I like my smartphone. I use a Galaxy S II vs. the Galaxy S III. Why? I didn’t want to pay the $200.00 overhead for a phone that will be worth $300.00 less in 6 months. This doesn’t mean I don’t get the performance I need.
All the carriers (T-Mobile, ATT, Verizon, Vodacom, Virgin, etc.) offer nice smartphones. The budget carriers like the prepaid carriers still jumped on the Android wagon as well, but they just offer cheaper phones.
There’s only one problem with buying a new, powerful, phone with the latest battery technologies and such. The carriers (Mobile Carriers) impose all this extra software on your device that you just can’t remove.
Why is this a problem? It causes an extensive amount of battery use. It clutters your screen and phone memory with junk you don’t want or need most of the time.
It also just makes your phone plain old ugly. So why buy a phone that is cutting edge which is supposedly faster when any performance gains you’re going to get are going to be eaten up by the Carrier Bloatware? It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but with privacy issues and such today, do you really want the facebook app forced down your throat and so tightly integrated into your phone that with one mistaken click you can accidently share your entire telephone contact list (and the comments about those people) with all of your facebook or twitter friends?
I say no. The question is what to do about it? I’m the guy that changes phones 4-5 times a year. Why? I keep up with technology, but most importantly, I like the power.
So what I do before I buy a phone is to make sure it’s capable of being “rooted”. Then I make sure there is a ROM (new Operating System developed [Android]) that suits my needs for the phone.
If I want any additional apps, I’ll add them as I please. I customize my phone per my needs, not what the carrier wants me to need.
What’s the difference? I usually get 20-30% more battery life out of the phone, it’s customized to my liking and I get exactly what I want.
I also get the power as advertised by the phone manufacturer. Here’s the problem. A Mobile phone manufacturer like Samsung releases a new phone with amazing specifications. The carrier advertises those specifications as it being the newest coolest fastest phone.
They then, (backhandedly) add all these applications that these companies pay them to add on the phone. They disable features you’re entitled to have, because they want to charge you extra for the ability.
So why bother with all the pain? They use the extra CPU cycles and disk space on the phone to add their own market. Here’s the question. Does there need to be more than one android market? No. So why is T-Mobile running their own as well as Verizon and others?
They want the commissions generated from these backside marketing deals that lock these applications on your phone.
So you power up your phone and asked to enter your facebook login. Seriously. It’s a little ridiculous if you ask me.
You’re then asked if you want to share your phone contacts with Facebook. Don’t you think it’s a little ridiculous?
If I want the Facebook app on my phone (and I don’t), I’ll install it from the android store. If I want the Youtube application, I’ll add it from the Android Store (now called Android Play). [Personally, I found it ridiculous that Google needed to change the name from something that was very descriptive to something that isn’t at all descriptive]. We can thank the marketing people for that one.
So basically, if you run your new smartphone with all the stock stuff that the carrier provides, it will eat your battery and disseminate your information without you knowing it. Why? Because (yes… I started a sentence with Because) they get data to sell. You see, data is very profitable.
If you had the usage statistics of people on smartphones and we’re talking millions of people, you can charge hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for that data. You can sell it over and over again. The consumer wouldn’t be the wiser.
So what do I do? I root my phone and install a ROM with only the bare essentials that I need. I then customize it with my desired choice of applications. The difference? If I don’t want the application anymore, I get rid of it. Can you say that about certain applications on your phone?
Go ahead. Try to delete Youtube or the T-Mobile store (or whatever it is they call it). You can’t.
Now here’s the big rub. Cell phone manufacturers pay for the phone from the manufacturer and they sell the phones to you at a loss. So how do you make up for that loss? You market to the companies like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. to force the applications on your phones. This makes them un-erasable. The concept is eventually, you’ll try the app out.
On top of that, they get to sell the data. Your surfing and browsing habits to these same companies for Millions upon Millions.
What do you get left with? A phone that runs 20-30% slower, is crippled, and eats your battery. Now do you understand why I root my phone?
The same applies for Apple and the iphone / ipad. Crazy, huh? The reality is the carrier claims a loss on the phone when they’re actually profiting from it.
So do yourself a favor. Protect your privacy, extend your battery, get extra functionality and harness the real power of the phone that was sold to you.
Root it. Install a distribution you like / need.
The carriers all say that if you root your phone, it’s no longer under warranty. Here’s the reality. At any time, if you wanted to, you can return your phone to stock and send your phone in for warranty. The carrier wouldn’t be wiser.
These are just some of the dirty little secrets of the mobile industry. The way I see it, If a carrier offered a “Clean Bloatware / Malware Free” option for the phone at the full MSRP, there would be plenty of people that would pay for it.
In the meantime, if you need your phone rooted, contact me. Phones / tablets / etc. You won’t lose anything and you’ll gain everything.
You can also google it. You do realize that if you want the unlock codes for your phone you should be able to get them from your carrier right?
So why is it you can’t get an unlock code for the iphone? It’s interesting. Nobody complains about it. We’re all just sheep at the end of the day.
Personally, it sounds like a class action waiting to happen. Sorry to get off on a tangent.. Let’s get back to the subject.
If you want the real power and capabilities of the phone you paid for and you want your privacy, you’re going to have no choice but to root your phone. If you don’t want the carrier to know what you’re doing over the internet, you’re going to have to implement a VPN on your phone.
These things are both possible. The only thing is most providers will never tell you about it.
I, however, will. Like I’ve always said. I believe in the truth, ethics, and morality. If companies actually gave the customer a choice to buy a phone at a lower price with the malware or at a higher price without the malware, (bloatware.. malware.. it’s all the same to me). They would find that there is a big group of people out there that would pay for the phone truly “stock”. Without the malware. The funny thing? They’d gain credibility in a market where all the players are considered crooks.
Let’s just say it doesn’t cost .10 per KB (or whatever it is they’re charging today) to send data over the internet. Even at .02 per MB, they’d be making money.
That’s a subject for another article though.