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Dear Carriers, If You are Going to Take Features From Phones to Make Money, Give Us Options to Get Them Back

lg g3 wireless charging

Last week, we featured a deal for an unlocked LG G3 that could be snagged on eBay for $500. We picked one up because international versions of phones not only seem to receive updates much quicker than their counterparts here in the States (a topic for another day), but this is the model of the G3 that features wireless charging out of the box, something US carriers (Verizon and AT&T in particular) removed so that they could make extra money off of customers like you and me with accessories that add features like this on.

Once the device arrived, I slapped it on the Qi wireless charger that never leaves my desk, just to test the functionality on a G3. Sure enough, it worked without hassle straight out of the box. I didn’t need to slap a new cover on or attach a case, it just charges as if the feature is built-in, which it is. While this should have brought immediate joy, it also brought on a substantial amount of anger even quicker. Why? Because carriers in the US have robbed us of features like this for years to help them make an extra buck or two. And while I’m fine with companies trying to get richer (I’m sure we all would do the same), the way they go about it frustrates the hell out of me. What I mean is that if you are going to dumb down my smart device, so that you can charge me for accessories to make it smarter, give me some damn choices. 

If you buy an LG G3 today from either Verizon or AT&T, you won’t be able to wirelessly charge it out of the box. Forget the fact that Verizon was one of the few carriers to include wireless charging in last year’s LG G2, they decided against it this year because LG created a $60 circle flip case that has wireless charging. So you are aware, the international G3 I picked up includes a standard back cover with built-in wireless charging. The size of the device is identical to those sold at Verizon and AT&T, yet it has this added functionality. In other words, when Verizon and AT&T told LG to make branded back covers for their G3 variants, they said, “Please take out the added wireless charging capabilities that you use on the international variant because we want to charge customers for this feature.”

lg g3 wireless charging1

And again, I get that they want to make money – they can certainly do that. But as of now, in order to add wireless charging functionality to either variant, you have to buy the $60 QuickCircle case (which is currently sold out at Verizon). You don’t have another option, outside of spending $40+ on a replacement back cover through overseas eBay stores that may or may not work properly with your phone. Neither Verizon nor AT&T sell a replacement back cover with wireless charging – they only sell the QuickCircle case. What if I don’t want a flip case? What if I just want a replacement back cover that adds in this functionality that should have been there from the beginning? I have zero options outside of going to eBay and praying for the best.

The problem is compounded by the fact that AT&T went with a completely different wireless charging standard than everyone else in the world uses. I already wrote about AT&T using PMA over Qi, but the basics are this – if you own an AT&T LG G3, good luck ever finding a wireless charging accessory outside of the $60 PMA-ready QuickCircle case sold through AT&T’s store. I doubt that LG has any plans to make a replacement PMA back cover, and the Qi covers you can find elsewhere won’t work. At least with the other variants, they are Qi-ready and should work with a replacement back, if you can find one.

I’m using the G3 as the example here, but in reality, this has been going on forever. We see it with Samsung phones all of the time. Even though Samsung has an accessory store that they often sell replacement wireless charging backs and cases through, carriers like Verizon pickup some of these accessories, but we see them sell out within seconds before most have even had a chance to buy them. So there we were with an option, yet are then optionless moments later. Clearly, people are interested in features like this. We are willing to spend the money. Why can’t carriers (and manufacturers) make this stuff available?

The point here is that the whole situation sucks for consumers. We have these brilliant smartphones, yet carriers in the US want to dumb them down in order to make an extra buck without really giving us enough solutions to make them smarter (or where the manufacturer intended). Companies like LG build-in features like wireless charging to their flagship phones. These phones are supposed to come with these features out of the box. Instead, US carriers take them away and then don’t provide us with a means to get them back. Do you want to make money or not, carriers?

  • Bonnie Fraser

    Although not happily I would pay extra if I could just get the wireless back. I don’t want a circle case because I need more protection than that. If you want to make money just sell the darn back to work with Qi.

  • KYRO

    so Sprint LG G3 comes with Qi Wireless Charging out of the box?

  • Jeroi

    I’m really disappointed with at$t. Finally the LG g3 has the same dimensions as all the other carriers and now at$t decided to make the wireless charging different!!! Wtf!!
    As soon as my contract is over I will be switching to t-mobile. At least I will not pay as much for bad reception.
    Ps. This G3 does not feel much faster than my LGOG. It’s kind of disappointing. The other thing that bugs me is the fact that Facebook is preloaded and non removable.
    Hhhmm maybe it’s time to switch to a different carrier and manufacturer. HTC? Nokia wm9?

  • JenniferV

    So the tmobile variant includes wireless charging?

  • tim

    I completely agree with you. I have the AT&T version on the G3 and my phone now looks and feels completly HACKED because I had to cut the front of my quick circle case off since I hate any kind of cases. AT&T Sucks for doing this as well as all the rest of the carriers. Really if you want to force me to spend money at least make a standard wireless charging back cover and THEN charge me the damn $60.00. SCUM BAGS

  • Qi/NFC stickers can be preordered and shipped within the US – http://forum.xda-developers.com/lg-g3/accessories/feeler-buy-qi-nfc-sticker-t2827738

  • seancaldwell

    Anyone know if the t-mobile version comes with wireless charging ability or if they joined the others and removed it?

