Vodafone has bowed to customer fury and agreed to strip marketing guff and compulsory applications from its HTC Desire phones when it next upgrades the handsets' Android operating system. In the next ten days Vodafone UK will make an update available to Desire users which will upgrade their handsets to the next version of the …
Big Company In Customer Satisfaction Action Shocker!!
Apple decides not to notice......
Huh? I don't see any iPhone owners complaining that their phone is stuffed full of operator branding and other operator cr'apps' they can't get rid of...
Oh yeah, that's right - Apple likes the customer to get the same phone experience no matter what operator they choose.
Well, I guess that's what Android users boast about being "open" - open to crap...
Plus, customer satisfaction with the iPhone is higher than any other smartphone:
What Apple users want: Shiney and smug
What Apple users get: Shiney and smug
What Android users want: A damn powerful computer platform that can do everything their desktop can
What Android users get: Almost all of it
Customer satisfaction is an indication of expectations vs actuality. Since Apple users generally don't want to stretch their units, they are happy.
Didn't take long for the fanbois to come out of the woodwork
Just for future reference, this article was about an operator cramming crud onto a phone's firmware. It has nothing to do with the manufacturer of said phone, or the designers of its operating system. The fact that the HTC desire has Android on it, rather than the iPhone OS is neither here nor there. The two are fundamentally different approaches, one being open, the other closed. As such, they both have their own benefits and pitfalls. Choose which ones you want, and shut up about it.
I think you've missed LuMan's point somewhat.
To strip the comparative shenanegans of the actual detail so that it's simple for you to compare and contrast:
* Some of Vodafone's customers complained vocally about a problem caused by Vodafone's update, and in a relatively short space of time Vodafone have said "Okay, hands up, we'll put it right".
* Some of Apple's iPhone customers complained vocally about a problem caused by Apple's new design, and Apple only eventually offered a free bumper after initially trying to claim there was no problem.
I'll admit to it...
My iPhone a piece of crap, I can't wait will December when I renew my contract and get to burn it in fits of manic laughter.
The only upside is its now running Froyo, take that Steve Jobs...
A funny thing was pointed out to me earlier today; you rarely see iPhone owners berating owners of Blackberries or Androids for their choice of device/OS. Seems to me the smug ones are those that require sledgehammers to crack peanuts, or state that their smartphone is as powerful a computing platform as their desktop. You doth protest too much, methinks and satisfied customers are still satisfied, irrespective of whether or net they 'stretch' their devices or not (what does that nonsense even mean?), even with such low expectations (is there a symbol for sarcasm?).
I hope they've learned their lesson
I'm neither a Voda customer nor a Desire owner, but if I spend £400 on a phone it is *my phone* and you do not have the right to put your rubbish on it.
Chances are these guys paid nada for the phone and got it subsidised by Voda. (Yes I realise you pay for it in the long run etc)
Not that I think they should be allowed to do this - the way I see it is if they subsidise my phone, I actually don't mind them installing some trials and whatever else on my phone - its hindering the ability for me to try, realise I don't like, and remove that is the big no-no for me.
....many Desire owners asked about the branding aspect before purchase and were told it would be effectively unbranded (one optional home screen "scene" and nothing else) and would stay that way.
Statements of that nature do become part of the contract, so Vodafone were not within their rights to change the function of the phone. The 360 apps background service is almost certainly the reason for the slow down in the Desire's speed and in addition there are many bugs in the other applications on the phone.
Not a good update all round!
They may not have paid up front for the phone
But they tied themselves into contracts as the cost for the phone.
Maybe they have had a few trying to use this problem as a deal breaker to finish their contracts early.
Good to see a simple "surrender of die" can still work on a company the size of Voda.
Let's just hope...
...that Orange take note.
Obviously I'm not expecting much...
It's not like this sort of thing if new from Vodafone
They've been crippling phones for years. I've had a series of phones from them which have had things like icons changes to ugly VF ones, and hard-coded button functions that take you to their mobile web site if you accidentally put your phone in your pocket unlocked.
The thing is, my contract is up for renewal with them soon. I want the HTC Desire, and this sort of thing from them may well have been enough for me to get it from another carrier, possibly even at a higher cost, or with worse coverage. I'm glad to see that they have succumbed to common sense, for a while at least. Now all they need to do is sort their web-site out, which functions like something put together by a class of college students as a summer project.
now give me my 2. upgrade on my magic!!!
