Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Cell Carriers Again Prove That They Are Dicks

Brian X. Chen, writing for the New York Times’ Bits blog:

San Francisco’s district attorney, George Gascón, said he had been working on an agreement with Samsung Electronics to include antitheft software with all its phones sold in the United States. Preloading the software on Samsung’s phones would require approval from the carriers that service the phones. The carriers, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint, rejected the idea, he said.

Mr. Gascón said that, based on e-mails he had reviewed between a Samsung executive and a software developer, it appeared that the carriers were unwilling to allow Samsung to load the antitheft software. The emails, he said, suggest that the carriers are concerned that the software would eat into the profit they make from the insurance programs many consumers buy to cover lost or stolen phones.

You’re probably expecting me to point out how there is a “kill switch” in iOS 7 for which Apple, presumably, didn’t need to get carrier approval. But that’s not what I’m trying to do here. Whatever the deal is between Samsung (et al) and the carriers is clearly being taken advantage of to the detriment of end users.