  • Kevmeister

    Are you guys serious? Americans are complaining about this and that. This has gained to car enthusiast forums where they complain about their Volkswagen being watered down or the fact that their not bringing the nicer variants or trims. Well guess why? You’re not willing to pay for it. I’m saying this as a general population consensus. The entry level has to be low enough to get your approval.

    The G3 is selling for 599 in the states. It’s selling over $750 here in Hong Kong. Of course LG will have the premium to add Qi onto our products. I work for a factory here and when we meet with retail buyers from the states, they are always asking to lower or ex-factory price in order to meet their super low selling prices. Somethings gotta give so to speak.

  • Aaron C

    I refuse to spend any money on companies that limit my choice. That’s why when T-Mobile went with their first uncarrier announcement (no contracts), I voted with my dollars — paid my ETFs to Verizon, said seeya, and bought a bunch of Nexus phones. The only way these companies are going to offer more to the consumer is if they’re forced to. As long as people keep accepting being charged fees for upgrades, hidden subsidies, phone de-contenting, etc., these practices will continue.

  • Curt248

    Will the unlocked phone run on Verizon lte 4g?

  • Raymond Elliott

    Consider the difference in relationship between carriers on Android and carriers on iPhone. Carriers put their logo all over Android phones; Apple: “not on our phone.” Carriers add start-up screens and funny tones when they start on Android phones. Apple: “not on our phone.” I’m sure there are other examples but my point is with Android, carriers are allowed to goof around and try to make it “their” phone for better or worse.

    I like Android. But if Apple built iPhone with wireless charging capability, I’ll bet carriers couldn’t mess with it.

    • aggiefather

      It’s not just Android phones. AT&T had Nokia remove or disable the Qi-wireless charging ability from it Windows flagship, the Lumia 1520, before they would sell it.

    • Aaron C

      While that might be true, I’ll take an open ecosystem over a closed one any day.

  • tlingitsoldier

    I remember this happening when I had my Verizon Note 2. This is completely ridiculous, and something no one should stand for. Phone manufacturers need to put their foot down, and tell the carriers to go to hell. Carriers already gouge people enough with their services, fees, accessories, etc. I’m surprised they don’t ask manufacturers to remove the gyroscope, wifi, speakers, or more, so they can charge customers to buy “Made for___________” accessories. Basically Project Ara, in which you are forced to buy the base model, and can only buy modules from the carrier.

  • saimin

    Solution: don’t buy phones from greedy carriers. Unlocked phones cost a little more up front (eg Nexus 5 or OnePlus or Moto G), but you make that up in a few months of much lower pre-paid monthly rates.

  • So I am currently wondering what exactly AT&T changed on the G3 to cause it to not work with QI. Was there an actual hardware change by LG? If so, why would LG go through that trouble? If not, could some software changes fix it?

    • cornflahkes

      Someone mentioned the Lumia 1520 above, on that at least, the circuitry is slightly different with PMA vs Qi (they made it to only take PMA covers). Some people did get a regular Qi back cover working, but it involved plenty of soldering on a brand new several hundred dollar device. Not quite what you want to have to do.

  • Daistaar

    /rant

  • B Cole

    Somewhere along the process of registering a company with the US and becoming incorporated in america, they are actually legally obliged to make profits, and put profit above everything else (as long as it doesnt contradict other laws.). So yeah it sucks, and yeah it pisses off the consumer, even me, they are just trying to follow the law and bleed you for every dollar you have left to spend.

    In reality, it’s verging on illegally fixing the price of a product, and in regards to their need to compete fairly and legally, it might be breaking the law. ATT and Verizon had to consciously make the decision to not include Wireless charging capabilities, and the fact they made that decision and they are the 2 biggest carriers in the market it suggest price fixing. But since ATT went with a new standard, I’m sure a conspiracy to fix prices and not compete cant be proven… even thought we know they did, and they know there’s not a damn thing we the consumer can do about it.

    Aside from Obama creating a regulatory agency that protects the consumer at the expense of corporate profits/(extortion), there’s nothing we can really do about this… even if we raise enough of a stink, the problem wont be fixed until the next variant of the line of phone comes out.

    Also LG should be ashamed of allowing this, and they should realize they dont have much of a reputation left to afford to be slandered by these stupid actions… however I’m sure that’s the same reason they couldnt fight ATT and Verizon… LG would be smart to legally peruse damages against Verizon and ATT (by claiming Verizon and ATT Illegally forced LG by extortion to make these changes in order to keep doing business with the bullies.) to gain a better cooperate reputation with the consumer, and market their cooperate ethics and their ability to fight for the consumer. But I think it’ll snow in hell before LG grows balls to see Verizon and ATT in court…

  • sith77

    AGREED like whenever you see overseas variants of phones come with SECONDARY batteries & with dock chargers and here in the states we pay more and get ONE battery with no secondary battery charging docks. WTF ?!?!? this ALWAYS burns me up

  • RiceCake

    Everyone in the US, including me, should skip buying a new phone this year. We should boycott the carriers or something. Although I doubt our numbers would make any dent.

  • Rob

    Google, just use that extra cash and build your own wireless network from the ground up. Or use weather balloons. Or something. Just make it unlimited everything, super fast speeds, and under $100/mo and allow tethering. So many people would use this service…

    OR just buy a mobile company, make their network better (T-Mobile), and change the industry.

    • B Cole

      I believe they would, if they could… but NSA like problems would pop up, also they might be charged with Monopoly… they are happy letting Carriers and ISP’s do the work, and still reap billions by selling your private information and what not (while not raising a stink about privacy).

