While Sony Sues Modders, Samsung Sends Them Devices To Mod Faster

from the different-approaches dept

We've talked plenty of times about Sony's long history of trying to block tinkerers and modders, culminating in the company's absolutely ridiculous lawsuit against Geohot (George Hotz) for jailbreaking the PS3. It appears that Samsung is taking an extremely different approach. Rather than trying to restrict or hinder modders, the company just sent a bunch of free smartphones to some of the top modders:

Four members of the CyanogenMod software team on Monday received Galaxy S II smartphones in the mail, direct from the company at no charge.

“All four of us involved in the porting process for the first Galaxy S received a new phone,” CyanogenMod team member Kolja Dummann told Wired.com in an interview. “After the [Galaxy S II] launched in Europe, we just asked about getting some of those phones. Samsung agreed.”

The phones came with one simple directive — get CyanogenMod working on the phone.

Essentially, CyanogenMod replaces the stock operating system on your Android phone with a customized build, letting you make tweaks and adjustments that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to before. Customizations range from changing visual details — like slapping a sleek new uniform skins onto the user interface — to under-the-hood boosts like overclocking the phone’s CPU.

Think about that for a second. Unlike most device makers, who jealously try to lock down the device, Samsung hasn't just handed over its devices early, but it's specifically encouraging them to get their replacement/modded OS working on the phone as quickly as possible. Which strategy do you think is likely to create loyalty, win fans, and lead to greater innovation and value for users?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    David Liu (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    Not to mention it's genius. They get others working to make their phones better for free.

     

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  2.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    I still hope Sony will do the right thing

    . . . and fall on their sword.

     

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  3.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    Just don't forget that, for these guys it might be about more than money. It could be recognition, curiosity, love of hobby, opportunity to work with current technology, etc.

    I've noticed that I have purchased a notable amount of Samsung electronics in the past couple years. If my satisfaction is linked to this sort of open-mindedness, than I'm all for it.

     

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  4.  
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    Sam (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Other major Android manufacturers have made steps in the right direction, announcing unlockable bootloaders on future phones, but this is certainly the best manufacturer initiative I've seen. As a happy CyanogenMod user, I can only hope more manufacturers put this sort of effort into consumer choice and making available the full capabilities of the OS.

     

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  5.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Hmmm...

    Well, it looks like my next phone provider just stood up. Thanks everyone, we have a winner. Now if I could just get enough memory in the phone (a problem I've had all along.)

    I've been hearing good things about the Galaxy...

    Oh, and Sony....you can sit down. I have no intention of ever buying a Sony branded product ever again. The fact that I chose you in the past despite the fact that your competitors were offering a better product for less was a mistake that I am now regretting more than ever.

    Just remember, Ericsson is owned by Sony.

     

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  6.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    well not for free, for actual profit. Think of how much they can benefit from the goodwill from doing this, not to mention future sales which would result in said profit. If they were going even further they'd provide a field of samsung phones for major 3rd party developers (XDA, cyanogenmod) - instead of having to pay them a salary, give them the phone and let them do it in their spare time.

     

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  7.  
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    umccullough (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: I still hope Sony will do the right thing

    The time to do that has long passed... at this point, it would be an extremely cheeky PR move at best.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Hmmm...

    I can say I'm pleased with my Epic. I think I made a good choice for my first smartphone.

    iPhone? What's that?

     

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  9.  
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    imbrucy (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Samsung has it right

    I currently own a Galaxy S (Captivate) and I use Cyanogen 7. Moves like this are a great way to build up your brand and to build up the community around your products. Samsung hasn't done everything related to Android right, but they are really making a smart decision here.

     

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  10.  
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    A Dan (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    I'm unsurprised

    Keep in mind that this is the company that makes the Nexus S. It's not surprising, based on that fact, that they'd be more open to less-restricted phones than other manufacturers.

     

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  11.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Always Been a Fan of Motorola Hardware

    But HTC and Samsung have impressed me lately with their commitment to opening up their phones, so I might go with them next round instead. Pay attention, Motorola!

     

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  12.  
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    Aaron Martin-Colby (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Wow!

