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Settlement Good News for MotorolaV710 Owners 210

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sometimes-the-good-guys-win dept.
bluebanzai writes "When hordes of people bought up the Motorola V710 upon its release a year ago, Slashdot readers may remember many impressive features including the cutting edge Bluetooth features (picture/mp3 transfer, wireless syncing) as described on Motorola's website. However, when used with the popular Verizon Wireless cell phone service provider, many Bluetooth features were sadly crippled (apart from a wireless headset) because OBEX features had been purposely disabled by Verizon. Hundreds of people donated to a hacker rewards program to unlock the full features of the phone to the tune of $3000, but was never fully successful. Well, one year later, the Los Angeles Superior Court (PDF Warning) and Verizon have announced the initial steps of a Class Action Lawsuit that appears to be influenced by the user community allowing everyone who bought it before the start of 2005 a few options for compensation--including a refund up to the purchase price of another phone which, interestingly enough, is a lot easier to hack."
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Settlement Good News for MotorolaV710 Owners

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  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aussie_a (778472) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:01AM (#13771948) Journal
    including a refund up to the purchase price of another phone which, interestingly enough, is a lot easier to hack.

    How about Verizon just stop crippling their customers and unlock the locked features?
    • by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:36AM (#13772008)
      How about Verizon just stop crippling their customers and unlock the locked features?

      If they did that, then you could easily create your own wallpapers and mp3 ringtones on your PC and transfer them to your telephone by Bluetooth. This is obviously wrong, and the sort of thing only pirates would do. Therefore the phone company locks down the features, and you can then pay a modest sum of money for professionally-created multimedia products of much better quality. Isn't the Company great, looking out for you like that?

      • by hkmwbz (531650)
        I don't know why your comment was mostly moderated funny. It is actually very insightful, and explains exactly how this things works.

        Basically, we have an industry which makes loads of cash by preventing their customers from using technology to make things cheaper and more efficient. It is in the industry's interest to make sure that we download expensive ring tones and backgrounds from them, rather than simply using an MP3 or an image downloaded from the web.

        In other words: This industry artificially m

        • What's funny is that neither AT&T Wireless or Cingular deliberately crippled the Bluetooth on their phones, yet still turn a handsome profit on the "sale" of ringtones and graphics. Why? Because most consumers are as ignorant as the day is long, and don't realize they have the option. They buy a phone with Bluetooth but have no idea what that means or what it can do, other than let them use a Borg-styled cordless headset. The default behavior when you hit the menu button twice for my V3 RAZR was to
    • by maxwell demon (590494) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:36AM (#13772009) Journal
      How about Verizon just stop crippling their customers and unlock the locked features?

      They don't just cripple the phones, they also cripple their customers? I didn't know that they are that bad ... :-)
      • I had the same thought after I posted my comment. I would have pointed out the double meaning myself, but I thought I'd get modded down (plus I was too excited about getting first post! Wooo!) And with what I've heard about the Telco's based on slashdotters, I wouldn't be surprised if they WERE crippling their customers. Obviously only from the waist down. Anything else would be bad for business.
    • Shoot- the problem is figuring out what I paid for mine, as far a getting a refund. I got my v710 "free" under the new every two plan w/ verizon. Although I didn't actually pay for the phone, I am paying for it by being locked into my contract......
      • They will let you out of your contract so that isn't an issue, and the refund is $200 unless you provide a reciept showing you paid more...

        How did you get it free? Ne2 conly covers up to $100, and the phone was never that cheap in the time period covered by the lawsuit. I got mine for $150 after mail in rebate on Ne2, and just terminated my contract without a fee on another loop hole. I will be getting a $200 refund on the phone when they finally pay early next year. If I had paid an early term fee, that
    • The 815 isn't all that impressive anyway unless you need all the fancy-pants extra features. I traded up from a 7-yr-old StarTac, and I think the StarTac had better voice quality. I got the 815 before EVDO rolled out in the SF Bay Area, and in a non-EVDO area (without a menu hack) the batteries will run down in 24 hours standby, and about 45 min talk time.

