Update: Looks like we were right.

ROM developers and Android tinkering enthusiasts alike have probably noticed at this point that the new iteration of the Nexus 7, unveiled two weeks ago, does not yet have factory images or driver binaries posted on the appropriate Google Developers page. A similar issue plagued the Nexus 4 in its early days, though eventually images were posted. At the time, legal issues were speculated as a possible reason for the delay, and Android build maintainer JBQ - largely responsible for the images / binaries - said only this in response: "I can't comment."

With the new Nexus 7, JBQ has not outright said that legal problems with Qualcomm are preventing the factory images (and possibly the driver binaries) from being published, but a quick look at the relevant evidence makes it pretty duh-obvious that's what's going on. A week after the new Nexus 7's announcement, JBQ tweeted the following:

A few days later, on August 4th:

Those tweets alone aren't enough to be definitively linked to the Nexus 7's image situation, but JBQ's comments on the Android building group regarding the situation pretty much seal the deal. When asked why the new Nexus 7 images were not available, JBQ replied as follows (consolidated for simplicity):

When will flo get factory images?

JBQ: No ETA, and I don't know if they'll ever be available at all.

What is the reason for this?

JBQ: Same as http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/13/jbq-on-pulled-nexus-4-factory-images-i-cant-comment-on-that/

JBQ: You'll also note that Google never distributed factory images for Nexus One.

Just to clarify: we're talking both factory images and proprietary binaries here, right?

JBQ: Lemme try to figure out how much more I'm allowed to say on that matter.

It's that second-to-last comment which points the [middle] finger at Qualcomm. And it's pretty easy to figure out why, looking at the chipset supplier for each Nexus device.

  • Nexus One: Qualcomm
  • Nexus S: Samsung
  • Galaxy Nexus: TI
  • XOOM: Tegra
  • Nexus 7: Tegra
  • Nexus 4: Qualcomm
  • Nexus 10: Samsung
  • Nexus Q: TI
  • Nexus 7 (2013): Qualcomm

All three Qualcomm-powered Nexus devices have had issues related to publishing factory images and binaries. (Note: HTC did publish factory images for the Nexus One, but Google did not.)

What's the legal issue? Who knows. Qualcomm is notoriously protective of its technology, having gone so far as to form a separate company devoted to R&D and the guarding of its intellectual property. It really could be anything. Maybe, eventually, things will work out like they did on the Nexus 4 and the images / binaries will be published, but JBQ isn't exactly sounding optimistic. We'll update this piece as we learn more.

Android Building, Twitter

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Edward Germanotta

    Y yo pensaba que estas cosas se concretaban mientras se diseñaba la tablet... Asi no habria sorpresas despues...

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Asumo que las personas involucradas piensan que la question resolveria antes del anuncio del dispositivo, pero quien sabe.

      • jdsmx

        Orale, no sabia que AP tenia Mods en Espanol

        • MindFever

          I didn't know that too :) I understand a bit Spanish (I speak Italian very well) but I suck at speaking Spanish...go figure

      • MindFever

        Yeah I though about the same thing...but that's quite a risky mentality given the fact that the device is meant for devs and tweaking and stuff ,right ? Oh I understand Spanish mostly,however I speak it poorly :) no I haven't used Google Translate,I didn't cheat :P

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          From the sound of his later G+ post it sounds like he actually raised the issue a while ago and was either ignored or told to hush, which is really really unfortunate.

    • Jeremy Gill

      ¿Por qué comentar en español en un artículo Inglés?

      • jak_341

        Android Police. Exposing closed source BS and bridging the language barrier between us. That's global humanitarianism.

        • Jeremy Gill


  • Darkencypher

    How sad :( he really wants these released. Qualcomm can go to hell.


      another disappointment, might as well get an ipad

      • anywherehome

        Please, go to some toy shop for a closed iPad :-)

      • TomsDisqusted

        What is particularly ridiculous about your comment is that the author of the article was good enough to show a chart showing that Qualcomm is the villian in this story. You can just pick one of the others rather then throwing up your hands and going to the company that makes Qualcomm look open.

      • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

        Now that makes sense (not!).

    • anywherehome

      Wouldn't be surprised if it is because NSA HW back door!
      We can not trust US anymore a single word.....

