Have US Wireless Carriers Gone Mad? The Crippling of Samsung Fascinate and Captivate!

Watcher

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I just stumbled across this article on Zdnet and it kind of reflects my attitude about US carriers locking down phones that are uninhibited elsewhere in the world. The Samsung Galaxy S appears to be the maserati of phones throughout the world but seems to transform into a domestic hybrid compact only capable of going 85mph limited to stock offerings in the states. The iPhone may be limited in many people's eyes but at least it's determined by the maker of the phone, not the carrier the phone is on. It operates at the optimal performance it was intended, though restricted in the views of many. Is Apple's iPhone the only device to be untouched by the sullied hands of US carriers, free to do as it pleases? Will this freedom be hampered by Verizon if it somehow finds it's way to that network and will they somehow find a way to brand it with their horrible logo introducing unalterable bloatware on the system and crippling functionality?

Read this article...

Have US wireless carriers gone mad? Samsung Fascinate crippled by Verizon

The Verizon announcement for the fourth Samsung Galaxy S device, the Fascinate, to be released on US carriers was made official today with the device available starting tomorrow through online sales and in stores on Thursday, September 9th. After reading several reviews this morning (listed below), it looks like the Fascinate will be the lamest of the four Galaxy S devices available and in my experiences only two of the four are really worth purchasing here in the US and the promise of some outstanding devices was hampered by US wireless carrier involvement.

The Samsung Fascinate is similar in form factor to the T-Mobile Vibrant and AT&T Captivate, but takes away the huge internal 16GB flash memory and replaces it with only 2GB. I can understand that the Sprint Epic 4G took away this large internal memory storage, but they provided a large physical QWERTY keyboard, WiMAX antenna, front facing camera, and camera flash that more than made up for that. The Fascinate does add a camera flash, but that can’t make up for the loss of internal storage.



Check out these reviews on the Verizon Samsung Fascinate and let me know if you agree with my take here:
The real killers look to be in what Verizon has done with the device, including setting Bing Search as the default search client with no apparent ability to get Google Search back as the default. How in the world can you have an Android device without Google Search as the default? Then I read they also took and replaced Google Maps Navigation with their subscription based Verizon Navigator software. Are you serious? I read that it can be changed to Google Maps, but only after taking several steps that your new smartphone user may never figure out. I could understand if Sprint did this with Sprint Navigation since they bundle that service in for free with no cost to the consumer, but Verizon Navigator is $10/month and not as slick as Google Maps Navigation.

AT&T has crippled the Captivate too with a lock down on what appears in the Android Market, limited side loading of apps, and added their bloatware that cannot be removed. T-Mobile and Sprint have done a pretty good job of leaving the devices alone and I can recommend these two devices if you are looking for a Galaxy S smartphone. However, the T-Mobile Vibrant does have a bad GPS bug that must get fixed and Sprint does limit the customization of the center two buttons and adds some of their services, but at least the services are free.

US carriers have gone mad customizing perfectly fine devices and I wish every manufacturer had the pull of Apple to leave these smartphones the way they were designed to be used. The Galaxy S is a great product, but two of the four major US carriers have done what they can to cripple the experience to increase their revenues.
 

ReeseyCup79

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It's greed pure and simple. They look for stuff they can cut so they can charge us to use their version. And Microsoft may have paid them to use bing exclusively. It's all bout the money$$$


Sent from my iPhone using iCafe app
 

kdarling

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This has little to do with being "open platform" or not.

Carriers have been customizing phones forever, with all sorts of OS's.

If they add functionality, I'm all for it. Removing functionality just makes them look bad. One can only imagine how much Mircosoft must've paid to get Bing on as the built-in search agent. (Of course, you can always download other search tools, but they won't be integrated as well. Hmmm. Or actually, with Android they might be able to take over search responsibilties.)

As for the iPhone, Apple admitted taking AT&T recommendations for leaving out 3G capabilities for high bandwidth apps. Apple also originally complied with China's request to cripple the WiFi.
 

kdarling

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Such as Netflix?
Before that. Slingplayer, VoIP apps, and probably high-res YouTube. As Apple said to the FCC when asked why they hadn't approved Google Voice:

"There is a provision in Apple’s agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T’s cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&T’s permission.

Apple honors this obligation, in addition to respecting AT&T’s customer Terms of Service, which, for example, prohibit an AT&T customer from using AT&T’s cellular service to redirect a TV signal to an iPhone.

From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration." - Apple lawyers
 

firewire

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Verizon had disabled my GPS chip on my Blackberry 8890 back in 2007! Several months later I dumped them and got the original iPhone. I'll never look back!
 

Hondamaker

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This is why there'll probably never be a verizon iPhone. You think Apple will permit Verizon to 'cripple' or in any way inhibit the iPhone? Nah.