      It has good battery life as long as you stay in your EVDO service area, the ringer is insanely loud, and the camera is surprisingly good, but until EVDO r
  • by riflemann (190895) <riflemannNO@SPAMbb.cactii.net> on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:30AM (#13771991)
    This seems to be a unique problem to US mobile phone markets. Why the hell do they require the phone company's own phone?

    In any other part of the world, you buy your own phone from wherever you choose (even another country) and just plug in a sim card from your chosen provider and it just works.

    If any provier here tried to pull those tricks, the market would take care of the problem very quickly.

    Is GSM actually getting any foothold in the US market?
    • by ianbnet (214952) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:44AM (#13772030)
      This is not so much a uniquely US problem, as a uniquely Verizon problem. Their CDMA network is huge, but T-Mobile and Cingular are just two examples of nationwide GSM networks, complete with SIM-unlocked phones. Verizon has great coverage across the US, but for the technically inclined or anyone wanting "cutting edge," they're rarely the best choice, with outdated, locked phones and limited, expensive data capabilities.

      Still, it's great to see them getting their due. Their attempt to lock up basic features in the US market is ridiculous, and hopefully this practice will end soon.
      • Interestingly, Sprint, which is also CDMA-based, has the cheapest data access I've seen - $15/mo unlimited access.
        • Huh? Where do you get unlimited data for $15/month?!?! When I look at Sprint's site I get $79.99/month from their site here [sprint.com]. If that's an addon to phone plans is it full speed, and what is the cheapest phone plan?
          • I use Sprint (until recently I had a hearing aid that wasn't GSM compatible) and it depends on your plan ... I get a 23% employer discount, admittedly, but I get 300 min/month (don't talk on the phone that much) and unlimited data for $40something a month. I value the data more than I do the minutes.

            I just bought (it'll be here next week) a Treo 650 from a friend who got kicked off Sprint for complaining too much about the crappy service in his area (works fine for me where I am). I get the phone, a 256MB S
          • You're looking at a data card. I'm talking about on the phone.

            They say $10 for Sprint PCS Vision for Business - I can't find the price for Vision for personal, but it was $15 last I checked.

            Also, it's $5/mo to add Vision to an alternative line.
      • Verizon has great coverage across the US, but for the technically inclined or anyone wanting "cutting edge," they're rarely the best choice, with outdated, locked phones and limited, expensive data capabilities.

        Not true at all. I work for a wireless engineering firm in the DC area and have done quite a bit of work with a wide range of cellular equipment from all carriers. Verizon's EV-DO data service with a burst max of 2.4Mbps is the absolute best available right now, period. It will like
      • Their CDMA network is huge, but T-Mobile and Cingular are just two examples of nationwide GSM networks, complete with SIM-unlocked phones.

        Just for the record - T-Mobiles phones do not come unlocked. After 3 months of paying your bill you can contact them and request the unlock code. You also can NOT get this code past 3 months out of service with them (as I learned the hard way). I've had two phones with them, both were locked.

        My Cingular phone came with no lock, but that doesn't mean all their phones d
        • It's worth pointing out that you can also send a GSM phone to any number of third-party "unlockers" who will remove the vendor/subsidy lock so that it can be used with any carrier's SIM card. (Or in the case of Nokia phones that just require a code to unlock, they'll sell you the code online.)

          I don't think the phone companies have any recourse to prevent you from sending your phones to one of these places: the phone is your property, and once you're free of their contract you can take it wherever you want.
      • Have you ever paid data fees with Cingular? Their basic plan is 1MB of transfer a month. You go over, and it's .01 a KB. 10 bucks a MB, which sucks. You can upgrade to a 5MB plan, but still get dinged 10 bucks a MB over. If we were talking text only, this might not be a bad deal, but when you consider these phones display images and animated images, you could be looking at a 50-100K animated radar image or something. You can blow by 5MB quickly.

        With Verizon, I pay one fee a month, and am charged by ai
        • by plover (150551) * on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @12:29PM (#13774247) Homepage Journal
          the V3 RAZR is a great phone,

          I've had one for a few months now, and I'm at least as disappointed with it as my buddy is with his Verizon V710. First, and most on-topic with this discussion, the bluetooth stack is incredibly buggy! If I try to use OBEX to browse its files, I can sometimes get files in and out of the phone, and sometimes not. And virtually any time I use OBEX or connect from any Windows XP machine (three different machines, three different manufacturer's Bluetooth devices) the Bluetooth on the phone goes south, and it will refuse to even acknowledge a headset afterwards. I need to pull and replace the battery to get it to come back.

