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T-Mobile Responds to G2 Controversy, Calls Rooting Crowd “Small Subset” of Users

By now many of you are aware of the rumor floating around suggesting that the  T-Mobile G2 has a security measure built in that will unroot the device and restore it to its original code upon rebooting.  Well it’s no longer a rumor and has been confirmed by T-Mobile to our friends over at Androinica

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.

The openness that we all love about Android seems to be slowly fading away because of phone manufacturers and carriers.  First Motorola and their locked bootloaders and now HTC and this.  Very disappointing news on a Friday morning.

Via: Androinica

  • Rain_king46

    Way to piss off of a not so small portion of your user base by dismissing them. Good job HTC

  • PAKmann2k

    You know what? I seriously hope the phone is shipped and a major flaw is found after launch. With this crap they put in the device, they would be forced to “recall” all of the devices in lieu of software updates.

    How cool would that be? That would be poetic justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RoyR80 Roy Rader

    I'm pretty sure they're breaking our constitutional rights, that was just recently solidified for us. Congress said, as owners/users we have the right to “hack” (jailbreak/root) with out prosecution…However, i'm not a lawyer, but i believe that by doing this, they are taking rights from us… (if so, i'll join the class-action) ;-)

  • fgonzo98

    A work-around will always present itself…give it a few weeks LOL!

  • iPhoneBestPhone

    Oh please, why even bring up the Motorola locked bootloader thing? The Droid X was busted wide open within two weeks. If anyone actually cares about rooting this phone, it'll get done.

    • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      The Droid X was not busted open. There are still no custom kernals. {{-_-}}

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThornfullessRose Devin Jones

    the galaxy s phones are starting to look mighty good right now!!

  • LifeInAnalog

    …caveat emptor! The manufacturers have no obligation to sell us a rootable phone do they? C'mon people. If the rooting community is as large as we like to think, then we use our money to tell them what is acceptable and what isn't. Simple enough. Don't panic!

  • http://twitter.com/mnkyhead mnkyhead

    I still don't understand why rooting is such a big deal to manufacturers. Yes I know they want to control what is on their product, but we buy the phones, isn't that the important thing to them? It's not like rooting strips the brand name off the phone. With the market as competitive as it is, you would think they wouldn't want to shut out any group of users no matter how small.

  • 1bad69z28

    I think there is a big dissconnect from the manufactures and carriers, about there user base. From day 1 the rooting community has been the most important drive of pushing the Android Revolution to success and spreading the religon.

    Being able to truly customize our phones from open source dev's with outstanding porducts better than the manufactures themselves by providing Overclocking, custom ROMs, and Themes that allow you to have a different phone everyday if you like.

    Where else can you get this type of freedom on a cell phone??? Surely not *phone. The rooting community is a BIG part of Android OS and it shall reamin that way as long as we have great blogs like Droid Life to keep posting and pushing Root!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1075015035 Carl Cloverfield Coyner

    Maybe Google's next expansion would be to make their own cell carrier and make it all open, no bloat android phones, no preventative measures against root and custom ROMs. Maybe they could even have like a “hacker” insurance so that if you bricked because of hacking then you could pay 1/2 the price of the phone and not the whole, but they still wouldn't have to give you the whole thing free.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1075015035 Carl Cloverfield Coyner

      Oh, and also. If the rooting/hacking crowd is big enough why not come out with a phone catering to them and if you it good then they could sell millions of units. Haha it could be the REAL Google phone on Google's network

      • http://www.facebook.com/ThornfullessRose Devin Jones

        you do know you can edit you own post and dont have to reply to it.

      • Patrick

        I think that that would be by far the coolest and most effective solution, but it would just cost a lot of money to start it and of course it would take forever to get it off the ground. I personally don’t like seeing Verizon’s logo on the bottom of my Droid, and I’m always happy to see the Google logo on the back, even if it is to small. I would definitely subscribe to a Google cellular service.

  • jeremytheindian

    Samsung has made it pretty easy to root the Galaxy S phones… Hopefully it can stay that way.

  • Romma1

    This “small subset of users” build more hype for these phones, than their companies avdertising campaigns do.

  • Jdsinglebarrel

    Unbelievable. Good thing my DInc will be lasting me a long time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThornfullessRose Devin Jones

    they'll eventually find a way around it like they did with Koush's bootstrap on the droidx and droid2. moto and htc are being gay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.munroe1 Justin Munroe

    So deep freeze on phones. Now the next thing is for use “reverse engineers” to find this code and use it for good. As in Root our phones deep freeze it and do what ever we want to tweak and test with out worry of killing the core code. Sorry for the HTC guys but this could help out the beta testers of Droid ROMs in the long run.