  • Ryan Chapman

    This type of stuff is the reason why I never buy accessories in my wireless store. I would rather purchase 3rd party cases and accessories from Amazon then allow Verizon or whoever to make money off me directly.

  • Pam Oakea

    Why can’t they sell the wireless version for a little more but offer both?

  • Pam Oakea

    They need to sell us the UK back so our phones will still fit inside cases afterwards. I would pay for this. The thicker ones the carriers sell don’t allow you to use a standard size case afterwards. I don’t want the flip case deal either. This hurts us and slows down wireless charging adoption. I hate the way the US Carriers are handling this.

  • Cruiserdude

    I agree with you on this as far as any other hardware feature goes, it’s simply childish. It’s even more offensive when they add so much gimmicky software “features” I don’t want, especially as someone who just wants stock AOSP + GApps on everything.

    However, I have to say I see a MAJOR silver lining as far as wireless charging covers go, removable batteries are here to stay! I’ll take this year’s US G3 any day with its removable battery over last year’s with built-in charging and no ability to swap cells.

    It’s just like expandable memory, notice how Samsung was the only one that never took that feature off a flagship, when they just so happen to be the only OEM that also makes money off of SD cards…

    Sometimes corporate greed actually does have a bright side.

    • hkklife

      Sony does too (make $ from memory cards, though likely not to the extent that Samsung does but Sony has memory cards in every Wal-Mart store in the country so that’s saying something). And Sony was a close 2nd after Samsung in being pretty supportive of expandable storage.

  • Joe Butler

    All the more reason to A) applaud T-Mobile’s efforts, and especially B) buy off-contract.

    • Aaron C

      Agreed. It’s all about choice. The fact that T-Mobile has been stealing Verizon and AT&T customers just shows that when people vote with their dollars, other companies are forced to change. Look how quickly Verizon and AT&T lowered rates and offered phone upgrade plans as soon as T-Mobile announced theirs?

    • synplex

      Why applaud T-mobile? They’re doing the same thing. Their Lg G3 wont charge out of the Box either.

      • saimin

        I applaud T-Mobile because they have dramatically lower rate plans for people that buy unsubsidized off-contract full-featured phones. I love the $30/month plan (5GB of LTE) for my Nexus 5.

  • yankeesusa

    The tmobile version doesn’t charge either out of the box. All these carriers are a bunch of thieves and don’t care about the consumer. But what’s new.

  • 213ninja

    good sentiment here. these US carriers have too much authority….stripping out awesome charging features is really taking it too far…

  • Eric Sorensen

    This reminds me when Verizon dumbed-down the car mount for the Galaxy Nexus. You had to buy the international version to make use of the 3-pins that transferred sound and charged the batteries.

    • MH

      There is a reason that wasnt mentioned. It’s pretty simple if you think about it. If you have the mfg make the dock or back w/o the wireless charging included…it’s cheaper to make (and consequently cheaper for them to buy). Then they resell at the MSRP for the one with charging, and bam…more profits. Not excusing them by any means…it’s just what they are doing.

  • dizel123

    Qi is pointless on a smartphone anyway. quit your whining and just take use .005 extra seconds it takes to plug in a USB. I can guarantee you that the time you spent writing this columns is more than the time you’d save from using a QI charger vs using a USB charger over the next 5 years. You’ve been brainwashed into thinking Qi is important and now are whining that its not as available as you’d like it to be.

    • Evan Cm

      the point is not whether or not Qi is really more valuable than wired charging. The point is it’s a new feature, something that was put in the phone, something that users should be able to get for free, and the carriers are forcing users to pay an extra $60 for an accessory to use it.

      Same as how VZW blocks Google Voice, or used to block Google Wallet (and Google Maps way back in the day) to try and force you to pay for their own versions. It’s highway robbery.

      • Travis H

        Better than I was going to Word it.

        • Evan Cm

          yeah. Personally I’m not all obsessed with wireless charging, I find it to be a whatever feature. In fact, Dizel, I agree with you that a wireless charging pad doesn’t add much value over a plug. Ultimately, as the technology develops and grows, it’ll get better and better. Personally, I’m excited for the day when we can wirelessly broadcast power through the air to our phones. THAT would be awesome, but I figure we’re a long way off from that.

      • dizel123

        Its kinda odd that you say that because I haven’t been forced to buy anything and I don’t know anyone who’s been “forced” to buy any Qi charging accessories. I do know people who see certain things as a convenience and are willing to pay for them, but I forgot, Android users are an entitled bunch and will complain whenever their toys get taken away and they’re sent to their rooms without dinner.
        The other thing I find amazing is that Google Voice works just fine on my Droid Ultra. I guess Verizon likes me better than most so they let me use it.

    • hkklife

      To limit wear and tear on the microUSB port? Taking, say, 4-8 removals and reinsertions per day off of the microUSB port will dramatically increase its longevity.

    • sith77

      i happen to LOVE the Qi wireless charging. i have used it on every device that i have owned so far since it was available whether it was integrated or via case. no need for cables all over the place , or different connectors or spending money on extra cables to keep a separate charger. AND most phones with their crappy designed little door to open and close to charge is aggravating and MOST break off. At my desk i have a Qi base and if i get low i throw the phone on it and let it sit and charge. when its time to go i grab and go…. simple

    • Trusstopher

      Having a 3 and a half year old Galaxy Nexus I can tell you that I’d love to have wireless charging… not for time savings of not having to plug it in but for the longevity of the port on my phone. Every phone I have ever had – one of the first things to go was the charging port – which makes since considering it receives the most wear on the device from plugging/unplugging. It is essentially the last “moving part” on the smart phone and once it is completely removed, there will be one less common issue that force customers with 2 year old phones to upgrade.