          And my complaints go much further. The phone does not support OBEX browsing of other phones (like my Sony-Ericsson T637 could do.) It does not support 24/7 discoverability, restricting it to 60 seconds max. It does not support an "advanced headset profile" (again like the T637) where it doesn't establish the Bluetooth headset connection until a call is made, allowing me to use Bluetooth networking even in the presence of a powered up headset. That's a very important feature with a hands-free car kit. Overall, bluetooth functionality on this phone is on a par with the V710 - a lot of promise, but nothing delivered.

          And then it suffers from all the other endemic Motorola problems. It has the world's worst address book application, which cannot handle the simple task of storing multiple numbers per contact, instead creating new contacts for each number. It also suffers from a byzantine one-touch speed dial reconfiguration mechanism. Their whole speed dial thing is still based on the "order" in which numbers are stored, so if you want to change speed dials you have to first renumber the old record, then renumber the new record into its place. And it takes it about a minute to boot -- I have no idea what can be taking it so long. Finally, even though the phone is perfectly capable of shooting video, (there are mods to turn it on) it's not available out of the box.

          There are some really good features on the phone though that I do like: battery life is very, very good. Audio quality is excellent. The camera is a crisp 640x480. Voice dial recognition has impressive performance, especially in the noisy environment of my car using the handsfree kit. And of course it's small and light. But overall, it's far short of a "great" phone. I was much happier with my T637.

    • by ForestGrump (644805) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:50AM (#13772049) Homepage Journal
      Yes, GSM is getting a foothold in the US market. I myself have been with Cingular/ATT (both GSM) for almost 5 years now.

      Like CDMA carriers, GSM isn't problem free.

      For example, if you buy a GSM phone, it is most likely locked to the carrier you bought it from. Why do they do this? Because most phones are either "free" or "discountted" with the signing of a contract.

      Now, I figure they lock phones for 3 purposes:
      1. If your family member destroys their phone somehow, your "locked" phone won't work because they have a different carrier. Thus, they'll be forced to buy a new phone.
      2. So you can pay their roaming/international charges when you travel (because a locally bought SIM doesn't work on the locked phone).
      3. Profit!

      Thankfully, unlock codes/reflashing can easily be done if you know where to find a code calculator, or willing to buy a $10 data cable.

      Grump
      Unlocked Siemens S40, Mot V400.
      Unlocked half my family's nokia phones.
    • In the UK you can buy a phone SIM free, but most people who want good handsets get a contract phone where you buy a phone for less than its cost and pay rental which also pays for the remainder of the handset cost.

      Each operator seems to tailor some of the interface for their network. Vodaphone are well known for butchering the interface, many people are known to flash back to manufacturer sourced firmware where possible as the interface mods can be annoying.
    • Where is "here"?

      Doesn't seem quite so bad, but they still do annoying things in the UK.

      IE. you get a free phone from vodafone, it is locked to the vodafone network so you have to pay 10 quid down the local corner shop to get it unlocked if you want to use it on another network.

      Then vodafone put firmware on it that maps various function keys to automatically launch the browser and go to their "live!" website, and you can't map the button to more useful functions, e.g. launch new txt msg.

      Of course you can alw
    • Well, that's not strictly true. In the UK, you have two choices -- 1) 'buy' a phone from a provider or 2) from the manufacturer. In the case of 1), phones are sold at much, much less than the manufacturer's RRP but you're forced to sign up to a 12 month contract with the provider. The phone is also locked to that provider and another provider's SIM won't work. Essentially, the phone's low cost is subsidised by your 12 month subscription. Once the contract is up, you can often get the provider to 'unlock' t
    • "This seems to be a unique problem to US mobile phone markets."

      It's not a US problem, it's a Verizon problem. This is why I quit Verizon (and told them so) and switched to T-Mobile. My T-Mobile phone is not crippled - it works great with my Mac.

      "Why the hell do they require the phone company's own phone?"

