usage, and gather and sell user trend data the way they do with their free online services.

      None of this changes on a rooted device.

      “There’s lots of idiots out there who don’t understand squat about rooting phones… While we don’t have to deal with people who have bricked their phones, T-Mobile does. (Actually, I have received hundreds of pleas for help in my “Resetting the G1″ YouTube video from people who have bricked their phones.)”

      I have yet to speak with a single customer who’s told me they bricked their phone during a root hack, hardspl flash, or leaked OS update. Nevertheless…

      “Most of the morons who bricked their phones are deceptive. They simply tell T-Mobile the phone stopped working and make a warranty claim.”

      I don’t see that as a big problem. We’re not even instructed to mention unsupported software on the phone during a warranty exchange, since it’s all supposed to be flashed when it gets to the returns center anyway.

      “In the end, if T-Mobile can’t prove the phone has been rooted, it has to absorb the costs of replacing a rooted phone (actually you and I end up paying for it in higher phone or plan costs).”

      Again, I’m not sure I see this as a big problem. If a phone gets bricked during a root hack, it should be a fairly simple process to refurbish that phone at the returns center, and use it to replace the next defective device that gets returned under warranty. I don’t know what the actual costs are, but I can’t imagine they’re too high.

      “This is why Apple has always maintained tight control over its customers…”

      That is not true. Apple maintains tight control over its products because they want to control the user experience. Their engineers work very hard to make quality products, and they don’t want the Apple brand being tarnished by anything they haven’t thoroughly vetted. RIM is kind of the same way.

      “…and why T-Mobile, Microsoft with WP7 and others are moving away from open source ROMS and code.”

      Again, I would say WP7 has been Apple-fied because of user experience concerns. I love Windows Mobile 6.5, but almost every single customer I talk to hates it. It’s too much work for them. They bought an HD2, expected an iPhone, and got a Compaq. They didn’t expect to have to manage the memory, create backup files, and hunt down .cabs online. They just wanted to whip out their fancy phone and show off its cool built-in weather app, and maybe find some flashy apps on an easy-to-access-and-use app market to trick the phone out. Two weeks and 1100 text messages later, the thing is freezing, they don’t feel they should have to pull the battery every other day to make it run smoothly, and they feel ripped off. You and I may appreciate how customizable Windows Mobile has been up till now, but trust me that the average consumer has no awareness of its capabilities, let alone an appreciation for them. All they know is that the phone was supposed to be fancy, and now it’s just a headache, and getting it to work right seems like more work than they wanted to put in.

      Microsoft knows this, and knows that if they want to sell to the general public (and they do) they will need to make something that is usable by the general public. So they’re crippling some of the more problematic functions, and looking to appeal to the Zune-and-XBox crowd. I wish them well, but I will miss what Windows Mobile has been up till now.

      “Yes, you will be able to customize certain functionality and the look of your phones, but the days of rooting with reckless abandon will soon be over.”

      While this is probably true of WP7, I don’t think it will hold true for Android. Android has generally been able to provide a pretty good user experience for all types of users, from noobs to developers, and I see no reason for that to change in the near future.

      “That’s why I have kept my HD2. While people diss WinMo 6.5x the fact remains that all aspects of it can be modified.”

      Amen. Windows Mobile has always been a terrific OS if you know what you’re doing with it. I just wish it hadn’t been marketed to average users. Average users have no need of most of its functions, and will hate most of its quirks and limitations.

      “People are in for a rude awakening if they think they will be hacking and cracking the WP7 phones coming out. Microsoft intends to lock out users from tinkering with the OS, much the same as Apple has always done. And Microsoft says its to provide a ‘better, more richer user experience’ aka prevent people from bricking their phones.”

      While WP7 does seem like it will be less customizable, again, I don’t think it’s because they’re worried that people will brick the phones- I suspect it has a lot more to do with the fact that users were hating the experience. They don’t want Windows to be the kind of system people diss, and that means being user-friendly for the average user. Unfortunately, that also means losing a lot of the functionality of previous incarnations of Windows Mobile.

  • http://magicbluesmoke.org Hi, I’m 12 and what is this?

    Uhhh where’s the statement? There’s not much there except telling us what we already know…

    • http://magicbluesmoke.org Hi, I’m 12 and what is this?

      Also, defending HTC and T-mobile is so strange. This is an overly dramatic solution – if it was to protect HTC and T-mobile from support calls and having to eat bricked phones, it would make sense to use a key combination to engage this feature instead of giving you NO CHOICE.

      But instead of speaking out or just using common sense, people are heralding HTC and T-mobile’s actions as if they were combating communism or terrorism. People have been so accustomed to having various freedoms taken away that they feel resistance is so futile? Wake up! So what if you don’t root? What has a rooter ever done to you? Because you don’t do it means nobody should? And it’s something worth triumphing about that others are being restricted? It’s not an issue of morals or religion, life or death, it’s YOUR /PHONE/.