    • Aaron C

      I just had to buy a Qi charger for the simple fact that the USB charging port on my Nexus5 is getting loose, and sometimes overnight my battery would die (even though it was on the charger) and the alarm (which I rely on) didn’t wake me up because the phone was dead. I still need to use the USB charger in my car dock, so I am saving whatever life I have left in it by using Qi. It’s FAR from “pointless,” and no one is whining. It’s a practical matter.

  • patrick

    It’s stuff like this that hinders the advancement for these features. Normal consumers need easy access to new features to help it become popular. Not to mention they’ll have to go out and buy a charging pad or 2 like I have. It doesn’t have to be free, but there does have to be an option.

  • Michael Quinlan

    This kind of crap just pisses me off; and it goes back as far as Verizon disabling cabled connectivity on their flip phones in order to force users into using pricey data plans or MMS to transfer pictures they took between their own phones and their own computers.

    Yes, US carriers suck, but at least with GSM carriers you have the option to get a device from another source, and skip all the meddling from carriers.

    • Robert Paulson

      Reclassify telecoms as common carriers and make it all go away!

    • hkklife

      I remember simply trying to establish a Bluetooth DUN connection between my Verizon Moto flip phone (E815) and my Palm OS PDA and my laptop. This was back in 2005 or so. Those turds at Verizon had disabled it and turned what was THE killer app in the pre-converged days into a totally frustrating experience. And I still chuckle at how VZW begs and pleads with its users to use Wi-Fi when just 5-6 years ago they refused to release smartphones with Wi-Fi integrated and/or allow you to activate a smartphone without an accompanying data plan. And yeah, for a while I think they disabled BT OBEX as well. And remember the lame old “red bar” VZW unified UI they’d put on top of all of their dumbphones for years and years? I think they finally allowed you to toggle between themes but back in the RAZR V3 days it was just a laggy abomination that took away a lot of standard features.

      • Stephen Cox

        Yeah, I still have my seem-edited E815 with Bluetooth DUN and OBEX enabled. It’s a tank of a phone. It’s also the last of the Motorola phones on VZW to use its native UI and not that POS clunky red UI the RAZRs had.

        I have my iPaq i4355 that I used with it somewhere too.

        • hkklife

          Wow, I forgot all about seem-edits!! Yeah, I had the V710 and actually passed on an E815 upgrade (despite the better specs all around) because I could still do DUN with my 710 and also because I was traveling a ton back in those days and the AMPS came in handy on rare occasions…I ended up going from the V710 to the V3C and was not thrilled. I still have a mint v3m and an E815 kicking around somewhere, believe it or not.

  • jothen2002

    Consumers always drive the markets??? Just like when someone complains about the millions that professional athletes get lol..it is what we value and are willing to pay for. I like the article, as it at last brings some awareness…not that anything will change …but still …And why can’t I find any of those damn circle cases anywhere …geesh…

  • droidiac13

    Does the version you picked up work on AT&T or Verizon’s LTE? I’m curious and might just buy an international G3 myself.

  • Trevor

    It’s not like Verizon just made record amounts of profits last quarter or anything.

  • H.R. Pierson

    Your ranting against this practice by the carriers is apropos I agree. Your ranting with the G3 in the spotlight, casts SERIOUS Negativety against LG. Your lame attempt to cya, falls by the wayside.
    Looking deeper, you’re like an iFan, Or a Samsonite,
    Yes the piece could have been written ” a recent high profile smartphone I reviewed ………… “.
    But no…….
    Hmmm… IMHO, of course

  • Shawn John

    There needs to be an FCC ruling on this, I believe it’s criminal to strip stock features and make them into pay addons. Ridiculous. Who do they think their fooling? Only when consumers wisen up and call foul will something happen, because when the uninformed pay for these type of rip off’s it only makes them carry on with the nonsense that much longer. Kind of like carriers who bend people over for tethering.

    • Pedro

      The FCC deals with radio frequencies. As long as there is no interference (harmonic filtering) on other frequencies, what do they care?

      • Shawn John

        The FCC does not regulate contractual arrangements with cellular providers, but does handle complaints about wireless service. You may file a complaint with the FCC by using the FCC’s on-line complaint form.

  • Tazarine Tighanimine

    Oh Great

  • Christopher Robert

    Sounds like someone needs to open up a business importing the replacement back covers from the EU to the USA. Anyone know how much a replacement back cover in the EU costs?

  • mcdonsco

    Greedy Bastards…reminds me of the time I bought a commuter series otterbox at a Verizon store and found that it did not include a screen protector (buying it from otterbox direct or bb etc they always come with a screen protector).

    Verizon specifically REMOVED THEM from the box before stocking stores with them (spoke to an otterbox rep that said they are shipped to Verizon with screen protectors and Verizon removes them; they already knew about it but said there was nothing they could do about it).

    So, they sell you a $34.95 case without the otherwise included screen protector then: “Hey, you should probably get a screen protector for that new phone too, just $14.95″… Bastards.

