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The only way to avoid the carrier control on non-iPhone phones is by going around them, purchasing a device directly from the phone’s manufacturer. For example, Google’s Nexus 4 will receive updates from Google without any carrier getting involved. Users can also purchase other unlocked, off-contract devices and receive updates without carrier involvement — assuming the manufacturer releases those updates.

You can also go off the beaten path, unlocking your phone’s boot loader and installing a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod to get an updated version of Android, whether your carrier wants you to or not. --Chris Hoffman

Too bad Cyanogen failed.  From what I can gather, rooting and modding a phone can be quite a nuisance, but I thought Cyanogen held the most promise for guys like us who like to play around with these things.  Cheap as these phones are now these days, I still hate the idea of junking a phone because of a lack of software support.

Also, PCNetSpec, that was a nice piece on CDMA and GSM.  Thank you.  It's true what it says too:  you can't take a Sprint phone over to a Verizon network.  Straight Talk uses both GSM and CDMA networks, and I once tried bringing my Sprint Galaxy 3 phone over to Straight Talk for my wife.  The tech folks at Straight Talk tried and tried and tried, but it wouldn't work.
I don't expect any public communications to be secure, I just have some sympathy for the poor saps who do.
Well you DID create a contract by the simple act of buying it .. but that contract was only really "statutory rights" including "fit for purpose".
I didn't sign any contract, I just bought a Chinese phone in the supermarket. Points all taken though, it's a ridiculous situation that many of us just accept.
"don't want to" is a user choice, and I'd expect the fine print you agreed to to already contain info saying they aren't responsible for data security.

"can't" get online is a different matter .. they would be legally obliged to provide the service for the length of the contract or for a "reasonable" amount of time if they sold you the device off contract.

Truth is if you read the contract, they probably made you sign something releasing them from any responsibility for updates and/or security .. and are then only loosely tied to the grey area of "fit for purpose" laws and regulations.

If you think corporations work to any "moral" obligations, I'm pretty sure you're a time traveller ;)
I agree, it's not reasonable. Plus the updates can only be done over the internet, so what if you get a security flaw that affects the cellular service, but you can't or don't want to go online?
Somehow I doubt if they're "legally" obliged.

Anyway, here's why Android devices rarely (if ever) get updates:
I got one or two updates on mine before they seemed to dry up. I'm just questioning whether they have a responsibility or an obligation to update things after you buy them.

How can you with a hardware locked device?  The only way to install a new version of Android is to root the device, which most people don't know how to do and it can also turn the device into a brick.  So, I don't see how it's a reasonable expectation that the end user can update it when it's neither easy or quick.  Plus, some people have phones that cost hundreds of dollars (or whatever they're using) and they may not want to risk bricking them.
I got one or two updates on mine before they seemed to dry up. I'm just questioning whether they have a responsibility or an obligation to update things after you buy them.
OK, I suppose scifi meant when you just rent the phone and it's all part of a whole contract deal. I get that, I was just being picky. :)

I own my phone.  I use a no contract service, so I paid for mine out of pocket and I also bought the SIM card.  In the time since I bought it, there have been a number if system updates, so somebody is providing them.
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