Some excited rooters at the XDA Dev Forum tried to root the G2 – namely to unlock the software so they can add their own programs and control the OS – only to find that there is a built-in lock in the G2 hardware that returns the handset to the stock state upon rooting. That’s right: it’s a self-repairing system, like grey goo.
That said, this is pretty much some BS. To force a user to use one and only one version of Android is an anathema to the spirit and letter of the Apache license under which Android is given away by Google. This move proves that carriers see Android as a cash cow. They don’t really have to spend any money on development so they can spend plenty of money on locking things down to their liking. It also flies directly in the face of those who see Android as the “freer” alternative OS.
New America puts it best:
. Wireless network operators have deployed a hardware rootkit that restricts modifications to a device owned by the user. This would be akin to a computer sold with Microsoft Windows containing chip that prevented users from installing Linux or another operating system of their choice.
There are two ways to look at this. First, you can say T-Mobile is protecting its investment. If everyone rooted their phones willy nilly, cats and dogs would live together and it would be mass hysteria. Customers would come in with odd, frozen installs and the sales reps would have to figure out what happened, adding to T-Mo’s support cost. If you have a hard reset on each phone that will bring it back to its original state, that concern is moot. This kind of hand-holding is an insult but it makes good business sense.
Second, you could say that this is a method for T-Mo to destroy our freedom. While I will err on the side of reason and root my opinion at some point in the middle, I think this will end badly for T-Mo and other carriers who are desperately trying to keep their slim margins a little fatter.