After months of anticipation, both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 have finally been unveiled. Now that we have all seen both of the devices in all their glory, many of us have some decisions to make. Which of the two beasts do you prefer: the Galaxy S6 or the One M9? Let us know which device you plan on buying and why!
HTC’s Likely Rezounding Disappointment
I was thinking about the HTC Rezound today. I do that sometimes–sit down and let my thoughts wander. I thought about its three-way fight within Verizon against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Droid RAZR, and how it will fare this Christmas season. I also thought about TrevE’s work on HTC’s astounding Carrier IQ screw-up. And I came up with a target market based on privacy and security to whom no manufacturer has managed to sell phones yet: the hopeless-paranoid.
See, on one extreme, there’s the non-paranoid. These people either think they have everything under control or don’t care if they have control. They’re the ones who buy crappy phones on contract. They have no interest in phones, it’s just something they use and could easily afford at the moment.
At the opposite extreme, there’s the empowered-paranoid. These are developers and other early adopters who use independent development. They constantly seek the best phones either because it shouldn’t have the flaws of crappier phones, or because, if it does have problems, they can do something about it and not feel like they’re wasting time developing for sub-par hardware.
If we imagine a square to give a two-dimensional range to my envisioned market, in another corner are the paranoid-curious. These people don’t worry too much, but their brains pump out thoughts often enough that they can at least spare a few to consider the advice of developers and early adopters. That means worrying about privacy and security to some degree. They buy higher-end phones because the empowered-paranoid–who are, again, developers and early adopters–encourage it.
Then there’s the hopeless-paranoid. These people have all the security and privacy concerns of developers, yet feel they have no way to correct it. Which phones do they buy? They don’t. The only thing they know to do when they’re worried about their privacy is to avoid the thing that makes them worry. They aren’t worried about specific security issues–they don’t actually know enough to worry like that. They’re worried about everything. They say things like, “I don’t want people to be able to call me no matter where I am.” We’ve all heard lines like that, and we all know it’s silly. If you don’t want to talk to people at a certain time, turn off your phone. No, they’re worried about more than being so accessible.
Now, you may be asking, is there actually any reason to be paranoid? I guess that depends. I reread some of the articles egzthunder1 wrote covering all TrevE’s amazing work exposing the dirty little secrets of HTC and the carriers. And while he focuses on HTC phones, make no mistake that other manufacturers are doing the same.
So yes, I think paranoia is justified. And thank goodness for all the developers that work so hard to strip Carrier IQ and their ilk from ROMs. To a certain extent, thank goodness for the manufacturers and carriers that openly support development by not locking down devices. To the carriers and manufacturers who try to keep us from developing their devices, let me introduce you to the above four target markets. I suggest you change your minds. To HTC specifically, we see how developer-friendly you’re trying to be, but we see your devotion to carriers like Verizon more. You need to decide that Peter Chou lied and bootloaders will not be unlocked, or you need to stand up for yourselves.
There is a point to all this. As I said, I was thinking about the HTC Rezound, announced last week. And since it’s on Verizon, its bootloaders will probably be locked. That’s a clear move to prevent development. So do something for me: pretend the bootloader can’t be unlocked through exploits. We can’t get S-Off, we can’t get root, no custom bootloader, no custom kernels or custom ROMs. To put it simply, developers can’t develop. All that paranoia and nothing can be done about it.
Which of those four groups of people does that sound like? That’s right. The hopeless-paranoid. The people who don’t buy phones. Except, in this case, they don’t buy your phones. The only difference is, developers influence the buying habits of that large group of paranoid-curious people. The HTC Rezound? Great specs. Too bad the bootloader won’t be unlocked. And doubly too-bad, HTC, that you made the Rezound exclusively for Verizon, the US carrier certain to get the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Merry Christmas, HTC. Perhaps you’ll remember us in your New Years resolutions.
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
Samsung's Unpacked Event has now come and gone through Mobile World Congress 2015, and we've got a good look at what could be the most advanced phone of the year thus far. The event started shortly after its scheduled time at 12:30PM today and the only devices shown were the Galaxy S6 and its Edge variant, both of which pack an impressive amount of features, spectacular internals and an all-new beautiful design. The show began with a quiet voice whispering to...
Each year, smartphone makers attempt to one-up each other in features and specs, but time and again these improvements feel incremental rather than revolutionary. Samsung hopes to break this trend with a new hardware and software design philosophy, and press details of the new-and-improved cameras shared by the S6 and S6 Edge show that they are off to a great start. Once you get past the curved displays and wraparound Gorilla Glass 4, the most striking feature on these slabs is the...