      • Lucas

        What? It's been happening long before NSA data was leaked, since the Nexus One! And, well, it'll be publicly available anyway, so what's the point in NSA spying it? o.O

      • Mahdeen Vakhshoor

        not really, it depends on many things.

        that can happen with any chip maker. we all know that they have manufacturing lines that they don't change for a single device so it's usual to disable a not requested feature on a chip to keep the production costs low rather than re-designing the whole thing... they disable a feature and of course they don't get paid for it....then it isn't hard to imagine that they are not happy to hear the final product being hacked to get that feature working while nobody paid for that!... I believe for example it isn't easy for Qualcomm to hear that devs have managed to get LTE working on Nexus 4 etc etc. or maybe discover again some disabled features in the new Nexus 7 chip... so they become less flexible in revealing everything.

  • Edgar


    • PhoenixPath

      I think you mean, "figuratively"... Hope that helps. :)

      Note** this has been my Grammar-nazi post of the day. Please direct your hateful and vile comments towards Qualcomm, an entity that actually deserves it.

      ...unless they are amusing; then post away. :)

      • Edgar

        Well, since you're a grammar nazi, I guess you are ...

        • PhoenixPath

          Nope. Still got it wrong. (Pretty sure it's on purpose now).

          Thanks for trying, though. Keep up the good work!

          • Edgar

            I don't actually make these images, you see. The "literally Hitler" thing is a meme.

          • PhoenixPath

            Bah, lazy and inarticulate.

            ..I should have known. ;-)

            (You do know I'm just giving you crap because it's something to do, right? I am literally that bored...)

          • the_banned_one_returns

            You are literally THAT boring...

          • PhoenixPath

            As the lyrics go...

            "I hear the voices in my head; I swear to god it sounds like they're snoring. Well if you're bored than your boring."

            My deepest apologies, kind Sir.

        • The unknown

          You, Sir deserve an upvote :-)

      • Chris

        Actually, you'll find that many dictionaries have added "figuratively" to the definition of "literally". Instead of waging a war against common usage, they've simply labelled it "slang" or similar.

        So, to be the TRUE grammar nazi, I have to point out that TECHNICALLY the usage is correct by modern American dictionary standards.

        • PhoenixPath

          We have a pedant. Awesome. :)

          Actually, while Websters points out that it is commonly misused for effect (hyperbole), I would direct your attention to a keyword; "misuse". :)

          This has been taken too far now, both literally and figuratively.

          ...but it's been fun. (or at least a decent time-wasting exercise.)

      • Hayden Lueck

        You must be a hoot at parties.

        • PhoenixPath

          As with all things, it depends on the audience, the material one has to work with and the availability of alcohol.

  • chris125

    Hope this gets straightened out and soon

    • Ivan Myring

      Yeah. I'm not getting one but I'll feel sorry for people who did and can't get decent custom ROMs. Hopefully Qualcomm and Google can get it sorted out, and if anyone can afford to pursue legal matters its Google.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I really hope these issues will be worked out, whatever they are, as they were with the Nexus 4.

    • Barnassey

      The way they are it wont be anytime soon. Which would put that nexus 7 in an interesting position. A device that in its very core supposed to be open is being blocked from being so. THIS is why i REFUSE to buy qualcomm based devices.

      • burntcookie90

        There are non-qualcomm devices now?

        • Barnassey

          Is that sarcasm?

          • burntcookie90

            Not necessarily no.

            HTC One: Snapdragon 600
            S4: Snapdragon 600
            Nexus 7: Snapdragon S4
            Moto X: Snapdragon S4
            Nexus 4: Snapdragon
            LG G2: Snapdragon 800
            Xperia Z: Snapdragon S4

            (All above specs for US models"

            What's left?

          • Barnassey

            Tegra 3: Optimus 4X HD, international HTC one X, HTC One X+

            Exynos 4412: Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III international, Galaxy Note 8.0,
            Exynos 5410: Galaxy S4

            NovaThor U8500: galaxy s III mini (AKA Tmobile Galaxy Exhibit 3rd Gen) Sony Xperia go, Sony xperia sola Xperia U, Xperia P.

            Omap 4 4470: Galaxy premier I9260 And many more but those are the standouts. I personally buy my phones outright from Negri Electronics. I am a T-mobile customer as well. currently i use 3 different phones depending on what i am doing An N7100, the I9300 or the Optimus 4X.

          • burntcookie90

            Performance on the non-exynos SoCs pales in comparison to the snapdragons.