HTC Legend unbranded too?
I wonder what happens now to the HTC Legend Update that was almost as bad, contained the same bugs, but wasn't complained about as much on their forums...
...it seems that there are far fewer Legend owners than Desire, but they also don't have the knowledge that Vodafone originally stated that the Desire would not have the 360 applications and branding. At 3GSM a joint statement came from HTC and Vodafone, saying that the Legend would have the 360 branding as a "differentiated experience".
Now, the fact that the update is buggy and that there are significant problems with the antenna attachment mechanism and hence poor signal is something that should be fixed. Needs pressure from those with Legends I suppose.
Vodafone's position on the Legend
Is their usual one - utter silence. When pushed, I got this:
"The announcement about HTC Desire doesn't affect HTC Legend in any way. We'll leave the thread open for you to discuss if you like, but there won't be any further updates from the team."
Which I'm reading as - "no, you can't have a nice clean firmware."
My dealing with Vodafone in the past have led to me to be rather pessimistic about the chances of getting decent customer service from them, especially regarding firmware not full of crapware and bugs.
I gave up waiting
Not on Voda - but Orange... however after reading how Voda are shafting customers, yet O2 and Three customers are getting near-vanilla installs of HTC's FroYo build I thought sod it.
Slapped on a rooted 2.1 image using a dummies guide and then got a standard HTC FroYo build with a few small extras (A2SD+, Titanium Backup etc.) and Root access.
Job done, quicker than Orange and best of all no Orange icons on apps, no stupid bookmarks and no pointless "apps" that are default overriding the HTC ones.
Faster and much better. I suggest everyone gives it a go.
I got no problems.... yet!
I've got a HTC Legend from Voda, it's got no external Voda branding and the only trace of branding in the interface can be found hidden under the SIM Toolkit, which itself is easy to miss. I might be wrong but I'm presuming that when I click on the 'Check Now' button under System software updates that it contacts HTC and not Voda, can anybody confirm this?
If I'm right then I am hopeful of a Voda free 2.2 update direct from HTC sometime soon.
ps. Does anybody else suffer from crappy wireless on the Legend? I get a great bandwidth but continual dropping of the connection :( Apart from that and having to charge the phone every 5 minutes I'm lovin it :)
my wireless is fine
I'm also not aware of any antenna issues that a lot of people talk about.
Your phone, unless it's on a stock HTC firmware which it won't be unless you installed that yourself - gets it's updates from Vodafone.
Are you sure you don't have red icons for "Music Store," "Places" and "Web" in your menu?
That's 360 right there. The branding on the Legend is remarkably light, as it goes. I have a VF branded startup screen, 360, and that's pretty much it.
2.2 for Legend hasn't been released by HTC yet, rumours are that it's coming some time this quarter. On past form, VF users will then have to wait an additional month or so (at least) while Vodafone "test" and "improve" it before pushing it out to us.
o2 better not do that when i get my upgrade to 2.1 next month (or hopefully 2.2)
Next month ? They said Q4 and that is for unbranded phones..
It's a puppet
I was told September, iv got an X10 not a Desire
So i get 2.1 next month but havent heard about 2.2 yet
X10 upgrade will be 2.1 not 2.2
I saw it running on an X10 on Tuesday. It's 2.1.
Someone notify Dell.
@neoDaz re the update now
When you choose the update now option it must go thru VF cos I was caught by the crappy branding exercise that upset a large amount of people.
Its nice to see that VF have listened and are releasing a vanilla version of 2.2
You can check by clicking on check now, if you get something returned DONT INSTALL IT.
Its the crap update
ENOUGH of this Apple vs Android crap already.
It really, really doesn't matter.
On a more personal matter it would be lovely if SE pulled their fingers out of their respective backsides to put Froyo on the X10. I'm not clever enough to crack the bootloader, y'see.
Re: ENOUGH of this..
Couldn't agree more. :)
As to Froyo on the X10, there's some fierce lobbying going on at the SE blog's comment section for this. Hopefully, Sony will listen and get things moving. Failing that there's http://www.petitiononline.com/froyo/petition.html
Here's an idea
Buy your phone, then buy a sim only contract (or even pay+go / monthly).
It's nearly always cheaper in the long run and you get to do whatever you like with it.
The snag is that....
...actually it isn't cheaper in the long run. Over a 2 year contract, it's about 180 GBP cheaper to go with a contract that includes the phone.
