Sunday, May 19, 2013

My favorite phone Xperia Mini Pro is alive and kicking......

I already have a lot of posts on the favorite phone. I have written all about its features, rooting it, installing custom roms and everything. This post is particularly about the attitude of big corporations and their lethargic attitude towards the customer once a sale is made.

Business institutions are full about various subjects relating to customer satisfaction/customer requirements/repeat customers. Students from these institutions get high packets based on the things they learn from these institutions and are taught about all the ideals of keeping the customers happy.

But once these students end up with big organizations, with a very costly noose around their necks, called the "tie", they are re-programmed to work in the traditional way the whole business is being carried out. The very best example of how these organizations work has been the android eco-system. Being an open eco-system based on apache licence has put into open the negatives of traditional way of customer satisfaction.

Customers these days are over-whelmed with information about products and their features. This information is again adulterated by paid reviews of the product and see that it gets maximum penetration. This is one side of the coin which deals with selling a product to the customer. Now, the android eco-system starts with a sale, while other products end with a sale. Organizations are finding it difficult to assimilate the fact that a sale with open systems, dont end with a sale, in fact it starts with a sale. Customers are eagerly waiting for additional services/product upgrades. So, why are the customers so much demanding? The answer lies in the open nature of the android eco-system

Once a device is released, the kernel code which is under GPL is to be released in parallel. So, what do traditional companies do to continue doing their traditional business? They delay the release of the kernel sources. Now, once the kernel sources are released, there is only one task remaining, build a custom rom for that device with all the updated features available in the AOSP code released.

AOSP is a moving target, being updated everyday with bugfixes and new features from volunteers worldwide. But the device came with a static rom and that is exactly what the big organizations are ready to give you. Well, the customers dont want that, they want their device to be alive as long as it meets their requirement or they can make the device meet their requirement by using upgraded code from the AOSP project.

How do big organizations stop users/devs from doing the above? Create binary only drivers packaged as blobs and Linux supports blobs to be loaded as it is(This is exactly what makes RMS fume on the licensing choice of the linux kernel). Now, without these blobs, the custom built rom would not function out of the box, resulting in a rom, with limited functionality compared to the stock rom which came with the device.

Let me come back to the subject, xperia mini pro. Awesome design for a qwerty phone, little heavy thats it. Its an awesom device. Sony upgraded the software radically only once. They upgraded it to ICS from GB, cribbing all the way about the lack of hardware capability to run ICS throught the build process which took almost an year. After that they orphaned the phone. Another team, the freexperia team which is responsible for bringing cyanogenmod to xperia devices also lifted their hand from upgrading the phones to the next version, JB.  Half hearted attempts were made by them to build cm10 for the 2011 series. Once they saw that the device did live it up to the task, they became serious and we had 4.1 for our phones, then, they stopped and decided that 2013 is too late for 2011

Now, it is the turn of the individuals to expand the life of the device. nAa, did the unthinkable and unimaginable for 2011 devices he started with 3.* kernel and has succesfully built 3.4* kernel for them, But of course he was still standing on giants. You should feel the device in your hands running this fantastic kernel and 4.2.2, the lates branch of android. In fact the 2013 flagship sony devices are still on 4.1.2. The device feels snappy and ready for future android releases. Thanx to all the devs at Cyanogenmod and users/devs at the xda forums, my fav phone has got a new lease of life and is completely rejuvinated.

So, shall we jump to Customer satisfaction 3.0....................

Update:- 14.08.2013

We now have android 4.3 a.k.a Cyanogenmod 10.2 on the Xperia mini pro. Thanx to the efforts of mikeioannina and ofcourse nAa we now have LegacyXperia 4.3 . Go ahead and flash it.

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.