I remember being surprised when a coworker first got the original Droid and demonstrated Verizon hadn’t crippled the phone in any noticeable way. They have a long history of disabling features either completely or to force customers to use pay for the privilege versions. I wasn’t surprised to see this Wired post by Priya Ganapati explaining that the long desired updated to the latest Android release, Froyo, will come to the Droid minus tethering and the ability to act as a wireless hot spot.
The carrier is claiming the Droid doesn’t have the horsepower to pull of these new software tricks.
“The Droid by Motorola doesn’t have [the] hardware to support a mobile hot spot,” a Verizon spokesperson told MobileCrunch. “With tethering there is no connection on the PC side that will allow you to tether the device, so the answer is: That option isn’t part of this update.”
The modding commuting has already put that to the lie. The same coworker of mine, who still has his Droid, has installed a custom ROM already to not only get Froyo but to get the tethering and hot spot features specifically. The gadget treadmill is in full force, the full features of Froyo will be available on the newer Motorola phones from Verizon, like the Droid X.
I have to wonder what the real cost is to Verizon to just let older devices try to run these newer builds unmodified. If the phone really doesn’t have the oomph to manage these tricks, won’t users want to upgrade anyway? Forcing them to do so well before the mean time to failure, let alone minimum service contract length, is a dangerous gamble in terms of the potential customer good will they could lose.