    One of the things that kept me away from the Motorola Atrix was the locked bootloader. If Samsung is displaying this sort of dedication to openness, I'll have to seriously reconsider my resistance to buying their phones.

    Truly, I think I may very well have found my next phone! I've been waiting for a company to do this!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Damn!

    I just bought a new LG TV to replace the Samsung that I had had for about 3.5 years. The samsung was failing, and I thought it was too soon for a new LCD TV to crap out, so I did some research and found that Samsung used some questionable capacitors or something around the time I bought it... That had ticked me off, hence the switch, but a move like this is the type of thing that makes me want to support them... maybe they'll be my next phone (one on Sprint though, I'm giving ATT and Verizon the finger)

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Samsung Versus Sony

    Which one is a hardware company and which one is run by the entertainment industry?

     

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  15.  
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    Rich, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re:

    That's a good point. I've been soured on Sony lately, and was thinking about what brand to get when I buy a new TV (I currently have a Sony 52"). I think I'll look at Samsung. Anyone familiar with their TVs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Rich, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Samsung Versus Sony

    Sony *use* to be a great hardware company.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Once upon a time

    Long ago, another company gave away hardware to developers. The time was 2003, and the company was Microsoft. They gave away free PDA's with the .NET compact framework built-in. I recieved one, and it bought my loyalty for at least 5 years.

    That was 7 years ago. And a different Microsoft. It's time for Balmer to go, and take his Windows 8 with him.

    5 years between OS releases, Steve! 5!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Always Been a Fan of Motorola Hardware

    I am very happy with my HTC EVO 4G. I spent nearly a year deciding on my next phone and the EVO won out and I do not regret my choice for one second!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Miff (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    I'm willing to bet that Samsung won't be doing this again after pressure from carriers. :/

     

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  20.  
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    Glaze (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Carrier vs. Hardware

    Just remember, all of you on AT&T they lock all of their phones so you can't even install apps not in the Android MP... I'll be giving the finger to AT&T for that one as soon as my contract is up... Why offer development phones if you can't even install your own APKs? Bad move AT&T but you've seen plenty of posts like that on your own forums and still do nothing about it...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, Samsung is great, I have a buch of their 46 inch TV's. I use one 46 inch as a computer monitor. No more sitting at a desk (no more desk for that matter), wireless keyboard, a couch, and a coffee table as a desk and foot rest.

     

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  22.  
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    Rabbit80, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    My phone is up for renewal next week. I had already decided to get the Galaxy SII. Looks like I might have made the right choice!

    (HTC were a close second, Sony, Apple and Motorola were out of the running due to my hatred of them)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Samsung Versus Sony

    The only thing sony ever did right were their trinitron TV's and the walkman. Its been down hill since then.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    "Sony, Apple and Motorola were out of the running due to my hatred of them"

    A quick note to these companies. We are your customers ... that is all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    PRMan, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Damn!

    Samsung has made several Android phones for Sprint.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    PRMan, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re:

    "A quick note to these companies. We are NOT your customers ... that is all."

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    even better if they start shipping with CM by default.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Damn!

    i thought it was 2 though hole caps that just needed to be replaced with piles of instructions on the web about it....

    http://www.hobbymods.com/Samsung%20tv%20power%20up%20problem%20relay%20clicking.htm

    http://ww w.thebuzzmedia.com/samsung-tv-capacitor-clicking-issue-and-free-repair/

    Want to mail me the old set? ;-P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    DrMacinyasha, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Not the first time

    This actually isn't the first time this has happened. Geeksphone actually sent one of their ZERO phones to a member of the CM team (I forget which, but looking through the commit logs should make it pretty obvious). Because of that, the device actually ships with ClockworkMod Recovery on the device, as well as root access, and CyanogenMod was available for the Zero on release-day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    Re: I still hope Sony will do the right thing

    Lulzsec has already taken Sony's sword and posted it at Pastebin.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Lauriel (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

    Re:

    I have a Samsung Omnia. Nice phone, unfortunately hampered by the fact that I have a Windows OS (not a huge fan, so far). My brother has the Sony Experia, and I have used Eriksons in the past, but not smartphones. Unfortunately, I think Erikson make far better phones. Shame about them being owned by Sony, because I'm avoiding Sony like the plague.

