When the Nexus 4 was released, there was a big debacle about the factory image and source code not being released in full. No one commented on it, and reasons were not given. It somewhat defeated the purpose of having a Nexus device, if you couldn’t modify it to your heart’s content with the source code. However, those issues were eventually worked out.
Now it seems that the new Nexus 7, codenamed Flo, is going through the same ordeal. And Jean-Baptiste Queru, the man in charge of things like images and binaries, expressed upsetness and frustration when the Nexus 7 launched. About a week after the Nexus 7 was announced, he tweeted this:
That feeling when lawyers sabotage the launch you spent 6 months working on? I haz it. Sad sad sad sad sad sad.
— Jean-Baptiste Queru (@jbqueru) July 31, 2013
When asked about when the factory images will be released, he said that there is no ETA and that he doesn’t know if they’ll ever be released. He couldn’t comment on why, but he did mention that Google didn’t release the factory image for the Nexus One either (HTC had to do it themselves). Why is that important? Because this marks three Qualcomm-based devices that have had issues with factory images.
While the non-Qualcomm devices didn’t have issues with factory images being posted, these Qualcomm devices have consistently run into trouble. And looking at JBQ’s tweet, it looks to be legal issues at the root of the matter. In light of these complications we have to wonder why Google didn’t dump Qualcomm after the Nexus 4 incident and go for a Tegra 4, but they must have had a reason.
In the end, Jean-Baptiste Queru decided to leave the AOSP team.
Well, I see that people have figured out why I'm quitting AOSP.
There's no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can't boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I'm getting the blame for something that I don't have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead.Jean-Baptiste Queru
It’s sad to see someone so important leave over such an issue, but I can at least understand why he decided to do this. It’s a ridiculous situation, and I wish him the best in future endeavors.
Unfortunately, we don’t know if these issues will be resolved. Qualcomm and Google are having some problems, and we can’t do anything but wait and see. Are you disappointed to hear this? What’s your best theory on why this is happening?