Sep 25 AT 12:34 AM Taylor Wimberly 29 Comments

New poll: Will Verizon cripple Android?

I have never been a Verizon customer, but I have considered switching so I could get the new Motorola Sholes. In every article I have posted about Verizon, someone leaves a comment saying that Verizon is going to screw up Android. I don’t want to believe that Verizon will place limits on the Android platform, but they have a long history of crippling other devices.

We have been reporting for several months that Google is working with Motorola and Verizon to launch the first Android 2.0 phone. I’ve also been told that the Sholes device will be a full Google experience phone and feature all the Google Android apps. Given the importance of this major launch, I seriously have a hard time seeing Verizon cripple Android, but I guess anything is possible.

If you have ever been a Verizon customer and would like to weigh in on the issue, we welcome your feedback. Please leave a comment and we will highlight the best responses when poll closes and we post the detailed results.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Crypto

    They cannot cripple it if it is a Google Experience Phone.

  • freon500

    Verizon has no heart. They’re modeled after microsoft. They like to break down their services into hundreds of small bits and sell each one to you for as much as they can get each with a two year contract.
    Google is more generous in their business plan. The two business models are in conflict and I guess we will be the losers like with the Verizon Black Berry deal.

  • Joe

    If they cripple the GPS i just won’t buy it.

  • http://omglole.com mrjack92

    I hate Verizon Phones (The envy especially)

    So YES

  • http://www.imsethstevenson.com Seth Stevenson

    If they don’t cripple the phone itself they will cripple your wallet with the plan rates they have.

  • JayMonster

    Fortunately, Microsoft has lately shown less desire to really cripple phones (see TouchPro 2), and I can’t help but wonder if they realized how badly they have screwed up some phones, and their sales (like the initial Touch Pro).

    This bodes well for Android… mostly, but I am sure that even if it isn’t crippled in the usual sense, it will be weighted down with “Excusive Services” like VZNavigator (directions), and other such garbage in order to try and pull every dime they can out of the customer.

  • http://www.goldfishview.com David Shellabarger

    Verizon is slowly becoming more open. In 2008 (was it?) they said “any device, any app”. They have backed off of that position a little bit for consumer devices, but I still I think they are starting to open up and won’t mess around too much with Android. They might have their own market though.

  • tke789

    As long as VZW gets their cut from apps purchased on the Verizon Market I am sure they could care less what apps are installed on Android phones. Android phones are too easy to hack for them to waste their time locking them up. It is all about the bottom line if they can make more money on apps they did not have to invest in to develop they will be fine with leaving the phone wide open.

    Two years ago VZW did not have any phones with wifi, now almost all their smart phones has it. It went from “who needs it with our network” to “sure we have it (just like the iPhone)”.

  • Quickster357

    To be honest. I clicked yes to them crippling Android. I believe it will NOT happen with the Sholes since it’s a Google Experience and Android 2.0 AND a flagship phone from Moto. Alas, I do think the non Google Experience phones will suffer at the hands of VZW though.

  • godsfilth

    they cant cripple it anymore than google will with their more or less ban on custom firmware’s for android phones

  • http://plankhead.com Zacqary Adam Green

    This is one of the reasons I was happy to leave Verizon for T-Mobile. Fortunately, the Sholes will be the last phone they ever cripple due to the backlash it will cause.

  • garth

    here is my take. Verizon needs this phone bad. it will be a game changer for them. If they do cripple it the backlash will be swift and sever. i have been a Bell nynex mobile customer since 1995. From a business stand point they drain the customer of every last penny for stuff that others gave away way to make the profit.The Network is the best that is out their. Their has been several missteps over the last 4 years. Nokia telling them to stuff it. the over zelious testing of new handsets.the Vcast bull and telling you how to use the phone that you own do not forget the pricing plan for all the BlackBerry phones. and the most glaring was the IPhone disaster. (the best network and the coolest phone). Verizon needs to understand that today the customer is using the handset for everything but making phone calls. If i am paying for it let me use it my way. so Verizon can you hear this … CRIPPLE THIS PHONE AND WATCH THE MASSIVE LEAVE FOR THE G1 OR THE IPHONE. IT WILL HAPPEN WE ARE TIRED OF WAITING AND BEINGING THE LAST TO GET ANY GOOD.

  • Jimmy Hamamoto

    If Verizon is advertizing that the the Sholes is a true Google Experience phone, then no, Verizon will not cripple it. Verizon may however toy with it … just to make it a true Verizon phone.