    If Samsung are willing to put in the work, like it seems they are doing with their new range, and are willing to take opportunities like this, then that situation will change soon.

    I also think that Samsung's move here is a big poke in the eye to Apple. They've basically said "if we have to hand over our phones early anyway, we'll do it our way and benefit from it." Given Apple's notoriously closed system, there is no way Apple will do the same.

     

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  32.  
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    Prashanth (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

    Unfortunately, my family is pretty deeply entrenched with Sony, so it's probably futile for me to ask them to consider something like Samsung (they've considered Korean products inferior thanks to crappy Samsung & Hyundai products in the 1980s). That said, when I get around to buying these things, I will definitely be buying from companies like Samsung and HTC, NOT Sony.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    A quick note to these companies. We could be your customers if you weren't such dicks to people ... that is all."

    FTFY ... actually FTFBOU (Fixed The For Both Of Us)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 8th, 2011 @ 11:57pm

    Re:

    That was 20 years ago -= the worm has turned in the other direction; Samsung are now mroe reliable than Sony by a large margin.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    farooge (profile), Jun 9th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Korean companies ..

    motivations are always suspect to me (esp Samsung) - just look at the changes they made to their laws for Disney.

    But this is awesome news - they already make great hardware and now I feel a lot safer buying it .... as I now feel safer assuming won't be 'upgraded' the Sony way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    IronM@sk, Jun 9th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sony's TVs have been crap for years. LG have crap digital tuners. Samsung have made consistantly good TVs since the Series 4's. In the States, Vizio make excellent bang-for-buck units. If they were available in Oz, I would buy one. But Samsung LCDs I would recommend. For plasma, can't look past Panasonic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Unbranded, Jun 9th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am also a big fan of this! Congrats Samsung, you've got yourself a mass amount of technologist fans. I also agree with Microsofts methods towards Open Kinect! Is nobody was ever allowed to tamper with technology, we would hit a stand still. Sony, You should feel ashamed!!! I will also be avoiding Sony brands for ever and eternity!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    David (profile), Jun 9th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    As a Galaxy S Owner...

    I have a Galaxy S, and this year Samsung "played politics" with T-Mobile in releasing an OS upgrade (to Froyo), when the "4G" models were coming out, stalling the update until it leaked that they were doing it. I hope they have adopted a new policy and are showing it, rather than just trying to repair their rep...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Attila, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Follow the Money

    Sony takes a loss on each PS3 sold, and makes money on software and services; locking down their console to make piracy harder and protect the revenue stream from their online services like Qriocity makes sense to them, I guess.

    Samsung doesn't care what version of Android their handsets run, so long as people buy them. I'm sure they make a handsome profit on each unit sold.

    I don't think anything about this story is particularly surprising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Deborah, Mar 18th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Dishonest Hackers

    Modifying ur own legally purchased hardware is all well & good in the tech world but publishing "How To" on the internet for any criminal elemant to see shuld not b allowed. Case in point: My MetroPCS phone was hacked about 6mos ago. I knew I had some kind of problem w/the internet. I complained 2 MetroPCS & they sold me a better phone full price! Problems got worse & 5 phones later & changing my phone # twice I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.My calls r monitored,voicemails erased b4 I hear them,texts mags scrambled, settings constantly changing & it gets worse! Bcuz I was naive & would call my bank 2 check account balances they took thousands of dollars. Not 2 mention gained access 2 my email & created identity theft. Metro won't help bcuz its prepaid. Police won't help til sum1 is murdered even though my place has been broken in2 several times. Y don't u guys publish "How To Get Rid Of The Hacker Thats Destroyed Ur Life" Or "How 2 Trace Back"? I can't even get approved 4 a contracted w/another carrier bcuz of the identity theft.
    Welcome 2 my nitemare!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Amber Corine (profile), Mar 20th, 2014 @ 7:30am

    I would be very thankful if you continue with quality what you are serving right now with your blog...I really enjoyed it...and i really appreciate to you for this....its always pleasure to read so....Thanks for sharing!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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