      US companies generally give you a free - or very low cost - phone as an incentive to join their service. T-Mobile gave me a free V600 at a time when it would have cost me roughly $300 to buy on its own.
      • This is why I quit Verizon (and told them so) and switched to T-Mobile. My T-Mobile phone is not crippled - it works great with my Mac.

        And my T-mobile phone is crippled. I can't toss in a generic SIM when I'm traveling overseas for cheap local rates. I'm locked into T-mobile's network. Oh, and it's a phone model that I've never seen an unlock for, since it was a very short run of a T-mobile only Motorola Timeport.
  • The REAL winners (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:35AM (#13772005)

    are the lawyers with (fta) 6.3 million dollars + 60k expenses

    seems everyday to a lawyer is like winning the lottery except you win every time !
    now all they need to decide is which to buy , a speedboat or a Lear jet..hmmmm decisions decisions
    • Step 1: Advise company to alter features in such a way that they can make more profit, and let them pay you.
      Step 2: Find group of disgruntled customers and file class action suit, and let them pay you.
      Step 3: Profit from step 1 & 2, with in step 2 the added bonus of a percentage of the settlement.
    • Highly amusing really, in many ways. This is actually a consumer-relations fiasco, not a legal fiasco, but as many businesses purposefully make their products and services more complex, as they try to squeeze more revenues while hoping the customer will not know better, they lose sight of the whole "keeping your customers happy" thing. It's not always deliberate on their part, it's just if your primary attitude is "How can we squeeze a little more money from a supposedly "extra" service without our customer
  • by fmwap (686598) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:39AM (#13772016) Journal
    Verizon has consistantly pissed me off since I got their service, they've killed Kannel [kannel.org] on their network, upgraded to prevent hacking the GetItNow service, and the only way to add custom anything is to locate an impossible to find cable & hack it using BitPim [sourceforge.net]

    Sure, you CAN add custom photos and ringtones, which I might do if I had to pay ONCE for, but Verizon charges a monthly fee just for having them on your phone. It's a blatent ripoff and I got tired of being fucked by Verizon.

    I don't have any input on them crippling bluetooth, but frankly it doesn't suprise me. This company is a shit providor and I don't understand why anyone has their service. I'm sure they will offer better Bluetooth enabled devices, with many new features, as long as you pay X amount per month to have them enabled, and a fee for using them, and the fee for airtime, and the activation fee, and ...
    • I have verizon simply because they provide the best coverage in my area. All the other providers have large dead spots, and poorer coverage. I used to be AT&T Wireless, but TDMA voice quality sucked. When they upgraded to GSM, they just put GSM equipment on their existing towers, but failed to add new ones (GSM is a lower power system than TDMA, requiring more towers and having them closer together) This resulted in almost unusable GSM service. That's when I switched. Sprint only had digital servic
    • upgraded to prevent hacking the GetItNow service

      are you honestly putting forward as a serious complaint the fact that Verizon doesn't sit back and let people hack their commercial, money-making service? if you don't like the service, don't use it.

      This company is a shit providor and I don't understand why anyone has their service.

      then you're just not paying very close attention. the primary reason is that they have simply the best network in the United States. The've got equal or better coverage in most urba

    • Sure, you CAN add custom photos and ringtones, which I might do if I had to pay ONCE for, but Verizon charges a monthly fee just for having them on your phone.

      That sounds like they charge you a fee to not delete your data. That's called extortion. It should be illegal.
  • I got the mailling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bblazer (757395) * on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:40AM (#13772018) Homepage Journal
    I bought 2 of these phones from Verizon and was so upset with the situation I cancelled the service even-though I had to eat the cancellation fee. In the settlement mailing there are 3 options.

    1) Current Verizon customers that want to keep the phone and the service may get a $25 credit to their bill.

    2) Current customers who want to keep their service but not their phone may send it in for a refund.

    3) Customers who cancelled their service and paid the cancellation fee can get a refund of the fee.

    I am not sure why they just don't enable OBEX?! That is what everyone wanted in the first place.
    • I am not sure why they just don't enable OBEX?! That is what everyone wanted in the first place.

      That would require Verizon to admit that they did something wrong.
    • That would require Verizon to relinquish their very lucrative middle-man spot in the multimedia transfer chain.

