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AH Primetime: Dear Carriers, Can You Please Leave My Phone Alone?

October 13, 2013 - Written By Leonardo Benveniste

Carrier branding exists, it’s not going anywhere and it’s not about to change any time soon but that doesn’t mean it’s ok and we should put up with it. I understand the need of the carriers to put their logo in as many places as they can, after all, it’s free publicity but when branding ruins a device it means it’s gone too far.

I know what you’re thinking: This is all Verizon’s fault but it’s not. Verizon is probably the worst when it comes to putting logos on devices, unnecessary, huge, wide logos in strange places when the logo evidently doesn’t fit. Yes, that’s true, but carrier branding goes beyond that. Every carrier has a ton of uninstallable apps, they have hidden services like what happened with Carrier IQ, they are responsible for the names. Oh, the names… just thinking about that makes me shudder. Was something like “Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch” really necessary? And that was Sprint, not Verizon.

Fortunately, some OEMs have started to fight back a little in that area and the biggest devices of the year are coming out untouched: the Moto X, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One and the LG G2 have been left their original names across the board.

After the names, it’s time for the OEMs to regain control of the front of the device. The back of the device is probably a lost battle, every carrier will have their logo there and that’s probably ok if they could be a little more subtle. The front however, is almost an offense, the newly leaked press photos of Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a perfect example of this. That logo is huge and it clearly is not meant to be in a button that size. It’s the Note 2 story all over again, I thought we were in the clear when the Note 3 skipped that logo but no, evidently Verizon had other plans. They’ve done the same with the LG G2, the logo on top is ridiculous, way to big and it’s not even centered, I don’t know what they were thinking.

Verizon LG G2

I talked a lot about Verizon but it goes the same for everyone else. It’s like their afraid users will forget what network they’re using, like they don’t have most people locked in two year contracts and monthly bills.

My point is this: I’m paying for the device, you should not be able to use it as your own personal billboard. That’s one of the reasons I own a Nexus, not only because I like Google’s offering but because I’m not tied to any carrier and my phone is my phone, no branding, no logos, no bloatware, no contracts, nothing. I’m avoiding all of the stuff that carriers like to throw down the users’ throats. That’s my stand, that’s my way of fighting all of this. If you want carriers to stop being in control, then buying unlocked phones is a very good way to start. Show them that users are not theirs to put ads and that we won’t be branded as cattle.

Image Credit: Android Central