To Top

Should every carrier have a dev phone?

To Root, or not to Root? It seems like a timeless question for anyone who own an Android phone and happens to know how to do more with their computers than surf the web and play WoW. There are risks, especially if something happens to your phone later on, given your newly found lack of warrantee. For many, the risk seems trivial, as what you get in return is far more significant. Plus, that new super phone comes out next week, right? You we’re gonna get that anyway, might as well play. Is there a third option between root and non-root? Sure is! You could get a Developer Phone from Google.

You pay full price for your phone, and you get a world without rules. The device is carrier unlocked, and it’s purposed for development. Flashing roms and general fiddling with it’s OS is not only encouraged, but has a bootloader designed to make it easy. The current Dev Phone is the Nexus One, after they stopped selling it on the web. The Nexus One is a great phone, but having it “Carrier Unlocked” means you get T-Mobile and AT&T, and the AT&T is 2G only due to the radio in it. This seems extremely limiting to me. Where’s the love from the other Carriers?

At the Phandroid Live event earlier this week, I sat with two Verizon “big wigs” and asked exactly that. I have to say that while I was not surprised, I was a little discouraged to see my question met with blank stares. The conversation brought into sharp relief that no one is even considering a Dev Phone on their network. I know this is barely even a Carrier decision, but at the same time, given Verizon’s recent interest in a VZW only App store, it seems to me that encouraging Developers to use a Verizon specific developer phone would be beneficial, even encouraging.

Maybe this is ultimately Google’s fault. Maybe if they had pushed harder for the Nexus to be on all four carriers, we would see dev phones on other networks. What about you guys? If there was a dev phone on another network, would you switch?

More in Tech News