      It's all about the money. Once you realize that, all these seemingly convoluted legal tactics and marketing ploys make sense.
    • Actually you missed the complete and most attriactive option:

      Option 2: Current Customers can cancel service without an early termination contract AND return the phone and accessories for a ful refund.

      That is exactly what I am going to do.
      However I will have to be careful in setting this up since I do not want to lose my current phone number.
      • There is an option to cancel the contract and get a refund on the phone. You just need to have another Verizon phone to activate in the interim.

        I believe if you cancel and pay the ETF you are still elligable for the refund. I canceled last month on a loophole without the ETF, and fully expect to get the $200 refund. The form has check boxes for both senarios. If you can afford the wait, dump now, and you will get all the money back when the settlement is complete (which is several months from now). Als
  • by The Mutant (167716) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:46AM (#13772034) Homepage
    I've got a Blackberry 7100t, and it supposedly has Bluetooth. But the OBEX implementation is crippled as well, and only supports headsets.

    I've heard that RIM did this because of security implications; maybe so. But it said Bluetooth on the box, not partial Bluetooth.
    • and it has bluetooth, not partial bluetooth. unless it listed specific bluetooth profiles that it doesn't have, there's no issue with the labeling here. what, you're upset that it doesn't implement all the profiles? like, um, the mouse one? yeah! my phone can't act as a mouse, clearly the bluetooth is crippled!

      and yes, of course things like OBEX are better fits than the mouse profile. but "bluetooth" does not inherently imply any given set of profiles. if you wanted a specific capability, you should have a
  • by WarmNoodles (899413) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:47AM (#13772038)
    I own a V710, and Beside the FA's observation that lameware nerfed Bluetooth functionality, my main complaint is that people can not hear me when I use the device.
    The complaint was personally confirmed as a common grief experienced by V710 Verizon phone users.
    The solution which did not work was to reset the phone using the stencil.
    Glad I'll be able to get something for the piece of junk.
    I stopped using the phone about 6 months ago due the bad microphone sound quality.
    I would pick the 3rd option on the claim form. I hope they offer a phone of equivalent function and price/value.
    The first claim form option was for $25 which in no way near covers the $430 cost of the junk phone.
    Another complaint is that when I purchased a replacement, Verizon had no way of transferring Contact phone #'s to another phone.
    --
    Avian flu dosen't kill people, people kill people.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:53AM (#13772055)
    Why don't they just enable OBEX file transfer, syncing and basically give you all features of a phone with bluetooth?? Why should they have to hack the replacement phone either?? Verizion is just screwed up on a great many things. Why must I pay 79 bucks or even 59 for 1XRTT or even EVDO?? Can't they have a unlimited plan that's a little more economical? How come I can get a GPRS connection via T-Mobile for HALF of Verizon's 1XRTT?? If they would just look at the POTENTIAL market, they could definitely lower thier price.

    Also,with regards to EVDO, they SHOULD allow you to plug the card into that switch unit(forget the name of it). IF Verizon did this, then some people just might use this as thier ONLY connection to the web. When at home, plug it into the switch, when on the road, take another switch or just plug it into the laptop. Verizon could make TONS of cash if they were to do this, however they want to FORCE you to do things their way because they are afraid the network may not be able to handle it or some other stupid reason.
    • Why don't they just enable OBEX file transfer, syncing and basically give you all features of a phone with bluetooth?? Why should they have to hack the replacement phone either??
      Good question. However, the rest of this post demonstrates zero understanding of basic business or economics.

      Verizion is just screwed up on a great many things. Why must I pay 79 bucks or even 59 for 1XRTT or even EVDO?? Can't they have a unlimited plan that's a little more economical?

      Verizon currently has almost a monopoly on hig
    • Syncing does work with the most recent firmware on the V710. With a small property file hack you can get syncing to work with iSync in OS X as well.