            Exynos 4 has a bunch of weird binaries and issues that arise when attempting to create custom ROMs for devices utilizing that SoC.

            Exynos 5 is an exception, except it's ability to work on US LTE networks doesn't exist.

          • Barnassey

            True but i think the Exynos 5410 did have an LTE chipset that was released. I dont remember the name.... EDIT: Ah there it is. http://www.galaxys4forums.net/forum/2-galaxy-s4-news-site-news/178-samsung-confirms-twitter-exynos-5-octa-chip-works-fine-all-20-lte-bands.html

          • Barnassey

            The reason why it never got mass produced in a really large quantity is due to the Cache coherency issues. To make it simple when it changed over to the A7's from the A15's it had to copy what was in the A15's through ram rather than the faster way of simply taking over.

          • retrospooty

            The problem with that is that none of those chips match up to the qualcomm equivalent. Tegra 4 isnt looking any better. Exynos is looking old and the new ones arent doing too well, and Tegra 4 is another fail. I had a Tegra 4 tablet for a week. Took it back because it was ridiculously hot and poor battery life. Maybe the 2nd rev of the Exynos Octa will be better, but now the Snapdragon 800 is out and fast as hell.

            I am not disagreeing with your sentiment, just saying that Qualcom chips are both the fastest and most widely available. In order to beat them someone has to perform at or near them, AND be able top produce it in mass quantities. So far, it looks like the gap is widening, not shrinking.

          • Barnassey

            Thats why i stopped personally from buying them. but i dont put my opinion on my family due to the fact i would have to recommend them lower performing phones. If they dominate too long the market will become too entrenched with them.

          • Bakaouji

            Lol Tegra & Exynos. They're worse than Qualcomm.

          • Paul

            Thats not true to the Tegra. NVIDIA changed alot with the inclusion of the Tegra 3 chipset on the AOSP project. They got more open, doing more commits.

            Qualcom keeps doing the same stuff all over again. Yea they are more powerfull raw chipsets, but honestly power doesnt bypass Hardware + Software symbiosis.

            Dont talk about what you do not understand.

          • Barnassey

            Actually clock for clock the exynos 4 dual consistently beats the the first gen kraits.

          • silaslenz

            Tegra 4 (or 4i) isn't ready for phones yet, so nvidia is out of the game. TI has basically quit the soc market. Samsung wasn't even ready to put the newest exynos in its own phone, much less selling it.
            Intel might be an alternative, at least soon.
            Mediatek and rockchip are not really competitive in the high end.

            So, what's left?

          • Barnassey

            Nvidia isnt out of the game just yet. One thing about them is they keep trying till they get it right. Do not think they will simply give up. Samsung did put the newest version on the their phone. They just couldnt make enough of them. If mediatek isnt competitive then why did qualcomm make the MSM 8x10 and 8x12 series? http://www.anandtech.com/show/7086/qualcomm-announces-snapdragon-200-additions-msm8x10-and-msm8x12

            Thats due to the performance of the MT6589 SOC making them nervous. They are used to dominating the low end.

    • Andrew

      Why didn't Google just make it a condition of using the chip that these binaries can be released?

      • proteus

        Thats the central question. I mean that and with it fast availability of new Android releases are the core points Nexus was for. Sounds like the end of the Nexus story.

      • Aleksandr Ivanov

        The most interesting part is that JBQ fought Google for 6 months...

  • Guillaume ‘XpLoDWilD’

    So much irony... When Qualcomm, through the CodeAurora Forum, distributes every single bit of their hardware platform source code.

    • yahyoh

      what if they sue Cyanogenmod it would be sucks :(

      • Daniel DS

        *would suck. Go to school, kid

        • naysayer

          No need to be rude. Not everyone here is a native speaker.

          • Daniel DS

            Me neither, but at least I know basic English. I hope I'm not the only one

          • It’s a long game

            @Daniel DS

            Son, it's a big world, and 'basic' English is overrated over a whole lot of it. You'll find that you will accomplish more in life by shelving the pompous and bigoted attitude than by bragging up skills you think you have.

            Oh, and you might want to work on your punctuation skills there, champ.

          • DarkCalf

            There's some irony. You complain about punctuation skills, whilst at the same time you used improper quotation marks.

            Read a book.

          • The Gnome

            "...whilst at the same time using improper quotation marks." Fixed that for you.

          • DarkCalf

            Grammar check says what I wrote was fine. There are multiple ways to write a sentence.