  • Kenneth Johansen

    I think android has trully made a big dent in the way we are moving foward. It has changed the way business is going to be conducted. Anybody that doesn’t get in on it is going to lose out. Verizon is missing out and wants in just like every programer making money on producing apps. Everybody wants in.

  • http://www.g-stash.us Eric

    I am choose no. Just the hope factor. I severely hope that for the customer benefit and their own benefit that they do not cripple this phone. With the stats that have been so raved about they really should see this phone as an opportunity to steal back some customers they disappointed with other phone releases. I see this as a last ditch effort for Verizon. If they can keep themselves from hurting the phone they may very well see a large amount of people lining up to get their hands on this phone.

    I myself am so ready to be rid of my BB 8330 Curve. I am waiting sort of impatiently on this phone. Will will see the pre release reviews and videos of the phone and see what the damage is. If its like i hope and untouched I will be in line to fork out the full retail price for the phone seeing how i don’t qualify for an upgrade.

    Verizon ! Please please release this phone as is. I really don’t want to end my contract and have to switch carriers.

  • Brad

    I totally expect Verizon will cripple Android as much as possible. Their bid to rip out BB and Android app stores and create their own app store on their own least-common-denominator application platform is yet another indication that they just don’t get it yet.

    Their customers want something and have asked for it or, like me, left to other carriers and they just don’t care.

    I hope I’m wrong as their network is great and I’d otherwise love to use them again; however, their fear of becoming a ‘dumb pipe’ keeps leading them down a path of alienating their customers and hindering innovation.

  • alun

    No need! Google supply it ready crippled, or haven’t you heard

  • carig

    “I’ve also been told that the Sholes device will be a full Google experience phone and feature all the Google Android apps”

    Meaning it wont have MOTOBLUR? or can blur and google experience coexist on one phone?

    And if it wont, how are they going to compensate for the lack of send and end keys that is apparent from the renders?

    • http://www.g-stash.us Eric

      I really hope that the device comes with MOTOBLUR. And i really dont seen why it couldn’t coexist with ‘Google Experience’.

      But either way it wont be a deciding factor. If it doesn’t come with the Blur i will still be just as happy to have a android device. That is unless the cripple does happen.

      No matter what, ever sense i have been turned on to Android and have begun reading reviews and watching all the videos i am really excited to be able to get Android onto Verizon. But if i have to switch carriers to actually have a true ‘Google Experience’ device i most definitely will. But the Sholes is just so very very well built it seems. I cant wait to get myself one.

      • carig

        agreed, i dunno what the rules are because i thought i read that “google experience” means it’s a “with google” phone and it can’t have extra things like microsoft exchange support, and i think that would mean in can’t have mororola’s extra programs either, but maybe the rules have changed or something

  • Izzyd

    Fact folks it will not be locked/crippled by VZW or Moto. Being it is a Google Experience device it can not be locked up as you may be thinking like older VZW devices have been in the past. Also seeing as it is a Google Exp they can not block content on it either so any app,game, or download is a go on it, unlike Apple standing over every app they put up for sale.
    Also VZW really doesn’t lock/crippled there smartphones to begin with like being mentioned above. On there regular cell phones YES I will agree they do but not near as much as a few years backs. Even at that where there is a will there is a way. I have an actual Telus v9m fully active and working on VZW now so I have Java in place of there Brew garbage, bye bye vcast & GIN, hello free stuff. I’ve also had Allte,USCC, Bell Mobility..etc fully unlocked devices on there network with no trouble also. Currently I’m using a WinMob smartphone on there network that was never even sold that is fully unlocked and has standalone GPS, and Wifi built in even. However I’m more then willing to spend the time to do it versus most people who are lazy and just want it given to them. Anywhoo I’ve been a VZW customer for 10+yrs and the only thing that was ever locked on a smartphone was GPS and even at that it is unlocked on most of there newer devices.

    On another note the Sholes will not have Moto Blur as that is Moto’s Android UI they use/made, and being this is a google experience device it CAN NOT and WILL NOT have Blur. Speaking for myself tho they can keep Blur as it is way to cluttered IMO unless you are a social networking fanatic, which I am not what so ever.

    Bottom line is this device is Awesome. The build quality is top notch like most Moto stuff. It runs fast, and the screen is perfect in size and resolution. Comes will all kinds of apps and stuff on it even at that. And for everyones info it will not be to much longer before we see it on store shelves. They sent out over 10,000 units last week for VZW & Moto employees to start using and word is it is a smashing hit so far from what they have seen.

