Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Mar 2012 21:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This past week and this weekend I've finally found the time to enter into the colorful world of custom Android ROMs. After figuring out just how insanely great and awesome ClockWorkMod Recovery is, I set about to figure out what the best Ice Cream Sandwich ROM is for the Galaxy SII. While the answer to that question became clear quite quickly, this answer also gave rise to a whole bunch of other questions.
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Not an engineering problem
by fretinator on Mon 19th Mar 2012 16:04 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

The question all this raises is a rather straightforward one: how is it possible that a group of open source engineers can create this wonderful package that Samsung, despite all its resources, technical documentation, and inside knowledge of their own device, can't even come close to? What the heck are they doing back in South Korea?

I don't believe there is anything wrong with the Samsung engineers. The difference is the focus. The open-source engineer has a single purpose - how can I produce the best build - the best combination of features and stability. The Samsung engineer is fulfilling the purposes of the Business unit and the Marketing unit. There purpose is to generate the largest revenue possible. To accomplish this additional goal gives 2 additional requirements to the Samsung engineer:

1. Differentiation - it is imperative that the Samsung device (or HTC, etc) be different. If all manufactures release identical devices, it is harder to Market. Samsung wants to stand out. Of course, I think this could be done with excellent hardware, service, etc. But Business folks love to see cool, flashy animations, etc.

2. Third-party - the Samsung engineers must allow all kinds of third-party application to be integrated into the build. These folks pay money to be there.

Thus, the Samsung engineers have to do what they do.

For users, it means we have to live with wierd add-on home screens and applications we will never use, but can't be removed.

Apple owns the whole chain so they do not have this problem. Microsoft has solved this problem by specifying exactly what a Windows Phone device will be and the OEM's aren't allowed to mess it up. I wish Google would do the same, but the cat is out of the bag.

This is the price of the open eco-system of Android. Then again, it is this open system that enables us to have the custome ROM's.

Reply Score: 4

AlekosPanagulis Member since:
2012-03-19

Thank you for this lucid explanation.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Not an engineering problem
by earlycj5 on Wed 21st Mar 2012 03:42 in reply to "Not an engineering problem"
earlycj5 Member since:
2007-04-12

I keep seeing "Differentiation" as a reason.

Why is it then that PC manufacturers that sell MS Windows sell PCs based on hardware specs and when you start it up you can expect to see the same "Start" button in the lower left corner, the same system tray on the right, etc.?

Why is this OK for them but not phone manufacturers?

Reply Parent Score: 1