            Yours does sound better though.

          • guest

            Your verb tenses didn't agree.

          • KenanSadhu

            Huaarrggh don't fight on an already bleak news

          • Chris

            It's me EITHER, not me NEITHER. If you're going to be a grammar nazi, please don't use poor grammar in the process.

            Oh, and when he said it would "be sucks".

            Since you're not a native speaker, let me explain: that's a colloquial/slang intentional mis-usage of grammar by a native speaker understandably choosing to avoid formal speech in an internet comment section.

            It's a "cute" version of English, and while not baby-talk, it's an accepted "accent" of informal English.

            But you admit to being a non-native speaker, so perhaps that's why you don't understand the idiosyncrasies of the usage of style in English.

          • jdhas

            Oh god! Facts and research and logic! Get off the internet NOW!

  • Ethan G

    So, with the rumor mill churning that the Nexus 5 could be based off of the LG G2, which uses Qualcomm, chances aren't looking great that the Nexus 5 would get binaries. The exception being that the Nexus 4 did finally find success with that. Could be troubling.

    • JonJJon

      It's a shame switching out one chipset for another in smartphone development isn't as easy as pie :(

  • Karlo

    "Qualcomm is notoriously protective of its technology"
    Seems they wanna be like Apple?

  • Zargh

    Hope this article doesn't get JBQ in hot water. :/

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      JBQ said these things publicly. He knew full well what he was doing. I obviously don't want anyone losing their job (not that JBQ seems too happy with his currently), but he didn't say anything directly. You definitely had to put some pieces together.

      • PhoenixPath

        Looks like he has quit from his recent G= post,

        Sad days indeed.

        • Barnassey

          Very sad indeed. Most devs directly or indirectly have been influenced by him. With him leaving will be a black eye for google. They just dont know it yet.

          • PhoenixPath


            I guess all that is left is to hope by some miracle you are wrong. (No offense...I just really want things to get better for Nexus instead of worse...)

    • Mike Reid

      He'd have no problem getting job offers. It's clear he's finished with AOSP unless he gets promises this will be fixed.

  • Thomas

    That feels

  • D. Sharer

    "A few days later on August 5th.." but right below in the picture of the tweet the timestamp says 6:08PM August 4th....

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I could have swore the permalink said August 5th. Thanks.

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        Says Aug 5th here (2:08am) clearly the widgets show the time of the tweet in the viewers local timezone....

    • Pierre Gardin

      Twitter is full of timezone bugs, so it doesn't really matter anyway.

  • faceless128

    this is why you guys are my fave. keep up the good work!

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Qualcomm is a company, that, until very recently, made more money from their legal department (intellectual property, licensing, lawsuits) then sales of products. The lawyers run the company. As disappointing as this is, it doesn't surprise me. It will probably be sorted out eventually, but more likely months, not weeks.

  • Zak Taccardi

    Does this mean that custom ROMs for the Nexus 7, such as CyanogenMod, won't run as smoothly as if the factory images/binaries were released?

    • Drome

      this is exactly what that means. the new nexus 7 roms will never be as smooth as stock since they are not built using the qualcomm binaries

  • naysayer

    Sad. That might be a reason not to get the new Nexus 7. I hope the new N10 uses a chipset from a more trustworthy company.

    • bloomtronzero

      They did say Samsung was involved again, so I'd imagine it'd be designed similarly to the last one.

    • Barnassey

      The new N10 supposedly uses the Exynos 5420.

    • Matthew Fry

      Unless the new Nexus 10 has LTE there's no good reason to use the Snapdragon.

  • mlj11

    (Note: HTC did publish factory images for the Nexus One, but Google did not.)

    So... maybe Qualcomm only had a deal / contract with HTC - who were the actual manufacturers of the Nexus One - and not Google. That would explain why Google weren't allowed (just my speculation) to publish the images.

    HOWEVER, if the above is accurate, shouldn't Google have anticipated this possible move by Qualcomm, especially after the close shave they had with the Nexus 4 images?

    This is a big FUBAR on everyone's part :-[

  • Torrey Shelton

    I will never ever buy a device with a Crapdragon in it ever again unless this changes. Qualcomm I hope you your company dies in hell.

    • DarkCalf

      I believe you meant "burns in hell" as dying in hell would be somewhat redundant.

      Do you go to heaven if you die in hell?