  • michiganmobile

    Sold my Droid X this morning for this very reason!! Im back on the incredible now and loving it!!

  • http://twitter.com/ThePhoneNerd Phone Nerd

    I agree with their assessment – many people don't need to root their phones and when compared to the total amount – it is a fairly small percentage that have to have their phone rooted. Most people don't understand what rooting does, or what the consequences might be – discussed in this article:
    http://yourmonstersofmobile.com/opinion/unlocking_rooting_and_jailbreaking_-_right_or_wrong.html

  • http://twitter.com/InebriatedPanda Tony K

    What's the point of getting an android device if it isn't customizable? The allure, at least for me, of android is its ability to be modded beyond anything else on the market – what is the point if manufacturers and carriers are going to deny you that ability? F*ck Team X-Blades. Soul-Skating, Google, that's whatsup – Not selling out to the carriers and manufacturers.

    • Chris Nimon

      I agree. I am personally offended that they sold us on Android because its open and customizable and are now locking them down harder than the i*phone.

      • jeremytheindian

        To be fair I don't think it's that bad yet.

        • Chris Nimon

          unfortunately the keyword here is “Yet”. :(

        • http://www.ItsTechKnowledgy.com Colin S.

          Yeah but there's no denying the trend…I like Android for a ton of reasons, one though is definitely is hack-ability…Just makes it more fun for a geek like me, but it frankly seems like Chris is right in saying it doesn't seem like long before the i*hone is going to be MORE hack friendly than Android. Google should step in and make vanilla android with some type of unlocked boot loader available for every phone…It should be a requirement for manufacturers.

          • The350zWolf

            I commented before that all carriers and phone manufacturers should release an “developer’s phone” version of whatever line they have, even if one had to pay full price for it. Not hard for them to unlock a few phones. Remember the neorunner that ran openmoko and android? Too bad that they folded tent.

          • jeremytheindian

            agreed

      • Anonymous

        hadn’t really thought about it but it is locked down harder than iPhone now… because an iPhone can still be jailbroken(still haven’t got why its not rooting since iOS is based on unix) but this can’t

    • MMM333

      Loving the Brink! reference. Hahahaha.

    • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      Brink = BEST DISNEY CHANNEL MOVIE EVER. Only nerds like us would remember that. {{-_-}}

  • nwuknowme

    1.2 gigawatz!! and this is super lame news. the “small subset” is restless

  • Patwww

    I will be keeping my Incredible for much much much longer now. At least until they stop this Bing and quit locking phones lol.

  • Cabrown15

    On the flip side, at least Android users have a choice in which phone they get. If HTC and Motorola lock some of their phones, then we can buy other ones. Unless this is the way they are going to make all future devices… then that would be very unfortunate. Unless I keep my DInc for the next ten years.

  • http://twitter.com/Pollita_Droid Erica Marchand

    This is quiet upsetting.. If I wanna use my money to break my phone or customize I should be able to. Thats like if you bought a new car and they told you could only get your gas from Shell and you can't personalize your vehicle in anyway.

  • Chris Nimon

    I find the I*phone extremely overrated, but if manufacturers and carriers continue down this path what are we going to do? I'd like to see a poll of what people would do if we get to a point where Android phones become unrootable. Will we switch to Aphole? Buy the new phones anyway? Buy a flip phone and throw it in the glove box for emergencies? Stop using cell phones altogether? If this trend continues, what is my incentive to use an Android phone? Phones are getting fast enough that we really dont need to overclock but root access is why many of us (in this awesome community anyway) love our phones. Options/Personalization = a Happy Andy Android :)

    • bravoleader2

      Couldn't have said it any better.

  • http://twitter.com/richardsonadm Adam Richardson

    Oh, and stop putting bloatware on our phones too.

    • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      I’m tired of this MotoBloat NonSense. {{-_-}}

  • Coaster36

    Open source? Whats that?

    /facepalm

  • EC8CH

    Silly Manufactures didn't anyone tell you… “All your Droid are belong to Us”

    The Android Dev community will crack this too.

  • The350zWolf

    I love you so much Original Droid :^* Too bad that your chips are getting old and your memory is not the same!

