Remember the eFuse chip that Motorola decided to include in its high-end Droid X? It’s the chip that was intended to prevent you from running custom ROMs on the phone. Lucky for us, the Motorola “solution” turned out to be very frustrating for developers to hack around — but not impossible.
According to New America Foundation, T-Mobile’s newest phone, the G2 by HTC, apparently is even worse than Motorola’s scheme. If the reports are accurate there is a chip in the phone that functions as a “rootkit” which is designed to override any changes you make to Android — and reinstall the original firmware.
“One of the microchips embedded into the G2 prevents device owners from making permanent changes that allow custom modifications to the the Android operating system.”
This is a terribly disturbing trend. Motorola argues that it’s to help reduce support calls and bricked phones — and to help keep the devices from being compromised and system files being replaced with malicious versions.
That’s all pink and rosy on the outside, but looking deep, it’s like installing Linux on your desktop computer, and when you reboot the next morning, Windows ME is back.
The development community hates this kind of stuff — with a vengeance. The tighter something is locked down, the harder they work to get around the limitations. Just like with the Droid X, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the wonderfully talented folks over at XDA-Developers have some joyous news for us.
In the meantime, shame on you, T-Mobile. Shame on you.