  • Mike Starling

    I bought this wireless charging back on ebay for my T-Mobile G3 and it worked right away http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-LG-G3-D850-D851-D855-VS985-LS990-Back-Cover-Battery-Door-Gold-LG-Logo-NFC-/151353685081?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:3160 I would say that the only device it wont work on is the ATT variant.

  • jmashis

    Being mad at the carriers is like being mad at Kim Kardashian. It’s not her fault she’s famous, we allow her to be, then we complain about her being famous. Just like with the carriers, we complain about them, then continue to give then money for extras we don’t need. Just like we complain about movie theater prices but continue to go, and complain about the price of going to sporting events, but pay $4000 for one Super Bowl ticket.

  • Mordecaidrake

    Couldn’t agree more. But the US carriers will never stop doing this crazy crap. They like that money far too much.

  • Colts5609

    So is this the case for all US carriers? Sprint and T-Mobile included? Is AT&T the only one who uses PMA, or do they all?

  • MvP77

    Does tmobile remove the wireless charging?

    • Defenestratus

      Yes.

      • Aooga

        I thought so…interesting how the article doesn’t say that.

      • MvP77

        Thanks. So much for the “uncarrier.” It was nice that they didn’t brand my M8 but I see they branded the G3 and now this smh.

  • MichaelFranz

    Preech Kellen!!!!

    I’m 100% right on with you. I have had the same agonizing pain with samsung. I got a “50% off any accessory under $50.00” coupon from samsung that was good on 1 order and for up to 5 accessories of that price. Honestly it’s a great deal. My idea was to buy the wireless back cover and mini wireless charger. They were $29.99 and $49.99 respectively and the end all price would of came out to $70 less 50% so $35 + tax. For both those accessories a great deal.

    Now the annoying part, besides the device not having it out of the box, is that you couldnt find the standalone wireless back cover anywhere. To make matters worse, Samsung, the OEM, didnt evenhave ti in stock at their online store who issues the coupon but other online retailers did. I found that insane. Not only did samsung barely get stock of them in, they never have had the mini charger available.

    I sat on this coupon for nearly 4 months. Finally I called samsung and spoke with one of the better service reps i’ve ever dealt with. She said she would call me when the items came in stock because let’s face it just buying one without the other is pointless. Literally a week later she calls me back and tells me they have the wireless back cover but no mini charger. I asked if she could send me to normal wireless charger instead ($59.99 and not elligible for promo coupon) and they did and will credit me back 50% of the price of it since I have been waiting for so long. After all is said and done i’ll be happy.

    the bottom line is while all these OEM accessories are supported out of the box but not included I think carriers should make sure they have stock right away or at least include some kind of discounted bundle to purchase it at the time you purchase the device. I’m with you K, i’m all for making money, but just do a little bit better by your customers

  • gcforreal

    i think its pure greed and a shame that us carriers still pull crap like this. Verizon is notorious for gimping features from its phones, hardware and software, for example the verizon g3 is missing the native lg theme option for some dumb reason. I get(yet strongly disagree with) the nickle and dime approach on accessories but why block software features? what benefit is it to the carrier? Also youll really get pissed when you realize the korean version of these phones often come with two batteries, a spare charger and decent headphones but with the us version you get nothing but a charger and some missing features. Someone needs to grow a pair and regulate the carriers for once they have no need to do this they post record profits almost every quarter and still find new ways to give loyal customers the shaft.

  • d-rock

    AMEN!! So sick and tired of being robbed by US carriers. Why can’t we get a good quality provider who wants to do customers right? They probably paid to have it removed.

  • Disqus_n00b

    sadly, # of ignorant people spending $60 on a case > # of nerds not buying smartphones due to feature removals

    • Mech_Engr_09

      The lack of wireless charging built in is definitely not a deal breaker for me on any phone.

      • Justin Kos

        but the entire point the article is a deal breaker

        • Josh Rahn

          Yes, you as a consumer should be pissed. Even if you could care less about wireless charging.

          • Justin Kos

            If something sucks we can choose not to use that service and give our money to a different company. It seems like telecom companies lock you down to the point where that power is stripped from you. It creates a monopoly like situation where they are just going to do what they want and your going to keep paying the bill no matter what.

  • Cael

    Time to petition the government

    • Disqus_n00b

      To do what, force someone else to provide the perfect phone with perfect service?

      I already solved this problem – I left my carrier (VZW) and bought a phone without any features locked (N5). No expensive regulators needed.

      • Cael

        Guess you don’t care that it worked with phone unlocking. Oh well

        • Disqus_n00b

          By “worked” do you mean spending your tax $$ writing more and more rules that do not affect most users? And don’t think there aren’t deals promised, campaign kickbacks, etc…the people who write the rules are former industry folk coming from the big carriers. I’d rather let the consumers decide.

        • Pedro

          Doesn’t affect me in the least. I’ll never buy another phone that’s carrier locked.

  • Anthony Tyson

    The fact that they sell out so quickly is exactly why carriers keep doing it. They keep you waiting and checking. The more you’re checking the site or visiting the stores the higher the Chance is that you might grab something else while you’re there as well.

  • Drummer62

    Why is it that LG don’t have these for sale on their web site? Maybe if they did and we all elected to buy from them instead of Verizon than maybe Verizon will change their tune and offer the wireless enabled replacement backs in their stores?

    • LG hasn’t been great over the years at selling their own accessories. And who knows if carriers would even allow them to.

  • Defenestratus

    Lack of wireless charging is 100% of the reason I don’t get a G3. I’m not going to give up my airdock functionality in my car for a phone.

