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!

Comments

  • Elias Lugo

    With Cyanogenmod release OTA updates, The consumer may not have to worry about wiping and flashing the latest build either.

    • Nessim

      CyanogenMod 10 gets OTA nightly builds installed automatically with new CM Updater optionhttp://www.phonearena.com/news/CyanogenMod-10-gets-OTA-nightly-builds-installed-automatically-with-new-CM-Updater-option_id35043

  • Pete Seiler

    Heck, I have been rooting and flashing my friends phones and tablets for free. I swear I am the official “Phone Mod Guy” at my work, I even mod icrap too…maybe I should start charging people as well, that would fund my phone collection!

    • Brandon VanVorst

      Haha Im the same guy at my job to, they all ask for work. But people I know free people of friends and what not there is a beer money fee.

  • anjarys

    What if a total newbie get those pre rooted phone and accidently screwed his phone which is easy if you have rooted phone. Whose to blame?

  • Subhani Minhas

    in china MI ONE and MI two phones come preloaded wigh MIUI.
    I wish for a day once not only ROMS but the actual mobile hardware could be moded to make a custom phone incl screen size, processor, ram etc, just like a hackable pc.

  • Brandon VanVorst

    This is a great idea, but licensing of Google pre-installed apps is not allowed unless the manufacturing company has been approved by Google. Then the user could flash their own gapps after receiving their device. But this would be like building a gaming rig without an OS on it, leaving it up to the consumer to fend for them selves. Plus CM10 is the only one with the option of self updating by a couple simple clicks. And trust me people I know people who get worried about updating the 100% stock android phone, having to manually flash anything would never fly…

  • Luke

    Geeksphone makes a phone that is pre-rooted. Supports multiple OS too.