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back to article Motorola slices out Razr smartphone bootloader lock

Motorola is to offer Europeans a version of its new Razr smartphone with an unlocked bootloader. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread-running Razr Developer Edition will be made available directly from Motorola through its online shop for €499 (£418) and buyers are warned that the handset will come "without any warranty". Motorola RAZR …

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Anonymous Coward

"without any warranty".

Like fitness for purpose.

Don't think that they can pull that one if the purchaser is a UK consumer.

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Bronze badge

No warranty? Legal?

I'm genuinely asking, is it legal to sell an item in the UK without any warranty? I know there's a big risk of people breaking things with badly flashed ROMs and dodgy code but surely they have to honour some sort of repairs under warranty. It's not exactly likely that any sort of code could feasibly break a screen or microphone.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps

They can sell the product, but refusing to honour any warranty would be the illegal part.

EU or UK law specifies a minimum warranty that must be supplied doesn't it?

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I don't know if it's legal the UK. In Spain it is not.

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Anonymous Coward

@No warranty? Legal?

Not in the EU, the 2 year warranty is mandatory and can't be revoked, (see the recent problems Apple had in the EU with this kind of thing). As for software warranty? well, that might be a different matter, only a court case will tell.

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Z80

http://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2010/12/13/the-eu-goods-must-last-a-minimum-two-years-rule-is-a-myth/

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FIA

As I understand it (not a lawyer), the critical phrase is:

Your statutory rights are not affected. :)

I think these say a product must be sold fit for purpose and free from manufacturing defects. I understand that this is upto 6 years. Obviously the longer you've owned the product the less you'd get back, and it's also what's reasonable too. Spend a tenner on a noname DVD player and you'll be lucky to get much joy after a year, but spend a few K on a high end plasma and you'll probably have a good case several years later on.

The rule of thumb as I remember it (in the UK) is in the first 6 months they have to prove you broke it, after that you've generally got another 6 months before you'll have to argue.

General:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Consumerrights/Yourconsumerrightswhenbuyinggoodsandservices/DG_182935

Distance selling:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Consumerrights/Situationsthatcanchangeyourconsumerrights/DG_183048

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WTF?

Hmmm

I think this is a bit rubbish of Moto, considering that they previously promised to release a bootloader unlocker for *all* of their recent smartphones (with the caveat that unlocking would possibly invalidate your warranty). Now they want people to buy whole new handsets to do this? Er... no I think we'll all pass, thanks.

All this has done is made me certain I'll never buy a Motorola handset.

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FAIL

I think Moto need to check consumer law. Afaik its not possible to revoke certain consumer rights. Manufacturer Warantee's generally exist in addition to your basic consumer rights.

Come on Moto - dozens of other handsets come without locked boot loaders - less weasel words and legalese and more support of your customers.

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No software warranty I can understand, but no hardware warranty will be a hard sell to the OFT

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Does Consumer Law apply to business purchase?

It is billed as a handset for 'developers', i.e businesses. I don't know, is this Moto's thinking?

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Is this one of the first Intel Android mobiles? Would explain the decision to make it available for developers in this way.

As for Consumer Laws - in the UK the core of these apply equally both to B2B sales as well as Consumer purchase.

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Headmaster

I wonder why they don't do it like the Xoom?

The bootloader is unlockable by a simple published procedure, but by doing it, you're agreeing you no longer have a warranty and if it breaks you get to keep both pieces. That seems a simple way to keep it legal.

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FAIL

Don't forget kids...

...Motorola Mobility...the makers of Motorola cell phones...was just bought by Google.

"Do no evil" Google is at it again.

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Thumb Down

Dumb..

The deal has not been finalised and even if it was this is a phone that has likely been in the pipes for quite a while. Google, whether good, evil, a business (I know right?!) will have had no say whatsoever in how this product is sold. If this article was written a year from now I might be in some agreement but as it stands I don't see how you can judge Google on something that a company they're hoping to acquire is acting.

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Unhappy

My thoughts on android bootloaders FWIW

Would you buy a laptop that wouldn't let you install the OS of your choice? or whose warranty was voided because you installed ubuntu? No and neither would I.

Phones only have a reputation for being fragile easily killed devices because their boot-loaders are actively trying to keep you out, they have been designed to be that way. There is no reason at all that they couldn't behave more like the BIOS of a PC, by all means encrypt/sign the radio stack with the strongest crypto on earth, that's a good thing as messing with the radio could cause havoc on the network, but leave the application processor open and allow unsigned code and recovery from a bad flash.

That way the networks can be happy the radio isn't doing anything bad, and the customer can be happy flashing any old crap software to his phone safe in the knowledge that if it all goes tits up you can just hold the magic key combo whilst turning on the phone to enter the boot-loader and put some other OS on it to fix it. That would be great wouldn't it? No more having to lie to customer services to say it just died if you botched a hack, tech support could just point you to the instructions to put the official firmware back on the phone and tell you to call back if you still have a problem when running that.

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I own an Advent Vega tablet and it has got quite a reputation as being, for all intents and purposes, unbrickable. If you flash something bad to it and it doesn't boot you do a button combination that puts it in "nvflash" mode and then run a program on your computer that then installs the old / original ROM. I've long wondered why there isn't anything similar available for all other Android based phones considering that this tablet cost less than most high end phones released in the past two years.

With regards to limitations on things you can tweak I don't know where you could draw a line because some people will always want access to the things they can't get into. A good example besides your radio argument is the sound. I own an HTC Desire HD and when I got it new the volume level was very low even at maximum. Some resourceful people fixed it with a volume mod but it also lead to blown speakers (including mine) after a while, mine lasted around a year. I'd blame HTC more fot that though as the default was what I'd get with about 50% volume on my other phones :/

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Sale of Goods Act 1979

As a consumer in the UK, the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) are implied into every contract of sale and they cannot be waived or varied - even by mutual agreement. Hence, they are often referred to as "statutory rights".

It is important to remember the English Law doctrine of 'privity of contract' - only a party to a contract can bring a claim against the other. This means, if you decide to make a claim under the Sale of Goods Act, then you must claim against the vendor who sold the goods to you viz. the shop you bought them from. It is then up to that vendor to decide whether it wants to make a separate claim against the party it bought the goods from ie. the wholesaler.

Making a claim under a manufacturer's warranty is an entirely different legal action to that of claiming under the Sale of Goods Act and claiming under either does not preclude you from claiming under the other.

Many people in the UK, to their detriment, do not understand that a vendor's claim that the goods are "out of warranty" may not have any impact on your ability to claim against them. "may not" because you will need to read and understand the Sale of Goods Act (it's quite simple to follow, btw) to see where its limitations lie. For sure, being "out of warranty" precludes you from claiming against the manufacturer, but it doesn't have anything to do with a potential claim (under the Sale of Goods Act) against the vendor.

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Razr Maxx UK?

Sorry to hijack the warranty debate but does anyone know if the Razr Maxx will be available in the UK at any point?

Ta muchly

x-oterix

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FAIL

£400 developer phone without a warranty? I think I'd prefer an upgrade to my PC and a download of Android Developer tools.

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