      How can it be in place to reduce brick returns or as a convenience as it’s not a convenience, it’s mandatory? Reducing the ability for people to tether (proxy vs native nat) could be a partial motivation but the 10GB caps are there to help.

      I can’t say I know the intention of HTC and T-mobile, and that’s not the point of this post, it’s to explain my utter amazement at the blind support for mandatory restrictions on something that has not been shown to harm anyone, for reasons kept secret.

  • yoyojones

    One point of rooting is for free apps! All of them free! Although i pay for the root expolorer and donate to the root app developers :)

  • get with the program

    I’m still shocked by this but the Galaxy S series are the best phones available today running android, unless you want a bulky keyboard. The G2 is a GREAT device but without root it’ll never be able to keep up with the vibrant. I personally have a Captivate running the leaked 2.2 update from xda…….. once the vibrant gets 2.2 GAME OVER. Anyone who has spent any real time with a galaxy s already knows this

  • J G

    ItsMichaelNotMike,

    The OS is protected from being altered (which kills support but you can do it) or being resold. Apart from that, you can do what you want to customize it and make it work the way you.

    What t-mobile and HTC did is remove that option. As I stated, give me a device with just the base OS and limited TMO apps and I’m fine….just get rid of all the other stuff I don’t want ( which degrees performance and steal your data) or give me the option to do so and I’m happy. That is why I root.

    To the other viewer that stated ITS JUST A PHONE….sorry you are WRONG. You can pay more for a PHONE than a computer……when you pay $500 for the device, you better have some freedom to do what you want.

    Anyhow, that’s it from me on this subject. Power to the people, not to the companies! Oh yeh! We are the companies!! So what does that mean people??

    • Walter

      well said J G
      I’ll wait until November and see if they pull the same Lock-down the Jordan phone,
      I’ve been wanting to switch from Verizon to TM, but have been waiting for the right phone.
      How can they advertise it as an open source phone

  • Phonelvr

    Yup. was debating on keeping the G2, this device is going back. We need to send Tmo a message. The hinge is flaky anyway.

  • jazzmanmonty

    TIME FOR CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT! YAY!

  • BlackHawk

    I have to agrre with those who have said it before…Yes you own the device. NO YOU DO NOT OWN THE SOFTWARE. Next time you buy a new phone, before clicking “I AGREE” read what you are agreeing too. Do you think that Google is un-aware that it is legal to root your phone? Seeing as how they were apart of that case, I doubt it. They are fully aware that it is legal, and have found a way to make it to where THEIR SOFTWARE cannot be altered PERMANENTLY.

    If you get technical, you can root it for a time frame before the device “repairs” itself, so it is rootable, just not on a permanent level. That would be Google protecting their software, not T-Mobile or HTC, at least not how Im seeing it.

    • sally

      tm and htc can gft

    • themanoifsteel

      I agree u don’t own the software but the point of rooting is to put other software on the fone besides htc & tmo don’t own what’s so suppose to be vanilla android os. Htc may own Sence and tmo may own certain apps but that’s not what people are talkin about altering or putin on their fones. Companies hacve a rite to protect their intelectual property but vanilla android is niether tmo or htc ip. Its the intelectual property of google and they have made it open that’s why other companies are allowed (o make their own skins or add on to the os. Ans like isaid rooting is to get ride of unwanted software and putting your own on it or other open source software. Just like owning a pc if u want wipe windows off of it and run linux u can it doesn’t reboot itself and put windows back on it.

  • tnutz

    I think its a bunch of garbage that they been trying so hard to lock down these devices to prevent rooting. But on the flipside like if it can be programmed into the phone and sure can be discovered and written out. Droid X is prime example. How long did that take to get rooted. 2 weeks tops and that was guaranteed to be root and hack proof.

    I can see in the future that perhaps these devs find a way to load an entire rom onto the sdcard and boot from there.

    Ah must have faith in the developers on xda there amazing.. =>

  • Yawn

    Lawls… this is why I still check this site even though I’ve (happily!) switched carriers… I *knew* there would be fanboys on here defending the indefensible… awesome

  • T-mobilePride

    It’s amazing how people blame T-mobile for this. I love how people say “This isn’t how you run a business” like they run a multi million dollar business instead of a small company they probably run out of their house. First, the phone is made by HTC. Have a problem with that? Go to them. If you have an issue with your coverage or signal strength then complain to T-mobile. Plus, for those who threaten to leave T-mobile, please feel free to. Go to oher carriers that will charge you for tethering and hidden fee’s just like Verizon (as they have been recently caught and forced to pay back their customers). Plus enjoy their rate plans that almost double T-mobiles cost. Final note is we live in the world of technology, expecting your phone to be 100% perfect is unrealistic.

    • OpenPlatformGal

      Do you bend over with or without vaseline TMobile Pride?