That's why I checked what Vodafone were saying about branding, they were very clear that they would not be branding the Desire, until someone clueless in marketing decided to try and rope people into their 360 product which is there purely to try and tie people to their own services and thus discourage churn.
Am I the only person who thought Frozen Yogurt was involved?
//Yes, I do live in California....
As do Google....
....which is presumably where their code-name came from.
Next version (3.0) is code-named Gingerbread, the previous (2.0/2.1) was Eclair.
Mmmmm! Comestibles.....<slurp> :)
£380 SIM-free + £10/month PAYG * 24 months = £620
Free Voda + £30/month*24 months = £720
Nah, I think I'll stick with my unbranded phone.
so how meny minutes and how much data do you get for that £10 ?
...does you 10 quid a month PAYG give you? Fine if it suits your needs, but generally you need to spend at least another tenner a month to get the minutes, texts and data allowance that a heavier user needs.
Which is why you do a deal with the Voda retentions team...
...and get it for £20 a month for 24 months (= £480), or £22 for 18 (=£396).
Ah, but when you're not being retained....
....it's a bit hard to get them to drop the price.
Went for Vodafone because no one else was (or is) offering a femtocell base station to guarantee coverage in the house.
you can get it for £360 over 18 months with 100 mins and unlimeted texts if you use one of the mobile phone comparison sites!
maybe even better if you're willing to do one of those cashback deals
Retentions Team: Exactly so...
I always talk to the retentions team first, because it's in their interest to secure the deal over those offered by Internet resellers and their own robotised 'click here to renew contract' systems, otherwise they'd be out of a job. They'll usually undercut by a fiver and add something to the texts or free minutes without any pressure or needing to get hissy about PACs (IMO they rarely boost the data allowance, but YMMV).
So, it depends on what you want/need out of a contract as to the price breakpoint. My contract has 1200 minutes, with 120 more to US Canada, 3GB data and unlimited texts in each month. Pretty top end, but only £1 more than the Voda contract figure quoted in Mike's post. How much would that cost on the PAYG SIM, or by buying cheap and then either using Bolt On packages or paying the 'per use' additional cost??? I don't use it all, but have spent more each month in the past on cheaper contracts that didn't suit my needs. This one saves me about a tenner a month in comparison.
Yet it's going to take O2 an additional month to check that their splash screen loads ok before they'll let us Desire owners get 2.2....sigh.
But I'm mighty confused. Why is the carrier controlling the OS? I can't see how they think this stance adds value, let alone being slow to roll updates then rolling branded ones.
Then theres a confusion with hand sets
The Galaxy S will eventually be on Verizon called the ‘Fascinate’, but it won’t have the front-facing camera. Similarly, AT&T will get the phone, called the ‘Captivate’, but without the front-facing camera and the LED flash.
Nice to see a carrier doing the right thing, but if they could have got away with doing what they want, they would have. This really puts me off Android
Why is the carrier controlling the OS?
If the carrier can modify the OS, it certainly adds value to the phone for them.
For example an Orange UK branded Desire comes with Oranges own version of the HTC browser as standard, that uses Oranges homepage that it can only connect to using Oranges mobile internet and won't work over your own wifi. At least that can be reconfigured, although I assume they hope customers can't work it out. It also includes Oranges own maps app, which costs an extra £5 per month to subscribe to and relies on the customers using it by default instead of the customer knowing about Googles free maps app that isn't installed on the phone.
The operators also get nice backhanders from app and game developers to include demos coded into the OS, using up spare phone memory and you can't get rid of them without rooting the phone.
Plenty of ways for them to screw more money out of the customer.
After the good publicity Vodafone is getting out of unbranding their Froyo update, hopefully Orange might follow suit although I don't expect them to.
nope, no VF branding
@johnnytruant & @Mike Roantree 1
Definately haven't got any VF branding on my Legend, no 360 or red icons hanging around. Got my phone from VF online and it was HTC branded all the way. The only update I've had since opening the box is 1.31.405.5 with the kernal version at 2.6.29-e3993620 htc-kernal@and18-2 #1 (whatever that all means). I'm keen to avoid and VF branding from the 2.2 update and hope that the magic button is talking to HTC and not VF.
froyo starting to smell
On the final day of their timetable for fighting this of boo boo no update is forthcoming and the Vodafone forum is down for scheduled maintenance ( dog ate my homework ) poor show
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