  • Stephen Poore

    I get it, but why do phone manufactures allow carriers to manipulate them? I don’t understand why carriers band together and just say “NO MORE BULLYING FROM CARRIERS.”

    • chris125

      Because only apple has enough pull to be able to do that. Same reason we get all kinds of bloat on every device that does not have a half eaten apple on it.

  • Mike Vasquez

    The Qi/NFC flex circuit is easy enough to peel out of the circle case and original back. Just swap them out and you will have an original battery cover with Qi/NFC features. It’s a less than ideal work around, but it works.

  • Derek Duncan

    its different with Samsung because A) backs are cheaper. B) It’s all Qi. C) Samsung.com sells them. No need for eBay and pray.

    • Rodeojones000

      But then you’re stuck with a crappy TouchWiz device.

      I kid. In this case, Samsung definitely does things right.

  • James Vincent

    I live in Britain & have seen the US Operators do this every time. I think it’s awful. Manufacturers should have the power to say no. Cos they should want the customer to have the phone the way they intended it to be. Not letting the wireless carriers get their own way by taking away something that could prove very useful to most people. Plus they are part of the problem the wireless charging standard is struggling to take off & be adopted by more people. I also hate how the US wireless carriers spoil the look of a phone with their own branding [yes Verizon, u are wreckless] Then there’s Bloatware. Someone needs to put your Network Operators/Wireless Carriers in their place. Rant over!

    • I would love it if that happened, but besides Apple and Samsung, no manufacturer would want to say no and lose sales.

  • JT3

    This is why I hope Google never drops the Nexus line. If they do, I hope at least, that they ban this kind of thing from their Silver line (or whatever ends up ultimately replacing Nexus).

  • imronburgundy

    This is why I’m glad Apple dictates terms to carriers, not vice versa…Not to say that it has wireless charging or anything, but at least the carriers can’t take the OS and muck it up with bloatware and stuff like this.

    • Rawr

      This has made me want to go over to apple, if google doesn’t care enough to give me the phone without carrier intervention why should I care about android?

      • sirmeili

        Google has little or not control over this. Go talk to LG, Samsung, HTC, etc.

        • Rawr

          Google has every bit of control.

          Here is how it works, I’ll be Larry.

          “Oh hello there LG, Samsung, HTC, etc… You will not bloat phones that use Android for our customers OR you will not use Android on your phones. That is all, have a nice day.”

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            That’s none of Google’s business how their OEM partners monetize by making deals with Carriers.

          • Rawr

            It is when people get sick of the trash on their phones and don’t use Android anymore. But keep thinking that sweetums.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            That’s not going to happen. Android keeps dominating in marketshare. It doesn’t both the average consumer enough to not buy.

          • Rawr

            Android is dominating the low end market which props up there numbers. Samsung is the only manufacturer in Apples ballpark and they wan’t to leave Android asap. Eventually the I’m a Mac and I’m a PC commercials will come back (PC to Android of course) and Apple can start showing how Google lets carriers and manufacturers rape their customers and the sheep that liked Samsung commercials enough to go S5 will flip back over to Apple because they like Apple commercials better.

            The average consumer will be told how bad it is for them soon, even El Presidente of DL is sick of the trash (maybe to a lesser extent than I am).

          • cwillen

            While the details are still fuzzy, don’t forget about Android’s plan for a “Silver” line of phone which will run pure Android and are sold at the carrier level. If/When that happens and those phones begin to outsell the OEM skinned models, Google would have more say. But until then, @Good_Ole_Pinocchio:disqus is correct. Google released Android to be open source. As long as it is, OEMs will create their own skinned versions and they won’t have any unified voice to argue with.

          • Rawr

            Pure Android won’t prevent hardware modifications, bloatware like VZApps, and dumb top right logos on the front face of the phone. Google has more say, they are a huge, wealthy company with lots of power. They would just rather make more money than use their influence to benefit the consumer.

          • cwillen

            If it was just pure Android, sure, but this is essentially the GPE devices run to the carrier with Google’s stamp of approval. There’s no indication that there will be bloatware, especially since Google would be updating these phones directly (just like a nexus). In fact, the only difference would be that these are more premium hardware. Granted it’s all speculation still, but the Silver line has potential to change the way things go with the carriers.

            As for your thoughts on how much pull Google actually has with carriers and other OEM devices right now, you’re just simply wrong. Google doesn’t make money from them licensing Android and has no power over what OEMs do with their devices, or what carriers work out with OEMs. Android is open source. The only thing the license out is Google Apps/Play Services. The only devices Google has any say in are the Nexus devices, and the GPE devices. Outside of that, they have no say at all. Which, going back to my earlier point, is why they’re coming out with the Silver line of phones. Those are the phones which Google will have a say in. And if we, as consumers, refuse to buy phones with bloatware or modified skins, then that’s how the market will shift.

          • john

            Apple and the iPhone is no bed if roses either, as ios is completely licked down you can’t customize it at all, simple as this I’ve got the international HTC one m7 unlocked in the UK , for 15 pound a month I get 300 mins,3000 texts and unlimited 4g data (where it works) but the 3g is pretty good anyway and I can use my phone in Ireland , Spain and a lot of other countries at no extra cost except the use of my inclusive minutes . My phone has no bloatware except the built in sense apps(which I love) best ui out there imho , even ios has apps the average consumer doesn’t use , stocks?? Newsstand?? And game centre ?? Are a few, you have a choice to go with a carrier or go unlocked and price isn’t an issue as you can get great phones for cheap, nexus 5, Moto g and nexus 4 and at the higher price point the Google play edition phones all great phones with little or no bloat .