      See this article:
      http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050 501151747917 [macosxhints.com]
    • RTT service is more expensive than GPRS service for two primary reasons. first, it's faster in real world environments, generally about 1.5 times the speed. second the CDMA network on which RTT works is much more widespread in the US than the GSM network on which GPRS works. people are willing to pay for these two benefits.

      some people do, in fact, use Verizon's EVDO service as their only net connection. people like, um, me! this is posted using it right now. i've got the card plugged directly into my lapto
  • by Tidal Flame (658452) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:56AM (#13772059) Homepage
    I was just in Japan for two weeks, and everyone there over the age of 5 has a really awesome cell phone. Being a techie, I got a bit jealous, so I decided I'd buy a new one when I got back. I needed to switch providers anyway as my old provider was really ripping me off.

    So, I get back, read up on providers and such. I eventually decided that Virgin Mobile worked best for me, since I don't use my cell phone a whole lot but do find it a useful gadget. Their rates are pretty good for people who don't need to use their cell phones every day.

    Now, here's where I screwed up: I did a Google for "Virgin Mobile" to see what kind of features the plan offered. This of course brought up the Virgin Mobile USA website. I live in Canada. There's no obvious indication on the site that it's the Virgin Mobile USA site, so I figured it was just a general Virgin Mobile site. These days most corporate sites redirect you to the appropriate page based on where your IP is located anyway, right?

    So I'm looking at the features and I see that they have internet access and instant messenger support, among other things. So I go out and buy a phone (Audiovox CDM8910). Not a top of the line model, but it's got a camera, superphonic ringtones, and all that. Pretty nice, I think.

    Of course, to my horror, when I open the package there is no data cable. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Instead, I discover, Virgin wants me to pay 50 cents per picture to get my pictures off of the phone, up to $4 per ringtone to download new ringtones (normally I wouldn't mind, but the phone's default selection is pathetic - none of them are suitable for anything, really), and up to $2 per picture to download new "wallpapers." Yeah right!

    It is possible to purchase a data cable for this phone, and I've done so. The problem is that there's no software that really supports the phone, and of course the phone's firmware is completely undocumented... so I CAN get my pictures and upload new ringtones without paying Virgin's outrageous fees, but because of the shoddy, undocumented firmware, there's a good chance I could completely wreck my phone in the process. I doubt I'd have an easy time of getting a replacement, either...

    Honestly, the cell phone market in North America is absolutely pathetic. I'm sick of being locked in by providers and being promised features that I don't receive. To be fair, I should have been more careful about my research in this case, but I'm sure several Slashdotters have experienced similar letdowns with cell phones. A lot of people seemed to think that the "Cell Phone User's Bill of Rights" was ridiculous. Maybe it was. But we all know that when North American cell phone providers aren't outright lying to their customers, they're crippling the phones they provide so that the only way to make use of all of the technology in the phone you buy is to pay outrageous fees.
    • But we all know that when North American cell phone providers aren't outright lying to their customers, they're crippling the phones they provide so that the only way to make use of all of the technology in the phone you buy is to pay outrageous fees.

      This is both true AND inaccurate. It is true because you do get charged outrageous fees for ringtones, wallpapers, etc. However, it is inaccurate because, in Europe, callers pay to make phone calls to a mobile phone. Try calling a European mobile phone from

      • Hm, I didn't know that. Thanks for the information.

        You know, what I'd really like to know is how expensive airtime is to service providers. How much of the cost of cellular phones to the consumer is necessary due to the technology involved, and how much goes to the service providers as profit? If anyone has any idea about this, I'd be very interested to hear it...
      • eeeehm... and how does this happen in USA? Who pays for it then?

        The truth is that "you want it, you pay for it" business model is currently de-fact everywhere. Except in USA where (at least two years ago) mobile subscribers still had to pay for INCOMING calls (this practice used to be used in Russia as well, but AFAIK it is now dismissed by all carriers).