  • Mikael

    I am unfortunately a Verizon customer and have been waiting FOREVER for Verizon to get a good phone. They have been known to cripple all of their phones in the past so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they cripple their Android phones. If they do cripple their Android phones, that will be the last straw and I will leave Verizon for Sprint, so that I can get a HTC Hero. My contract expired over a year ago, and I’ve been waiting for Verizon to get a decent smartphone that isn’t crippled.

  • chewtoy

    I have made the decision in the past to avoid Verizon because I could get the same phone on networks where it was NOT crippled. If I know the hardware can do GPS and you tell me that it can only be enabled by your software, then I will tell you to go jump in a lake — I’ll take my money to Sprint or TMO, where I can run any GPS app I like without paying extra money.

    I’m waiting to see the Sholes when it comes out, and may change to Verizon — but if they expect me to pay extra for built-in functionality like GPS (as they always have in the past), then I definitely will NOT become their customer.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it — CARRIERS SHOULD NOT MODIFY THE PHONE SOFTWARE. That includes crippling it, whether intentionally or unintentionally (by wasting time developing their own changes to the interface).

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  • Stan S.

    I really want to buy this phone. But if they cripple GPS and god forbid tethering whats the point of having an Android(sholes, tao, droid) phone. One of the coolest things about the Google centeric device is the ability to help you find things based on your GPS position. I’m so close to dropping Verizon as a carrier if they continue to make these devices go from gems to rocks. The recent mergers of carriers is giving me hope that Verizon’s bragging rights of having wider coverage will start to fade.

    Verizon really needs to rethink their gauging tactics.

  • Richard C

    I’ve been waiting for the iphone and have been worried that if they do get it they might cripple it. But a sure sign is going to be if they cripple the shloles, then i’m leaving, I’m tired of verizon nickle and diming you to death on what other carriers have for free

  • Muggsly

    They crippled my BB but I am hoping that the android will not be crippled at all judging from quotes below.

    “This is a Google experience device,” Jha says.
    “This is wide open, this device,” Stratton says.
    Google Maps navigation (beta app) with voice guidance and Latitude. Toggle back and forth between multiple apps. Voice search (like the Google iPhone app), but it’ll also search contacts and other content on your phone. Widgets in addition to apps – “We think there’s going to be a real explosion here” in cellphone widgets, Stratton says.

    Information from a Wall Street Journal Blog.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/10/28/live-blogging-verizons-droid-unveiling/

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  1. CryptoGuest 6 years ago

    They cannot cripple it if it is a Google Experience Phone.

  2. freon500Guest 6 years ago

    Verizon has no heart. They’re modeled after microsoft. They like to break down their services into hundreds of small bits and sell each one to you for as much as they can get each with a two year contract.
    Google is more generous in their business plan. The two business models are in conflict and I guess we will be the losers like with the Verizon Black Berry deal.

  3. JoeGuest 6 years ago

    If they cripple the GPS i just won’t buy it.

  4. mrjack92Guest 6 years ago

    I hate Verizon Phones (The envy especially)

    So YES

  5. Seth StevensonGuest 6 years ago

    If they don’t cripple the phone itself they will cripple your wallet with the plan rates they have.

  6. JayMonsterGuest 6 years ago

    Fortunately, Microsoft has lately shown less desire to really cripple phones (see TouchPro 2), and I can’t help but wonder if they realized how badly they have screwed up some phones, and their sales (like the initial Touch Pro).

    This bodes well for Android… mostly, but I am sure that even if it isn’t crippled in the usual sense, it will be weighted down with “Excusive Services” like VZNavigator (directions), and other such garbage in order to try and pull every dime they can out of the customer.

  7. David ShellabargerGuest 6 years ago

    Verizon is slowly becoming more open. In 2008 (was it?) they said “any device, any app”. They have backed off of that position a little bit for consumer devices, but I still I think they are starting to open up and won’t mess around too much with Android. They might have their own market though.

  8. tke789Guest 6 years ago

    As long as VZW gets their cut from apps purchased on the Verizon Market I am sure they could care less what apps are installed on Android phones. Android phones are too easy to hack for them to waste their time locking them up. It is all about the bottom line if they can make more money on apps they did not have to invest in to develop they will be fine with leaving the phone wide open.

    Two years ago VZW did not have any phones with wifi, now almost all their smart phones has it. It went from “who needs it with our network” to “sure we have it (just like the iPhone)”.

  9. To be honest. I clicked yes to them crippling Android. I believe it will NOT happen with the Sholes since it’s a Google Experience and Android 2.0 AND a flagship phone from Moto. Alas, I do think the non Google Experience phones will suffer at the hands of VZW though.