          • imronburgundy

            Yeah, but we’re talking US carriers here. We all know that EMEA plans are much better for the consumer than what the US carriers offer. It’s a collusive sham between the US carriers that you can buy a phone at full price outright, but still get charged the same price as someone who pays $200 down and the phone is subsidized over 2 years.

          • Michael Quinlan

            If an OEM’s approach to monetizing their product is adversely affecting the image of Android, and the Android ecosystem, it is every bit Google’s business. Under current terms, they have no control, but they have the ability to change that in a heartbeat.

          • sirmeili

            Android is open source, they will still have access to android. At worst Google could deny them access to Google Play, but if Google did that they would be shooting themselves in the foot.

          • Daistaar

            Android is open source. Part of the agreement is it’s freely available to anyone who wants to build or fork it. That includes Samsung, Amazon (with FireOS) and even Apple if they ever wanted to put it on their devices. Google can’t tell anyone what to do with it. They can protect their own software that’s outside of the GNU like chrome and gmail through patents and licensing but outside of recommending direction, don’t have much say even though Android is their baby.

      • Pedro

        Google phones have wireless charging since the N4.

        • Rawr

          What does that have to do with the obvious carrier intervention on Android but not on iOS?

          • Pedro

            You specifically noted ‘phone’, which is hardware. All the Google phones since the N4 have wireless charging. Even the tablet released in that time has Qi charging.
            AOSP Android does not have any limitations on wireless charging.

            The carriers have zero intervention on the Android Open Source Project. They have the ability to influence what the OEMs do when modifying the software. Android is open source. Samsung, LG, etc can do what they want with the framework. But, that’s just software. It’s not hardware.

            By the way, wireless charging is a hardware decision. Not Android.

      • imronburgundy

        Yeah, I’ve done the whole rooting/custom ROM thing for a while and I guess now that I’m getting older it doesn’t really appeal to me anymore. I just want something that works, I still see people with the latest android phones/os’ that still have to shake their phones to get the accelerometers to pick up and switch the keyboard from landscape back to portrait. That’s inexcusable these days.

        • Rawr

          Sometimes I try to click an image on a thread (to maximize) and it randomly clicks another image in the thread (on my Nexus 10). Feature rich is great and exciting for android, but when features (or even something as simple as click position gathering) don’t work well it becomes frustrating. Add on top carriers and manufacturers adding more things that don’t work well (or at all) and you have yourself a big problem that will grow bigger and bigger if Google refuses to stomp out this fire.

          I hope they aren’t too focused on add revenue and automated cars to save their baby (well, the baby they bought and then made their own).

          Only thing making me hesitate (other than VZW making employees wait a while after release for any iPhone) is my investment into the ecosystem (probably 200 in apps, about the same in music and movies).

      • Travis H

        It’s not Google it’s the device manufacturer. .

    • Ryan O’Neill

      And I’m tired of the excuse that “Apple has more leverage with the carriers”. Samsung, or any Android OEM, could easily block carrier bloatware if they chose to.

      • nosedive94

        Or circumvent carriers altogether like Nexus devices. Although I suppose Nexuses aren’t sold on Verizon or ATT for that exact reason.

    • I Loathe Apple

      As much as I hate apple’s business ethics, they do get it right with their products most of the time.

      I never knock their products at all and do admit when they are good and do things right, but a lot of stuff they do, especially their ethics, is pretty bad

  • r0l

    New article title: I got got 99 problems and they are all first world.

    /s

  • AndrewScottRox

    I don’t really see anything changing here. They will continue to do stuff like this and we will continue to complain. A paradigm shift is just waiting to happen in the mobile industry but I don’t know what it’s going to take to make that change happen. Like everyone else, I’m really hoping Google will step in the game with their own network to shake things up. Until then, it’s status quo.

  • Fozzybare

    anyone know where i can get the wireless charging backplate for the verizon version?

  • Kamesen

    The bottom line is this: US carriers suck. In Europe, you land in the country, walk into a grocery store, and have data, text and calls for as little as $10 on whatever GSM phone you have. US carriers are money gouging bastards.

    • Josh Rahn

      The us is much harder to blanket in the latest coverage thought too, but yes, they are greedy.
      This takes the cake. There is already an up-charging the phone is your buying it from them, but removing features is crazy!

    • We also have carriers that cover the 3.8 million square miles that make up the USA without needing to switch SIM’s, versus Europe which is 3.9 million square miles and has 50 or so countries, most of which require you to get a SIM to make full use of the network in their country.

      • MH

        That’s not even the case anymore, depending on the carrier you might have. Post paid, of course.

        Prepay, you’re gonna be buying a new sim for each country.

        • kieran

          I’m on three UK and can use my 15 pound per month pack which includes 300 mins , 3000 texts and unlimited 4g data and can use it abroad in most European countries for no extra charge , I’m on payg or prepay .

    • Pedro

      The US customers also prefer subsidized phones. This gives the carriers more power and the almighty ETF, which gives them the advantage of much lower churn. There is no real incentive to provide what the customer wants. It would cost them $300 to walk away. And the phone won’t work elsewhere.

      • Travis H

        Every 4G LTE phone sold on Verizon for the last couple years has been factory unlocked

        • Evan Cm

          excuse me? try again?

