Why isn’t anyone selling Android devices that are already rooted and flashed with a custom ROM?

October 1, 2012
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Many years ago, in what feels like another lifetime, I was a hardcore PC gamer. My computer weighed more than my girlfriend, it sounded like a Boeing 747, but I didn’t care because I built it with my own hands. Now just because I decided to build my own PC to play videogames, that doen’t meant I thought everyone else should have done the same thing. Lots of people opt to buy systems from Alienware, Voodoo, Dell, and several other boutique gaming companies. Those of use who knew how to build computers laughed at how over priced those pre-built systems cost, but at the same time we understood that one doesn’t need to know how to route cables under a motherboard tray to enjoy an all night Unreal Tournament gaming session.

Which brings us to Android. You and I know that rooting our phones and flashing them with a custom ROM can provide an experience that’s far better than what the original manufacturer or operator intended, but what about people who don’t want to go through that? Put yourself in the shoes of a person who isn’t tech savvy. They need to search for a ROM, follow a 20 step process that was written in a forum post somewhere, said forum post comes with multiple warnings about breaking their device, and to top it all off when they ask for “help” they’re often just pointed back to that “easy” 20 step process.

People shouldn’t need to know how to build a computer to enjoy videogames, and similarly people shouldn’t need to know how to flash a ROM to enjoy the most that their smartphone can offer. So I want to find out, why isn’t there a company out there that sells people devices that are already rooted and flashed with CyanogenMod or MIUI or something else?

These “pre-pimped” phones would cost maybe 50 Euros more than a retail device, but they’ll be that much better because they’ll ship without any skins, they’ll probably run the latest version of Android, and they’ll be backed by a real business instead of a couple anonymous forum members who may or may not prove useful should something go wrong.

Update: One of our readers, Dave Moehle, sent me a link to a story about a man in Houston, Texas who does exactly what I described in the article above. He charges $30 for rooting/flashing. That’s more than fair!

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