        I really don't see a problem. If I want to call - naturally I will be the one who will pay for the call. If I Receive a call I don't expect to be charged -
  • Will this change Verizon's stance on bluetooth connectivity? I hope so, because I am long overdue for a new phone and have been waiting for the CDMA RAZR. I'm afraid what Verizon may do to the bluetooth and even the mini-usb port on the razr, since they've already replaced the entire Moto GUI with the new standard Verizon interface(this even meant removing the menu button from between the soft keys). Unfortunately in my area if you're not on Verizon you'll have spotty service, I know people with Cingular wh
  • by digitaldc (879047) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:30AM (#13772127)
    "Q. Well, these features are available in phones from many other carriers, and people feel cheated.
    A. Verizon does business unlike any other carrier, and we make no apologies for that. ... [Those features] don't work with our business model. Every customer is certainly entitled to their own feelings. "

    'we make no apologies for that' =Translation= We do what we want, when we want, and you do not matter.
    'don't work with our business model' =Translation= It is much more profitable for us this way
    'Every customer is certainly entitled to their own feelings.' =Translation= F You!!!
  • If the US had gone down the GSM route - without messing around with the band allocation - you wouldn't have this problem.

    Over here is "Socialist Europe" I can buy a phone direct from the manufacturer and use it on any network, if that's what I want to do.

    Instead you have half-a-dozen incompatible phone standards, poor coverage, restricted phones and dreadful service.

    Sometimes cooperation and capitalism go hand in hand.
    • GSM is available in the US, but for all practical purposes is a new thing. T-Mobile USA is a merger of various GSM carriers around the US that used to operate in specific markets and nowhere else (imagine if Orange only worked in Wales, Cellnet in Southern England, Vodafone in Scotland, and one2one in Northern Ireland, and people in Northern England were out of luck - that's how the situation used to be in the US from a GSM user's point of view.); Cingular is a merger of several old Bell cellphone divisions
      • i'm not aware of Qualcomm's FUD campaign here, but i believe you; they do engage in such tactics on the equipment production side. but keep in mind that the GSM operators, equipment manufacturers, and the GSMA is far from immune from this. i was just at the GSMA World Congress in Singapore where a representative from a Pakistani GSM operator gave a presentation in which he went on and on about how wonderful the GSMA was in assisting his company in lobbying the government to explicitly limit the utility of C
        • Personal mobility is a consumer freedoms thing, I suspect the law requiring it has much more to do with protecting consumer freedoms and preventing anti-competitive behaviour than it does supporting GSM. After all, Qualcomm does ship a version of IS-95 that supports personal mobility too.

          The fact that US CDMA phones can interoperate with AMPS networks is ultimately both its advantage and its crux. Qualcomm could have made IS-95 interoperable with GSM. They could have, as the UMTS people did, produced IS-9

          • i'm not sure what youre hate-on for Qualcomm is all about, but you're attributing my statements, those of the GSMA, and a GSM operator to them inappropriately. i've not heard anything out of Qualcomm regarding any sort of conspiracy.

            i suspect you mean something different by "mobility" than i do. the issue in Pakistan was that the CDMA licenses were originally given out on the condition of no mobility - that is, no cell-to-cell handoff, and a given device registered with only a single cell - and the operato
    • If the US had gone down the GSM route - without messing around with the band allocation - you wouldn't have this problem.

      yes, but we'd have only a GSM network, rather than our generally superior CDMA network, which has excellent coverage. it's the GSM network that has poor coverage, due in no small part to its higher cell density requirements and thus higher cost to the operator. yes, we generally have restricted phones, and i agree that's a problem, but that has nothing to do with the network technology -

  • I purchased by crippled v710 in June of 2005, why on earth am I not entitled to some sort of compensation?!?!
  • I do not know how the cellphone market is in the States but here in Europe you can buy a cellphone at any shop, put your sim card in it and the phone just works. Wether it is Nokia, Motorola or the oldest Ericsson; it will always work. If you buy a phone with reduction (like 50 euro for the phone with subscription) there is mostly a SIM LOCK on the phones which prevents another provider sim card to be put in the phone without unlocking.

    I've never seen or heart about any phones being crippled (in the literal
    • Phones over here certaibnly do get crippled sometimes, certainly in the UK at least.

      disabling ways to put your own wallpaper / ringtones on the phone is a common ones that all providers like to do, in order to sell you downloads.

      Also bluetooth was serverly restricted on early 3 handsets for simaler reasons. (ie to make you use premium services).

      That's for my next phone I will get a PDA that happen'd to have a phone built in, as opposed to thier phone with crippled functionality offerings!
  • Don't get me wrong, I like my v710... but here are my list of issues, for which reason I am taking it back to Verizon Saturday to try to get it fixed...

