Oct 03 AT 12:55 PM Taylor Wimberly 10 Comments

Verizon needs to gain trust of Android community

Last 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 the reports about them removing GPS functionality and charging extra for it. Verizon is expected to launch their first Android phones this holiday season so I was curious on how the community perceived them.

Verizon can only go up from here.

Verizon can only go up from here.

To my surprise, over half (53%) of our readers think Verizon will cripple Android in some way. Only 23% think Verizon will leave Android untouched and 23% could care less because they plan to hack the phone.

These numbers are ugly, but Verizon can only improve their image from this point forward. We have no evidence that Verizon has any plans to cripple Android, but each carrier has the right to make changes for their network.

Some of our favorite comments from the poll:

“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.” – freon500

“If they cripple the GPS i just won’t buy it.” – Joe

“If they don’t cripple the phone itself they will cripple your wallet with the plan rates they have.” – Seth Stevenson

“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.” – JayMonster

“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.” -Mikael

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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  • dsh

    Exactly. I’ve experienced VZW’s crippling with my last two phones (VX8100, V9m). I almost picked up a G1 on T-Mobile this summer because VZW declined to service my V9m when the screen failed 3 months out of warranty (the first phone I had fail in 10 years of service). If they don’t cripple this phone it will be awesome and “about time!”. If they haven’t turned over a new leaf, …, we’ll see what happens then.

  • Quasar

    How is it that Verizon remains to be one of the larges carriers when they charge so much for there services and cripple their phones?

  • Dan

    I am leaving Verizon for Sprint. Just waiting for the right Android phone. Probably the InstinctQ, but maybe Hero. Verizon will cripple their phones. Even if they don’t, Sprint is cheaper.

  • Tony

    The Sholes will be a “Google Experience” phone, which means it will be just as “open” as the G1 and MyTouch…in fact, it will be more “open” than the HTC Hero or Motorola Cliq. Both the phone manufacturer and the provider cannot make any changes to the interface on a “Google Experience” phone. You the consumer can run pretty much any software you want with it…it’s your device.

    Right now, Verizon needs Android, and Android needs Verizon. Verizon needs a flagship phone that can compete with the iPhone…something that people looking for an iPhone will consider as a viable alternative to switching carriers. They really need a phone with a good browser. The Blackberry Storm its fine product, but its laggy, 1990s style browser keeps it from being the iPhone killer that Verizon hoped it would be. Android needs the nation’s largest carrier, it’s perceived reliability, and its huge customer base.

    I think Verizon has learned its lesson regarding crippling phones.
    If the Motorola Sholes is done right, it will be a huge hit for Motorola, Android, and Verizon. I don’t think Verizon will “cripple” it beyond putting the usual VzNavigator, VCast, etc. on it.

  • mistermix

    Yes, Verizon cripples phones. I have a Blackberry 8830 with built-in GPS that was turned off by firmware until early this year, when Verizon allowed Blackberry Maps to use it. Google Maps has never been able to use GPS on this device.

    Why do people stay with Verizon? Their network is better. Calls rarely drop. Their 3G coverage footprint is huge, and they have towers in lots of places where the other providers don’t.

  • Izzyd

    I don’t know where some of you folks get your info but you a kinda way off here. I’ve been with VZW for over 10 yrs, and yes on the dumbphones they lock and cripple things with there firmware. However in the smartphones besides gps they don’t lock anything down. And as mentioned they have changed there attitude towards GPS and have unlocked it via firmware updates for many devices of the course of the past year. As of recent all there new ones come unlocked for GPS, and they are even getting devices with Wifi built in now. FYI tho even on dumbphones you can unlock them if you are willing to spend a little time reading and doing it yourself. I have devices from other carriers fully unlocked and working on there network just fine, heck one is from a carrier out of Canada so I have Java now in place of there Brew garbage. I even have devices never sold or released to the public that are fully unlocked and work fine also.

    Fact of the matter is VZW and Moto are not locking the Sholes down at all, that is a given and will be one sweet device once it hits the market. And IMO once the app start rolling for Andriod 2.0 it will put some serious heat on the iPhone

  • Brad

    Hey, just a little FYI. During the Q&A of this webcast, somebody asked if Google Voice would be allowed. A valid question after the AT&T/iPhone fiasco with that app. The Verizon CEO stated that yes, it would be allowed. He also stated that an Android phone is an open phone, and either you have an open phone or you don’t. Of course, take that with a grain of salt, but it did come from the lips of Verizon’s CEO himself. I’m willing to bet that Google has enough clout that they wouldn’t enter into a partnership with Verizon unless they knew Verizon wouldn’t cripple their platform.

    Again, take that for what you will, but I’m most likely going to pounce on the first HTC Android/Sense UI phone that becomes available on Verizon. That is, unless it has equal specs to the Sprint HTC Hero, and another HTC phone with better specs is announced by the time it comes out. What would really rock is the HD2/Leo with Android & Sense UI on it. I would buy that phone in a heartbeat, but I know such a combination is nowhere near Verizon. If I take the Verizon Hero, perhaps I could shell out a bit extra and get a 1-year contract (if they even allow that anymore), to allow for a quicker upgrade.

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