          • Travis H

            My g2 I can pop in a different sim and go. Along with my Droid DNA and my s4

          • Travis H

            Not referring to the boot loader.

          • Evan Cm

            appreciate the clarification. Yeah, never had to try that myself, but that makes sense. I like that VZW finally adopted the SIM approach, rather than hardwiring it into the phone.

            But the problem is still the ETFs because of the subsidized phones. I’ve accepted that I’m locked to VZW for the next two years cuz of my M8.

          • Travis H

            That doesn’t force you to maintain the high price. Just change devices to a non smart phone and remove data and only pay the base amount.

          • MH

            AFAIK, they are not unlocked 100%. You have to call and have them unlock it, which requires you to be paid up on your bill and have been in good standing for a certain time period. They could have changed it, but that’s how it used to be.

          • Nope, you can put in any SIM and they work fine. I put a T-Mobile SIM in my G2 and I was up and running on T-Mobile’s 2G, 4G, and LTE network.

          • John Davids

            You put a T-Mobile SIM into a VS980 (Verizon G2) and it worked without issue?

          • Correct. I was running a custom ROM, but if you are stock I believe it works you just have to deal with the “wrong SIM” warning in the notification tray and modify the APN settings.

        • Pedro

          True, but that doesn’t help in the general case.
          2 year contracts are the norm, and moving a phone from one carrier to another isn’t as simple as swapping a sim card.

    • Tyrone_83

      You think US is bad? Try looking at the plans in Canada the big three up here are the real crooks.

  • John

    Our savior will be google fiber, whenever that happens we can give these carriers the finger. Until then, we have to put it back into our pockets.

  • CutTheCord

    If the LG G2 had wireless charging on Verizon, why not put it on the G3. In addition, I don’t think all of the LG circle cases have wireless built it – I bought one from Verizon and it did not include wireless.

    • MikeD675

      There are two versions of the quick circle case. The one that just snaps on the back does not have wireless charging. The one that replaces the back cover does have wireless charging (and costs more).

    • chris125

      LG probably wouldn’t let verizon get exclusivity this time around which I think is smart on LG’s part. It is a shame these carriers take away features and then make it darn near impossible to find something to make it work (like stated in the article with the wireless charging cases)

  • Brian

    LG should just release an OEM backplate for purchase individually. I’m sure they’re carrier agreements prevent it, and it might make them out to be the bad guys (which they kind of are, since they agreed to remove the feature in the first place), but it would be nice for those of us that want the feature. The lack of Qi charging is the only the preventing me from upgrading my G2 to a G3.

  • Am I missing something? This is my G3 on Verizon..

    • MikeD675

      The wireless charging back has 4 contacts. I believe the two contacts on the standard back are for NFC.

    • Tom M

      If it has wireless charging, there’s 4 Gold pins instead of 2. The top 2 are NFC, the bottom two would be wireless charging (see photo on article)

    • Ihavenewnike

      I have never gotten why wireless charging is a necessity. Sure I have it, but never use it. Sits away in a drawer somewhere. I like the wire because it supplies more ampage. Just my opinion.

      • Same. I had a Verizon G2 and wireless charger, and while I used it at work I prefer to just use a cable. The phone gets very hot while using the wireless charger, it charges slower, and if you want to quickly look at it the phone has to stop charging, versus a cable which you can pick up and use while it’s charging.

      • CHRIS42060

        I use wireless charging in my office. A rarely pick up my phone while I am working, and if I do it is easier to pick it up off of the charging station.

      • Pedro

        I toss my Nexus on a Qi charger at night. It’s at 100% when I go to work. Extra current isn’t an issue.
        I’ve also got a wireless charger at work I can drop it on, if needed. If I see it at 40% or less, I’ll drop it on there when I’m at my desk for 15 minutes. 10-20% charge boost. Bam!

        And, I never, ever use the USB port (once the phone is unlocked). It’s a zero point of failure.

      • kyle

        I cant imagine ever owning a phone without it.. its been the single best feature I’ve gotten in a new in a phone in a long time. I have the nexus 5 on a tylt charger on my bed side and I love never having to fumble for the cord or make sure its turned the right direction.. its just awesome.. every morning I wake up and its fully charged.. what’s not to love? I have corded chargers all over my house as well in case I need a top up and a usb cable plugged into my work computer. Seriously you should try this out. its amazing

      • Gasaraki

        I use it. My car dock has Qi wireless charging so i don;t need to plug in anything. Actually I won’t get a phone without wireless charging anymore because of my dock.

        • Ihavenewnike

          I see it in that situation. If my car or dock had that then it would be important.

    • I have a Verizon G3 and the same Qi charger I used on my G2 next to me, the G3 does not work with it out of the box.

    • yankeesusa

      Yea, your missing the wireless charger connections which are 4 pins. The 2 you have on there are for NFC.

  • Ben Murphy

    #thestruggle

    • DJyoSNOW

      #CORPORATEamereica

      • batman

        #ENTITLEDamerica

      • derp hurr-durr

        #corporATEamerica

        …just somehow seems more fitting.

  • sturmen

    So does the unlocked D855 work 100% with AT&T’s LTE? I was hesitant because the frequency bands didn’t match up.

    • bubba

      no the D855 do NOT work with AT&T’s LTE

  • Bryan Mills

    The Circle case is nice. I’d love to give my money to LG, over Verizon.