      • MindFever

        From what I've heard you go to New Jersey

        • jose

          but New Jersey is a paradise!

          on topic, I will never buy phone qualcomm chipset again, until this resolved.

  • Matthew Fry

    Maybe this is why HTC and Samsung are responsible for publishing their own GPE images as those both have Qualcomm chipsets.

    • Josh

      That and I was recently informed that the GPE phones were not actually running AOSP. Which is what I thought the whole point of the GPE phones were. In the case of the S4 it is their touchwiz under the hood, just skinned to look like AOSP.. kinda crappy in my opinion. Glad I did not waste the money on one.. Cant really be happier with my VZW S4 running AOKP. Coming from a moto OMAP phone I was not aware of the issues surrounding qualcomm and AOSP. I wish I would have known, It may have influenced my decision on getting an S4. Though once you take qualcomm devices out of your list of possible buys, you aren't left with many good choices.

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        Where did you hear about the fact that the GPE phones are not running AOSP?

        • Josh

          Was talking with Faux one day. You may have heard of his custom kernels before. I tried to use one of his GPE kernels on an actual AOSP based rom (AOKP) and it wouldn't boot at all. So I went to his irc channel to find out what the deal was. His short answer was that they aren't really running AOSP that it was just a skin job on top of touchwiz framwork. What exactly a "skin job" entails? I did not go into with him.

  • squiddy20

    You would think Google, Qualcommm, et. al. would have all this stuff figured out by now so that this doesn't happen.

  • Frettfreak

    I say Google stops using them. They make great stuff but if they are being little bitches about it f them. I know we wouldn't see devices changed for a while cause there is stuff in the pipe that can't be changed at this point but screw them

    • Di Lu

      If not Qualcomm then who? Tegra 4i is not ready until 2014 and by then would be rather obsolete with its Quad A9 in a Krait 500 & A12 world. Samsung is just as tight on binaries so that rules out Exynos, what other successful Phone SOC is out there?

  • Havoc70

    I guess maybe they should think about using anything Crapcomm again at least for Nexus Devices, surprised they haven't learned that one already with past history

    • Frettfreak

      I agree however they are tops with performance and features.

  • shonangreg

    This kind of publicity, and the resentment it builds toward future Nexus devices avoiding Qualcomm chips on principle, are what gets CEO's to overrule the lawyers.

    This is going to be a self-inflected wound if Qualcomm doesn't reverse course -- a predictable loss of sales.

    Are you listening, Paul E. Jacobs?

  • yahyoh

    i just hope samsung better support open sourcense , damn crapcomm

  • Jeffrey Smith

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me three time, WTH Google!?!

    • Ryuuie

      This isn't Google's fault. Blame Qualcomm.

      • naysayer

        He could be implying that Google should have known.

      • Jeffrey Smith

        I do blame Qualcomm, along with pretty-much everyone else. That doesn't absolve Google. Given previous experiences with Qualcomm, Google should have at least been taking corrective measures. Either they didn't, or they didn't do enough.

        To hear JBQ tell it, he saw problems six months ago, made a fuss, and was told by those in higher authority to hush.

        • naysayer

          That's not what he said. He said he worked for 6 months to ensure the AOSP release. You are making things up, sorry.

          • Jeffrey Smith

            Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to what JBQ wrote on Google+.

          • naysayer

            Given that it finally worked out with the N4 this can mean a lot of things. It can mean that he did everything necessary to make the firmware release possible. I think that is the more likely conclusion, especially since JBQ seems to be very happy at Google - see twitter. To me the most likely thing is that Qualcomm lawyers stepped in at the last minute and made the release impossible.
            Google works out an agreement with Qualcomm, then releases the firmware for the N4. Why should they expect that Q plays the same game again with the N7?

  • Fewt

    Google: Just buy Qualcomm...

    • Mike Reid

      Pretty much none of Qualcomm's customers would like that. MS, BB, Apple, Samsung, HTC, etc, etc, etc.

      And... Anti-trust.

      • Fewt

        That's their problem (the competition), and it isn't an anti-trust issue since Qualcomm isn't the only chip manufacturer...

        • rdeleonp

          They're aggressively becoming the only relevant ARM chip manufacturer, so, yeah, Antitrust, and stuff...

      • someone755

        Google destroying other companies = good.
        Qualcomm and other sh*t companies destroying Google = not good, aka, "Google, what are you doing with your money, shouldn't you be buying these?"

