AT&T’s Nexus 6 has been significantly modified by the carrier to its taste. And of course, AT&T’s taste isn’t very good. There’s a SIM lock, AT&T ringtones and disabled tethering until you pay extra for the feature. Many folks are mad, as Nexus devices are supposed to be pure and untouched. But if you’re buying a device with AT&T’s payment plans, it makes sense for them to want to modify it. It sucks, but it makes sense.
However, there are other issues with carrier modifications greater than a few extra ringtones. We’ve seen before how carrier mods end up making a device unusable (Galaxy Note 3 with AT&T GPS files, anyone?), and the Nexus 6 is no different. Some shipments of the device were sent with old software, causing obvious usability issues like a black screen. Due to this, AT&T is sending all of the old stock back to Motorola to make sure no more customers get a bad device.
Luckily, there is no recall so folks with a good device won’t be bothered. If you do have issues, AT&T will replace your phone under instruction from the higher-ups. It’s a shame to see a device having issues at launch, but this one seems to have been quickly taken care of.
Update: Motorola has responded with this statement:
We delivered a small number of Nexus 6 smartphones with incorrect software to AT&T customers who pre-ordered. The incorrect software prevents the phone from starting up properly. We will provide replacements for consumers whose phones are affected. The problem has been corrected and the phones currently shipping are fine.Motorola
Good on Motorola for taking the blame, and once again, we’re glad it’s being taken care of.