Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

Summary: It's the carriers that want you to have the bloatware.

TOPICS: Mobility, Banking

According to Motorola Mobility's CEO Sanjay Jha, the reason you can't find Android handsets running stock (that is, unaltered) Android firmware is that the carriers don't want them.

Speaking to The Verge, Jha said that "Verizon and AT&T don't want seven stock ICS devices on their shelves," because there needs to be differentiation in the market in order to turn a profit. He went on to say that the majority of the changes Motorola makes to the OS are at the behest of the carriers.

So, it's the carriers that want you to have the bloatware that brings with it security flaws and vulnerabilities.

The carriers' insistence on having a 'customized' Android install doesn't explain why Motorola is dragging its heels on shipping devices with unlocked bootloaders (or maybe it does ... maybe Motorola wants to please the carriers and stop the end users from fiddling with the handset.).

Over on Daring Fireball, John Gruber compares how the three major smartphone players approach selling handsets:

Android handset makers: Here are our phones. How would you like us to change them so that you will sell them?

Microsoft: Here’s $200 million. Please sell our phones.

Apple: Here is our new phone. It comes in black or white. We will let you sell it.

The issue here is that the carriers (and in many ways the handset makers) are all competing against each other for sales, and the only ways to stand out are price and features. While an iPhone sale is money in the bank for Apple, the only surefire winners when it comes to Android handset sales are Google and Microsoft. Everyone else has to work hard for a piece of the pie.

Android's openness seems to be more for the benefit of the carriers rather than the end user.


Topics: Mobility, Banking

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  • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

    People will still buy Android phones if they were stock. The problem is then they would buy the best phone available instead of the one that the carrier is pushing this month
    • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

      @n4nqy@... Being able to differentiate means you can charge more. Of course people will buy them regardless but if the carriers are not making making much money then they will not sell them and sell Windows Phones and iPhone and Blackberry's instead. The carriers do not have any particular love of Android other than that they can make more money of it. It is only consumer demand that even makes them stock the iPhone (that and the fact that it is stable so support costs go down).
    • Knowledge is power

      I'm impressed. On your planet, ordinary consumers are so aware of the features, functions, benefits, and quality level of each phone in the market that they could -- if given the chance -- pick the best phone available.

      Our people can't do that. They have no clue what parts are in the phones, where they were made, which rev of the OS is on them. Most of them don't even think to ask whether the OS that's on there now will ever be updated.

      If our world could be like your world, where everyone is above average, it would be a better place.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

        @Robert Hahn I totally agree and go further in that on my planet most people can't even tell you what the OS is or why they needed that one... Totally laughable.. We are pinheads here, splitting hair.
        Woned B. Fooldagan
    • People would by what ever is the cheapest phone of the week

      @n4nqy@... ... it doesn't matter if it is a piece of crap or a top model.
      • So that's the reason!

        @wackoae I've often wondered about iPhones sales success ;)
    • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

      I agree. My wife bought a Motorola phone with that Motoblur garbage and, besides being irritating, it's about half the speed of my stock Android OS on lesser hardware.

      It's as if someone from Dell or IBM said: "Customers don't want a stock Windows OS, they want all of the junk trial software that we will install just so that they have to uninstall it to regain some performance."
  • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

    I need to learn how to root.
    • We don't wanna hear ...

      @Droid.Incredible ... about your sex life hangups. Hire a call girl ... get a room.
      • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

        @thx-1138_@... Oh come on! That was flagged? It's HUMOR.
      • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

        @thx-1138_@... +100.
  • You lost credibility by quoting John Gruber

    Apple fanboi extraordinaire.
    • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones


      Reading you lecturing someone else about credibility is very funny.
    • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones


      Maybe. But Gruber's statement is true. There is neither carrier branding nor carrier apps on the iPhone.
      • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

        @dhmccoy No, just Apple apps you cannot Remove! I don't read books or magazines on my phone and don't need them on my phone!

        Also, I don't want Apple's useless mapping software! Let me set Mapquest as the default instead of the worthless garbage jobs bragged about!
      • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

        @Peter Perry
        But last time when I checked I could remove iBooks? If you are talking about Newsstand, please be specific.
        Ram U
      • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

        Trade one overlord for another. Whats the difference?
    • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

      But is anything in the quote inaccurate? Gruber is most certainly biased, but this summation of his seems pretty accurate.
    • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

      @toddybottom LOL, he was telling the truth. Apple FORCES carriers to leave the iPhone stock, no matter what the contracted price tag is. I think it's about time that Google, Moto, HTC, Samsung, and LG start doing the same thing.

      Let the people that buy the phones decide what goes on their phone.
  • RE: Motorola: Carriers 'don't want' stock Android phones

    Wrong. Jha is telling only half of it and you felt for it. If it is case with mega carriers like AT&T, Verizon, O2, Vodafone, Telus etc. I agree. What about carriers like T-Mo or secondary market carriers like cricket and others. There also I see bloatware. Carrier option is generalized. I still OEMs also get their pie from pre-loaded apps because of the nature of shrunken Android smartphone profits. I can understand a small OEM/ODM who make phones listening to carriers, but companies like Samsung, HTC, Motorola just could show middle finger or negotiate better with carriers. Jha is telling half of the story and you are marketing it.
    Ram U