    • andy

      Get your numbers straight, Qualcomm aint no small fry.

      Google market cap: USD 297 Billion. Qualcomm Market Cap: USD 113 Billion.

      Google would have to give up half its net worth to buy out Qualcomm. Never gonna happen.

      Fun trivia: Qualcomm net worth now equals Intel's ($113 billion).

      • Jay T

        Wow, that's crazy! Shows how the phone+tablet market is absolutely killing the old desktop+laptop market.

      • Fewt

        I don't believe I ever said they were a small fry. They may be large, but they aren't impenetrable. Besides, they don't need to buy the whole company... There is always more than one vector..

      • symbolset

        As soon as I saw Qualcomm on the specs I knew this would be a problem. Foredecker warned me about this. They don't like open. They are the worst offender. As awesome as the new gear is, open is table stakes. I love the specs, but not enough to accept this.

    • joemcconnell

      Love that idea...problem solved.

  • yahyoh
  • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

    And now JBQ is leaving AOSP over this. I haz a sad.

    • PhoenixPath


      Not much else to say really...other than that maybe this will serve as a kick to certain people's behinds to get things properly set in order. At least then this will have some valuable purpose other than easing the likely health-threatening frustrations and stress of a very talented individual we all should greatly admire.

      • Barnassey

        No this wont. The way google has been handling things especially now that Marissa Mayer is gone will build resentment. They havent learned a thing.

  • mgamerz

    *kicks back*, Ah Nexus 7 OG, how've ya been. Come here you little guy.

  • Daniel Malick

    Understood. Qualcomm is evil, got it.

  • Konstantinos Pap

    And you thought Samsung was the bad guy? Those two companies can go fuck themselves!

  • Hans Pedersen

    I thought people said Qualcomm was better than Samsung, because they're more open to devs? :)

  • Rovex

    Qualcomm has be douchey about this for years. Remember the HTC HD? Qualcomm wouldnt allow HTC to use the drivers that would enable decent video playback so the device was crippled.

  • Ivan Myring

    Well, seeing as they got it sorted out with Google for the nexus 4, they might get everything sorted eventually. And they get drivers sorted with device manufacturers (HTC and Samsung for example) so hopefully everything will end up sorted. Though I can't say it'll be better as JBQ has left.

  • someone755

    Yeah, I did find it weird to see no Nexus One images on that site. Always wondered what it might have been. But N4's images ARE available, so why wouldn't the Razor's be?
    I always thought Qualcomm was a developer-friendly company, seeing the N1's success in the XDA world, followed by the N4.
    I guess I can't trust anyone, then;
    Samsung, no, I'm boycotting them.
    Qualcomm, no, they're killing the Open of the AOSP. Might as well make it AP, then (see what I did there?).
    TI? NO! Just, no. Go back to making calculators.
    NVidia? No. Do you even Nexus 7 2012?
    What else, Mediatek? Nope. Saw a Mediatek-powered tablet once.
    Anyone want to make their own developer-friendly chipset?

    • MindFever

      But nvidia has made frequent commits for the Nexus 7 2012 ,Google posted everything for the AOSP for that tablet

      • someone755

        Yes, but look at everyone's reports of how bad it is now. I bought mine in late March, but it's already getting slow. And it takes over 12 hours to charge, damnit!

  • Matti

    Well this will prevent me from buying new Nexus 7 then... sad sad sad sad...

    • Danny Blaney

      it has no effect on custom roms. Cyanogenmod and every other rom run just fine on it.

      • Matti

        Oh... Then I might buy it :)

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    What I don't get is why the factory images are affected when Qualcomm is likely worried about releasing the proprietary binaries. The factory images contain the system partition, kernel, recovery, bootloader, and radio. Or maybe Google doesn't want to release one without the other? This puzzles me.

    • Steev

      They don't have a license to distribute the binaries outside of a device. They can provide factory images but it wouldn't have a GPU driver in it.

  • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

    Samsung(Exynos) is bitch to develop ROM for, Qualcomm(Snapdragon) is being a bitch about releasing images, and nVidia(Tegra) is just sitting in the corner happy by itself...

    Well aren't we all doomed........ -.-

  • fzammetti

    So, to me, the real significant problem here isn't so much that there might be a negative impact on custom ROMs, although that's certainly bad... to me, the big issue is there's currently no way to restore a bricked N7. Am I mistaken about that?