    • LOL

      Chips don't get old Hardware is only as good as the software. They should of at least upgraded the speed and performance of the Original Droid. Mine is not rooted nor touched it's been kept loyal and yet this is what it gets…. The specs of each Dev even the Droid Eris has not been pushed to its limit. You can thank that to carriers and businesses. Companies need to slow down I got my droid and yet they are making another one just like the xbox then Microsoft made xbox 360 with the funds of the first… see how companies make their money were the gini pigs that test them.

      • http://syntakk.blogspot.com syntakk

        lolwut

      • Anonymous

        I loved my motorola StarTac, but I am pretty glad they used the profits to eventually move on to something better.

        LOL is arguing that companies should limit themselves on upgrading until they maximize the life out of their current products. Why should the companies restrict their R&D based up your ability to afford new products. In this day and age, bigger, better, faster, will always win. Only Apple has been able to sit on one product and suck the life out of it. Everyone else has to actually design and built something worthwhile instead of just using the same die over and over. If you think phones are bad, try buying a decent HD TV.

      • bravoleader2

        Are you saying Microsoft shouldn't have made the XBox 360 or that it isn't an improvement of the original? Or that the Droid 2 isn't an upgrade over the Droid? Weak argument and horrible analogy.

      • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

        of course chips get old. the entirety of computing is done through manipulation of an electrical current. and electrical currents deteriorate hardware. a connection can be maintained for so long before it breaks, and the connection itself gets becomes weaker with time. chips definitely age.

        want some proof: create a small program that constantly (meaning never stops) writes to a flash drive. run it for a month, non-stop, and i guarantee that the flash drive with read/write incredibly slow afterward. this is hardware deterioration.

    • Djenks24

      if it had a huge screen I would still be using it. Go droid 1. My droid x has given me my share of headaches but I love the Rubix Rom with the black note bar

  • BloodiedWraith

    Yeah… I hope this isn't on the HTC Merge/Lexikon as I would love to exchange for that from my Droid Incredible, but I need my root.

    • skltr21

      it will be……. sadly.

  • oscarahj

    Wasn't there something somewhere about congress or something saying that if we buy the phone, it is ours to do what we want. Say…rooting it…?

    So isn't what T-Mo and HTC are doing illegal?

    I'm corn-fused.

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/26/library-of-congress-adds-dmca-exception-for-jailbreaking-or-root/

    • http://mdm-adph.blogspot.com/ mdm-adph

      The ruling said that you're allowed to hack your phone if you want. It doesn't say that they're not allowed to lock it down.

      However, you may have a point here. By doing what they're doing, they're preventing you from being able to “jailbreak” your phone, which is your right…

      • oscarahj

        Your first point makes sense too though! WTH!? Who can speak to us in legal-ese about this?

        • http://www.facebook.com/tflournoy95 Thomas Flournoy

          i would say that technically they arent taking away our rights because we always have the right to buy a phone that isnt locked down. but im a teenager, not a lawyer.

  • http://twitter.com/tomabrad Tom

    This is annoying, I hope vzw doesn't start doing this crap.

    • skltr21

      they already have…….

  • Paul

    I love my Droid 1, and have since they day it was released. The openness and ability to root/flash is exactly what I love about it. However, if manufacturers and carriers insist on locking the devices down, then I will switch to Apple. They are both locked down, but apple's solutions is smoother and cleaner.

    Android will thrive and grow. But I want control over my devices. If I can't have control, I might as well go for pretty and smooth.

  • JJ

    I think they are under estimating the power of developer out there. The so call small subsets of user are the ones that make android devices more attractive to people.

  • Mth2134

    Here is my mind at work.. this sucks. I have an OG and fear it going bad because I don't want a replacement. Reason? I LOVE being rooted. I don't want to send it back wiped clean and get a Droid 2 or something that can't be made my own. Is it possible vzw will do that intentionally do get unlocked bootloaders off the market? Lol. Maybe I'm over thinking it. This is a sad day for Droid.

    • Shaun

      Here is my mind at work… if it goes bad, get the replacement. If its a D2, trade it for a D1 or even better, sell it, then buy a D1, and enjoy some leftover cash.

      • Mth2134

        Agreed. That's what I would do. Just wondering, as I asked, would they intentionally do it. I understand og is limited in numbers of availability so they may not have one to give me but… I was just wondering if they would go that route to eliminate rooting.

