a3nm's blog

Hardware warranty on phones

— updated

I've ranted about this for quite a bit, so I think I'd better blog about it once and be done with it. Here we go...

A lot of mobile phones today could be used as a general-purpose computer as far as the hardware is concerned, but come with a bunch of software restrictions. There are a lot of reasons for that: most users want their phone to be dead simple to use, and the telcos' nonsensical pricing (like, for instance, selling something labelled as full-featured unlimited Internet access and still trying to make customers pay their phone calls) makes it necessary for them to lock users.

Fortunately, it is usually possible to get rid of these crippled systems: iPhones can be jailbroken, Android phones can be rooted, and so on. The problem is that such actions void the warranty on the phone.

Don't get me wrong: I understand that I can't both use my phone in creative ways and ask my phone manufacturer to help me with that. The important point is that I don't need a warranty on the software, but I still need a warranty on the hardware.

The rationale is the following: except in the case of a hardware bug (or in some very specific cases, like BIOS flashing, software control of the fans, and so on), the hardware should work no matter which software I run on it. If it fails within the warranty period, I would like the manufacturers to replace it for free, because it means that the hardware was defective.

It surprises me a bit that, to my knowledge, no consumer defense association took the necessary steps to prevent manufacturers from refusing to replace the faulty hardware they sell, and to put an end to this ridiculous excuse of "the hardware was damaged by the broken software you used"...

comments welcome at a3nm<REMOVETHIS>@a3nm.net