  10. godsfilthGuest 6 years ago

    they cant cripple it anymore than google will with their more or less ban on custom firmware’s for android phones

  11. Zacqary Adam GreenGuest 6 years ago

    This is one of the reasons I was happy to leave Verizon for T-Mobile. Fortunately, the Sholes will be the last phone they ever cripple due to the backlash it will cause.

  12. garthGuest 6 years ago

    here is my take. Verizon needs this phone bad. it will be a game changer for them. If they do cripple it the backlash will be swift and sever. i have been a Bell nynex mobile customer since 1995. From a business stand point they drain the customer of every last penny for stuff that others gave away way to make the profit.The Network is the best that is out their. Their has been several missteps over the last 4 years. Nokia telling them to stuff it. the over zelious testing of new handsets.the Vcast bull and telling you how to use the phone that you own do not forget the pricing plan for all the BlackBerry phones. and the most glaring was the IPhone disaster. (the best network and the coolest phone). Verizon needs to understand that today the customer is using the handset for everything but making phone calls. If i am paying for it let me use it my way. so Verizon can you hear this … CRIPPLE THIS PHONE AND WATCH THE MASSIVE LEAVE FOR THE G1 OR THE IPHONE. IT WILL HAPPEN WE ARE TIRED OF WAITING AND BEINGING THE LAST TO GET ANY GOOD.

  13. Jimmy HamamotoGuest 6 years ago

    If Verizon is advertizing that the the Sholes is a true Google Experience phone, then no, Verizon will not cripple it. Verizon may however toy with it … just to make it a true Verizon phone.

  14. Kenneth JohansenGuest 6 years ago

    I think android has trully made a big dent in the way we are moving foward. It has changed the way business is going to be conducted. Anybody that doesn’t get in on it is going to lose out. Verizon is missing out and wants in just like every programer making money on producing apps. Everybody wants in.

  15. EricGuest 6 years ago

    I am choose no. Just the hope factor. I severely hope that for the customer benefit and their own benefit that they do not cripple this phone. With the stats that have been so raved about they really should see this phone as an opportunity to steal back some customers they disappointed with other phone releases. I see this as a last ditch effort for Verizon. If they can keep themselves from hurting the phone they may very well see a large amount of people lining up to get their hands on this phone.

    I myself am so ready to be rid of my BB 8330 Curve. I am waiting sort of impatiently on this phone. Will will see the pre release reviews and videos of the phone and see what the damage is. If its like i hope and untouched I will be in line to fork out the full retail price for the phone seeing how i don’t qualify for an upgrade.

    Verizon ! Please please release this phone as is. I really don’t want to end my contract and have to switch carriers.

  16. BradGuest 6 years ago

    I totally expect Verizon will cripple Android as much as possible. Their bid to rip out BB and Android app stores and create their own app store on their own least-common-denominator application platform is yet another indication that they just don’t get it yet.

    Their customers want something and have asked for it or, like me, left to other carriers and they just don’t care.

    I hope I’m wrong as their network is great and I’d otherwise love to use them again; however, their fear of becoming a ‘dumb pipe’ keeps leading them down a path of alienating their customers and hindering innovation.

  17. alunGuest 6 years ago

    No need! Google supply it ready crippled, or haven’t you heard

  18. carigGuest 6 years ago

    “I’ve also been told that the Sholes device will be a full Google experience phone and feature all the Google Android apps”

    Meaning it wont have MOTOBLUR? or can blur and google experience coexist on one phone?

    And if it wont, how are they going to compensate for the lack of send and end keys that is apparent from the renders?

    • EricGuest 6 years ago

      I really hope that the device comes with MOTOBLUR. And i really dont seen why it couldn’t coexist with ‘Google Experience’.

      But either way it wont be a deciding factor. If it doesn’t come with the Blur i will still be just as happy to have a android device. That is unless the cripple does happen.

      No matter what, ever sense i have been turned on to Android and have begun reading reviews and watching all the videos i am really excited to be able to get Android onto Verizon. But if i have to switch carriers to actually have a true ‘Google Experience’ device i most definitely will. But the Sholes is just so very very well built it seems. I cant wait to get myself one.