    * When plugged in to charge will say "Unable to Charge"

    * If I open the phone to turn an alarm on, then close it, the backlight
    stays on (that's normal), however, if I now plug the phone in to charge it,
    the backlight never goes off (or into it's reduced brightness mode).
    I have to wait untilt he backlight goes off, THEN plug the phone in.

    * The camera says "BUSY
  • by qazwart (261667)
    I got my cell service from T-Mobile. Not only are they a GSM provider (and I can even get a phone from them that works outside of the U.S.), but they don't disable their Bluetooth at all.

    I am fully able to transfer files back and forth between my computer and my Motorola RAZR phone. I even sync my addressbook between my phone and my computer (and it was one of the big reasons I went T-Mobile and bought this particular phone).

    I bet you could probably go to Japan, get one of those ultra-cool phones they have
    • by jhsiao (525216)
      Oh please. The reason we're being treated as a third world country in tech is because the majority of folks in the US won't buy anything until it's at third world prices...

      Do you shop at Walmart, Target, Old Navy? Do you scour fatwallet or slickdeals? Do you shop for the cheapest broadband service? Well, why then would a manufacturer waste storeshelf space on really expensive stuff when you only buy cheap crap?

      Showing prices after mailin rebates work in the US for a reason...because most people focus o

    • I just came back from Japan, and I was planning to buy an awesome cell phone (they're much cheaper over there, you might pay half as much for a phone with the same features), but apparently it's not possible...

      http://euc.jp/misc/cellphones.en.html [euc.jp]

      I did hear of one person buying a Japanese cellphone and using it back home (Canada), but the person I heard it from is a liar, so...
  • The Sidek!ck II from T-Mobile is horribly hobbled compared to it's original form, the Danger HipTop2. T-Mobile locks out any form of transfer of ringtones, whether from the end-user or a third-party company. The only way to install any is through their "catalog" application... the vast majority of which are "ghetto". They do the same with applications. Many, many apps are available for this device, but you're limited to about 15 from their catalog, many of which are beta quality at best and poorly mainta
  • I ditched Verizon because of this crippled bluetooth business. Approximately the same week that the hack contest announced failure, TMobile published the first ever street-level map of their coverage. That was all I needed. I switched to TMobile, got a much more fully featured phone than Verizon had available, and have been a happy camper ever since.
  • by Dr. Ion (169741) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @09:43AM (#13772709)
    First, the v710 never had OBEX support. Verizon never took it out, because it simply Wasn't There! There is no hack to enable it, because there is no OBEX code in the box. Their mistake, as explained in the lawsuit, was to mislead customers into thinking they would get something like OBEX. (Verizon does, however, disable Dial-Up Networking via Bluetooth.)

    Most importantly, the latest version of the v710 software from Verizon disables the other free transport -- Transflash. You can no longer copy wallpaper and ringtones (or anything at all) from the flash card to the phone. You can't copy your own pictures from the phone internal memory to the card either!

    Early v710 phones from Verizon did have this feature. In fact, it can be re-enabled by some well-published hacks. Highly Recommended.

    The e815 phone, of course, does have OBEX which can be re-enabled through more well-published hacks.

    Verizon also doesn't publish the more significant differences between the e815 and v710, listing only "VCast" as a feature.
    • 40MB of memory vs 10MB
    • Much faster processor
    • Longer battery life (bigger capacity battery)
    • Better keypad
    • Nicer camera (1.3 vs 1.2MP, but also just better in general)
    • OBEX can be re-enabled
    • EvDO dial-up networking
    • Bluetooth calendar/Contact sync
    • Faster charger in the box.
    • Missing belt-clip in the box (e815 charges $17 extra for the same clip)
  • I've been a Verizon customer for 8 years until one month ago. I purposely avoided Verizon this time around due to the Bluetooth fiasco.

    I suspect the Bluetooth hacks also hurt other bluetooth functions....bluetooth headsets on Verizon phones never seem to have enough volume, and car-kit compatibility was never quite right.

    I bought a spiffy new Black Motorola Razr from Cingular. The phone and the service have been great.

    Verizon's "business decision" to hack bluetooth cost them at least one customer.

    -ted

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