Thursday, July 18, 2024

(Please) Don’t Hack the Droid X

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Motorola already had a hit with its Droid phone last year, and now the Droid’s big brother, the Droid X, is following in its footsteps.

However, like Apple, Motorola (NYSE: MOT) is contending with a headache in the mobile phone blogosphere. There have been reports that the Droid X’s bootloader will brick the phone — render it useless — if it finds any software other than the approved software from Motorola and Verizon, the Droid X’s exclusive partner.

The launch is being dogged by rumors among Android and mobile phone blogs of a self-destruct chip called an eFuse, which operates similar to a circuit breaker. In a typical circuit breaker, a device is shut down in case of a hardware failure or heat. But in the Droid X, the eFuse will supposedly brick the phone if it finds unsupported software on the phone.

Smartphone customers, like PC customers, generally use what the vendor gives them, but there is a small community of hobbyists who are like modern day chopper builders. They like to fiddle with their phone and put different software on it. In this case, it might be Android 2.2, a.k.a. Froyo, which is only available for the Google Nexus One phone.

Motorola, however, denied that the eFuse chip turns a $569 phone into a paperweight.

Read the rest at Enterprise Mobile Today.

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