  • Mrpicolas

    Once the kernel source is released for the g2 via gpl argreement this will a moot point as the developers will be able to obtain full root

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    That sucks for anyone that wants to root… but I gotta give credit where credit is due…. that's a pretty ingenius way of preventing roots. Much better than the locked bootloader to scare people away. But just like how the locked bootloader was beaten, just give people a few weeks and you'll be declaring victory soon enough…

    • JHolla

      Has the locked bootloader actually been beaten? From what I have seen, full kernel access hasn't been achieved yet on any of the new Moto devices, only access to load some custom ROMs.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        You're correct. It's a total workaround from the methods popular on the G1 and Droid. But this sounds like it'll totally reverse even the superuser access first obtained when rooted, and that's the first step it drilling down to get everything else. I think that minds more geared to this stuff than my own will tear this apart and figure out something sooner than later – even if they need to cheat the system like with the moto bootloader.

  • jahpickney

    I wish there was a way to upgrade the rom and ram on my OG Droid so I can get a life time out of it

    • takeshi

      You’d probably want far more than just a ROM and RAM upgrade.

      • Anonymous

        Overclocked, it keeps up with the best, but with only 256 mb of ram, it can’t do that much at one time, like forceclosing when watching a flash video etc….also, more space for app storage since this app2sd aint cutting it

        • The350zWolf

          Amen brother, amen!

        • JFKempf

          I’ve found that a goodly portion of apps can be forced to SD via Titanium Backup. I successfully run Flash from SD. Caveat, though: Unless you have something above Class 2 SD, you will notice increasing slowdowns of scans/redraws the more you put on the card.

    • kellex

      Seriously. I hear that.

  • El El Kool J

    Sounds like the Zohan(devs) vs. Phantom(Manufacturer) Last I remembered the Zohan wins.. :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.turnley Jeremy Turnley

      That's not how I remember the ending of that movie, but OK…

  • Chris G

    How is this not against the new ruling saying the person buying the device owns the firmware and can do what they want with it?

  • Mrhug3

    Holy crap! That was my first first! But yes, that's some sad news. Wasn't planning on getting one anyway. I'll sick with my DX and it's issues.

  • AngDroid

    This is BS. A small subset of users is what drives the market. I am old enough to have been around when overlocking CPUs in PCs and modding everything in sight first started. Manufactures were all against it and then a whole new market exploded. It drove the industry to where it is today. The phone companies need to embrace it and grow androind with us.

    And how the hell are they getting away with breaking the GPL?

    • JP

      As much as I hate what HTC/T-Mobile are doing personally, I don’t think this violates GPL 2.0 as long as they make the source code available. Under GPL 3.0 this would probably be an issue, but the Linux kernel is still on 2.0 for a variety of business-friendly and philosophical reasons.

  • John

    Devs are very close to cracking this. All they need is the source kernel.. which they will have very soon. Don't worry, this will fall quicker than moto bootloader.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

      Totally agree. This is far easier to get around.

    • AngDroid

      When did the moto bootloader fall? It is still locked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647821179 Mike Story

    Off with their heads I say!

  • Moodinsk

    And boom goes the dynamite.

    • Keithsmnr

      Aaaaaaand BOOM goes the E-fuse.

      • Muddy B00ts

        yeah I remember when I accidentally lit it. My phone blew up like a balloon with a grenade in it.

    • http://www.johnpariah.wordpress.com/ John Pariah

      ..deadpool. wins.

  • M6Droid

    So…if the rooting crowd is a “small subset” of users, then why even lock the phone anyway? If the “small subset” of users aren't the majority, then what's the POINT of locking down the phone when supposedly no one does it?

    “That's tar-uh-bull,” as Charles Barkley would say.

    • MorbidRealities

      I think they should have pre rooted phones available as well. Charge an extra 20 bucks and offer no warranty other than for physical damages. Just my opinion. They need to cater to both crowds. That way they make money from everyone. No one I know would buy a phone that’s locked down but would be willing to pay a little extra for a pre rooted device

    • MorbidRealities

      I think they should have pre rooted phones available as well. Charge an extra 20 bucks and offer no warranty other than for physical damages. Just my opinion. They need to cater to both crowds. That way they make money from everyone. No one I know would buy a phone that’s locked down but would be willing to pay a little extra for a pre rooted device

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1075015035 Carl Cloverfield Coyner

        But the only problem is, if someone bricks their phone, they could easily just trow it into the street and let a few cars run over it then say they dropped it while crossing the street. Or you know, somthing like that.

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      it is not JUST about rooting. preventing rooting is not the only job that the rootkit does. it is a security feature, aimed at what is coming ahead (a.k.a. someone hacking your phone over the air–it’s already possible over wifi… just not practical). when we start seeing android viruses, everyone is going to be crying about not having a rootkit.

      this is what all of these security updates have been about. (if an app can “one-touch” root your device when you ask it, that means an app can do it without your knowledge as well.)

      • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

        Oh man, you’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid. {{-_-}}

      • angermeans

        That has got to be one of the worst posts I have ever read. Do you honestly believe that nonsense? Go to the walled garden of Apple and it’s iPhone if your scared of this garbage.

      • MattInPDX

        Wow, do you work for a phone manufacturer? Because this is exactly what they want you to believe, they want you to believe that we NEED their, rootkit or super security method that doesn’t allow rooting for OUR OWN GOOD.

    • Anonymous

      Security to prevent that small subset from hacking into phones.

    • kellex

      Couldn't have said it better myself.

    • http://twitter.com/jbernard703 Jeffrey Bernard

      The number is small relative to the total user base but a small percentage of hundreds of millions of dollars is still millions of dollars.

      • http://twitter.com/BlackTaxi2d Henry Sura

        yea then why waste time and money of the engineers just to take away the custom functionality ? im sure the people who implemented this get paid some $$ when they could be working on other, more important things ?

        • http://www.facebook.com/justin.munroe1 Justin Munroe

          It doesnt take much to lock a OS.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve never called Motorola or HTC because of something I DID. All they have to do is have in fine print somewhere that rooting voids your warranty. If they do that and someone calls them, all they have to say is they can’t help us.

        • Tom

          Why would they need that? Every rooting method says in gigantic bold letters “ROOTING YOUR DEVICE WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY AND POTENTIALLY BRICK YOUR PHONE” Well not in those words, but similar…

          • Hans

            Legally, you have to hear it from them.

  • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

    I don't understand why they can't just let you do what you want with your device. All they have to do is say they won't replace it if you screw it up while trying to mess around with things they don't want you to mess with. Or that you lose support for the device when it's rooted.

    • standardsdt

      Congress has stated that legally we are allowed root. If we root though it’s up to the carriers to determine if they will replace the device or cover it under warranty should something go wrong. How T-Mobile and HTC are getting away with this I have no idea.

      http://www.copyright.gov/1201/

      • http://twitter.com/jbernard703 Jeffrey Bernard

        It is not illegal to root but that doesn’t mean the manufactures are compelled to make it easy.

    • Mrdat

      The only real world thing I can think of are things like apps and function that they lock down to offer back to you as a pay service. That’s $$$. I am not a fan of this activity. Don’t give me a device and say it can do it but you have to buy they key. It’s like they’re flaunting and taunting me with it.

      They don’t want you to mess with
      - Free Tethering
      - Bloatware

      Both these are revenue points that rooters get around.

      • The350zWolf

        Not to say extend the useful life of the phone, which in turn makes you want to come back for another 2 year commitment. The reason I’m happy waiting for the next greatest phone is because my OG Droid is up to par with the rest of the new phones.

    • http://twitter.com/jbernard703 Jeffrey Bernard

      That is the issue. How will they know when you commit insurance fraud. If i brick my phone i could just say i lost it, or i dropped it off my balcony. You could come up with any number of excuses. I have read on the various forums that some people are on their 3rd or 4th phone. Maybe some of those were legitimate returns but i would bet the average rooter has a much higher product return rate than the average user. Even if only 10,000 people worldwide commit fraud due to “rooting” that is a nice chuck of change.
      10,000 x $550 = $5.5 million

      • Calculatorwatch

        I dunno, I’ve never really heard of anyone actually bricking or screwing up their phone from rooting. No doubt it does happen but I bet it’s pretty low on the list of reasons for insurance fraud. If anything though, I bet it’ll just happen more often as people have to resort to more extreme levels of hacking to get around these increasingly ridiculous security measures.

      • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

        It’s not even easy to commit fraud. {{-_-}}

      • http://www.facebook.com/ThornfullessRose Devin Jones

        →DISLIKE←

    • Mth2134

      They don't want you removing sponsored apps maybe? Dunno really.

  • Blazerls43

    Not a good sign at all! This just gives me more reasons to stick with the Original Droid!

  • Mrhug3

    First?

    • http://twitter.com/richardsonadm Adam Richardson

      Nope, lol

  • http://twitter.com/richardsonadm Adam Richardson

    Then give us Vanilla Android!

  • http://twitter.com/TankRizzo TankRizzo

    I don't like where this is headed

  • Rodys7

    That sucks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ThornfullessRose Devin Jones

      CONGRATS!!! You now have no arms!!!