      • carigGuest 6 years ago

        agreed, i dunno what the rules are because i thought i read that “google experience” means it’s a “with google” phone and it can’t have extra things like microsoft exchange support, and i think that would mean in can’t have mororola’s extra programs either, but maybe the rules have changed or something

  19. IzzydGuest 6 years ago

    Fact folks it will not be locked/crippled by VZW or Moto. Being it is a Google Experience device it can not be locked up as you may be thinking like older VZW devices have been in the past. Also seeing as it is a Google Exp they can not block content on it either so any app,game, or download is a go on it, unlike Apple standing over every app they put up for sale.
    Also VZW really doesn’t lock/crippled there smartphones to begin with like being mentioned above. On there regular cell phones YES I will agree they do but not near as much as a few years backs. Even at that where there is a will there is a way. I have an actual Telus v9m fully active and working on VZW now so I have Java in place of there Brew garbage, bye bye vcast & GIN, hello free stuff. I’ve also had Allte,USCC, Bell Mobility..etc fully unlocked devices on there network with no trouble also. Currently I’m using a WinMob smartphone on there network that was never even sold that is fully unlocked and has standalone GPS, and Wifi built in even. However I’m more then willing to spend the time to do it versus most people who are lazy and just want it given to them. Anywhoo I’ve been a VZW customer for 10+yrs and the only thing that was ever locked on a smartphone was GPS and even at that it is unlocked on most of there newer devices.

    On another note the Sholes will not have Moto Blur as that is Moto’s Android UI they use/made, and being this is a google experience device it CAN NOT and WILL NOT have Blur. Speaking for myself tho they can keep Blur as it is way to cluttered IMO unless you are a social networking fanatic, which I am not what so ever.

    Bottom line is this device is Awesome. The build quality is top notch like most Moto stuff. It runs fast, and the screen is perfect in size and resolution. Comes will all kinds of apps and stuff on it even at that. And for everyones info it will not be to much longer before we see it on store shelves. They sent out over 10,000 units last week for VZW & Moto employees to start using and word is it is a smashing hit so far from what they have seen.

  20. MikaelGuest 6 years ago

    I am unfortunately a Verizon customer and have been waiting FOREVER for Verizon to get a good phone. They have been known to cripple all of their phones in the past so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they cripple their Android phones. If they do cripple their Android phones, that will be the last straw and I will leave Verizon for Sprint, so that I can get a HTC Hero. My contract expired over a year ago, and I’ve been waiting for Verizon to get a decent smartphone that isn’t crippled.

  21. chewtoyGuest 6 years ago

    I have made the decision in the past to avoid Verizon because I could get the same phone on networks where it was NOT crippled. If I know the hardware can do GPS and you tell me that it can only be enabled by your software, then I will tell you to go jump in a lake — I’ll take my money to Sprint or TMO, where I can run any GPS app I like without paying extra money.

    I’m waiting to see the Sholes when it comes out, and may change to Verizon — but if they expect me to pay extra for built-in functionality like GPS (as they always have in the past), then I definitely will NOT become their customer.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it — CARRIERS SHOULD NOT MODIFY THE PHONE SOFTWARE. That includes crippling it, whether intentionally or unintentionally (by wasting time developing their own changes to the interface).

  22. Android and MeGuest 5 years ago

    [...] week we asked our readers “Will Verizon cripple Android?” and now the results are in. I have never been a customer of Verizon, but we have all read [...]

  23. Stan S.Guest 5 years ago

    I really want to buy this phone. But if they cripple GPS and god forbid tethering whats the point of having an Android(sholes, tao, droid) phone. One of the coolest things about the Google centeric device is the ability to help you find things based on your GPS position. I’m so close to dropping Verizon as a carrier if they continue to make these devices go from gems to rocks. The recent mergers of carriers is giving me hope that Verizon’s bragging rights of having wider coverage will start to fade.

    Verizon really needs to rethink their gauging tactics.

  24. Richard CGuest 5 years ago

    I’ve been waiting for the iphone and have been worried that if they do get it they might cripple it. But a sure sign is going to be if they cripple the shloles, then i’m leaving, I’m tired of verizon nickle and diming you to death on what other carriers have for free

  25. MuggslyGuest 5 years ago

    They crippled my BB but I am hoping that the android will not be crippled at all judging from quotes below.

    “This is a Google experience device,” Jha says.
    “This is wide open, this device,” Stratton says.
    Google Maps navigation (beta app) with voice guidance and Latitude. Toggle back and forth between multiple apps. Voice search (like the Google iPhone app), but it’ll also search contacts and other content on your phone. Widgets in addition to apps – “We think there’s going to be a real explosion here” in cellphone widgets, Stratton says.

    Information from a Wall Street Journal Blog.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/10/28/live-blogging-verizons-droid-unveiling/

  26. Game scopeGuest 5 years ago

    [...] week we asked our readers “Will Verizon cripple Android?” and now the results are in. I have never been a customer of Verizon, but we have all read [...]