    I'm unlocked and rooted with TWRP installed, and now I'm worried that if the next OTA comes and doesn't want to install (although it may anyway since it has in the past with the original N7, whether I lose root or not and TWRP is overwritten is another story) I'm not going to have a way to return to stock to get the update. Did I just unwittingly dead-end my device unless this mess gets sorted out? Hmm.

    • MindFever

      Yep...if you have a custom recovery,you can't get an OTA. Your device can have unlocked bootloader and be rooted ,you could still get OTA. But custom recovery like TWRP,no go...

  • benjdm

    Come on, Qualcomm. Don't suck.

    • the_banned_one_returns

      Too late for that ...

  • A.Noid

    Seems to me this is the same issue when Samsung uses their Exynos SOC. So it is not just them.

    • the_banned_one_returns

      Samsung was pretty crappy with the Exynos 4 SoC's from what I've read, refusing to play ball and open up. Are they still doing the same shit with Exynos 5?

  • APai

    FUCK qualcomm for the same reason. hate these new intel on the SoC block. Im SO glad exynos/ mediatek/ nvidia chips are around . someday, qualcom should get their asses handed to them

    • Tony Sarju

      All of those other chip manufacturers don't always play ball either. Usually yes for Nexus devices for for other devices, not so much.

      • APai

        sadly, that's the painful part :(

  • Drome


  • Josh

    I am no dev, but aren't the binary drivers out there on every device sold already? Can they not just be pulled from a working device? I assume this has already been done with the likes of the S4 because I am running an AOSP based ROM on mine.

    So my question is this. Why is qualcomm making such a huge deal out of allowing google to release a copy of what is already shipping on the devices.. I am having a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around this.

    • Steev

      Yes, the device has the binaries, however, you're not legally allowed to *distribute* the binaries, and that's where the issue is that JBQ has. It won't stop people from making custom roms, however it DOES prevent Google from posting factory images that *work*.

      • Josh

        Yea, I get it. I just don't get why. Like you said, it's not going to keep people from using them as they wish. So what is their angle? what do they stand to lose from allowing google to put out the factory restore image? They had to have known from past experiences the community was going to cry foul and stir up some bad press. That's what I don't get.

  • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

    I hope all of this get's worked out pretty soon. I can't imagine the fact that I'll be purchasing 2 devices in a row that dealt with legal issues like this. There was so much speculation with the Nexus 4 that when I finally got it, it took ages before the factory image was out, then later Google retracts their statements regarding about OTG on their manuals and the online manual too. And just when I fought the week long back order for the new N7, this happens? Seriously Qualcomm?

  • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer
    • Steev

      Those are for the Original Nexus 7, not the new one.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch


  • Laurentiu

    Don't use Qualcomm anymore in Nexus devices, even they have great SoC... 3 times is too much. I'm a Nexus owner (N4 and N7). Hopefully the new Nexus 4 will have other SoC.
    Maybe we should spam their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/qualcomm

    • Di Lu

      What other SOC? No Exynos(as Samsung is just as tight on binaries), Nvidia don't have a phone SOC ready(Tegra 4i delayed until 2014), the only open SOC you can get right now is the battery life nightmare that is Tegra 3.

  • Emanuele Ricci

    I'm so damn pissed about this and not open mind of some stupid damn company. I can understand how stupid Qualcom is but I don't really get why Google still buy cpu/gpu from them...

  • Michael Sheils

    Qualcomm need to sort this out, I love the SoC's they build but this protectionist lawyering isn't helping anyone and I wouldn't like it to cause them to lose out on future contracts for devices as every time I've had a non-Qualcomm powered device it's been terrible.

  • firesoul453

    Well this sucks.

  • Brian Utne

    Does QC not know that Android is OPEN SOURCE?...

  • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer
  • John Smith

    When I worked at Moto, on the silver HD Cable boxes, Qualcomm also "delighted" us with less-than-stellar code; got to love work-arounds and delays as a result :-(

  • Paul M

    Did noone learn from the GMA500 debacle where Intel put a GPU into their Atom SoC chips but then couldn't actually deliver drivers?

    That meant leaving many Linux users unable to update kernels and/or access the supposed performance of the GPU, and there Windows drivers went that great either!

    Yes I am still bitter as I own a really high end ultraportable netbook with GMA500 and am stuck with running a very old kernel.