Rogers slams the brakes on HTC Dream sales due to software glitch

Rogers have stopped sales and new activations of HTC's Dream handset until further notice, due to a software issue that can prevent access to 911 emergency services which is caused by the GPS functionality contained within the device, according to the Boy Genius Report.

An internal memo issued to all Rogers Wireless employees on Friday stated that sales of the device were to stop effective immediately, and that the device was also slated to be removed from various internal point-of-sales systems and the Rogers.com website by the end of the day.

"Protecting our customers’ safety is our top priority and we communicated with our customers as soon as we were made aware of the issue. We have texted all affected customers and we have immediately requested that the device be taken off the shelf until HTC implements its upgrade," confirmed a Rogers representative in an unofficial statement to Boy Genius Report.

The text message which was sent by Rogers includes instructions for disabling the device's GPS (global positioning system) functionality. The contents of the message are as follows:

Rogers/Fido service message: URGENT 911 Calls: Please disable GPS location on your HTC Dream device to ensure all 911 calls complete. HTC is urgently working on a software upgrade and we will provide details shortly so you can re-enable GPS.

Instructions: Select Menu – Select Settings – Select Location – Uncheck Enable GPS Satellite

Message de Rogers/Fido: URGENT – Appels 911 : Veuillez désactiver la localisation GPS sur votre appareil HTC Dream afin de vous assurer que tous les appels 911 soient acheminés. HTC développe le plus rapidement possible une mise à jour du logiciel et nous vous fournirons les détails sous peu afin que vous puissiez réactiver la fonction GPS.

Instructions: Sélectionner Menu – Sélectionner Paramétres – Sélectionner Location – Désactiver les satellites GPS

HTC is working to expedite a fix to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

This comes in light of reports that Rogers are offering a free upgrade to an HTC Magic handset for a limited time for those who currently own an HTC Dream, which may serve as a blessing for users who are frustrated that they will be stuck with Android 1.5 and unable to upgrade to Android 2.1 on their current device. In order to take advantage of the offer, users will be required to renew their service on a 3 year contract.

Rogers Communications is one of the largest communications providers in Canada, and is currently serving over 8.4 million voice and data subscribers under both the Rogers Wireless and Fido brands.

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hey guys!

if anyone is interested in a SAFE was to upgrade to Android 1.6 for their Rogers HTC Dream, check out this link

http://upgrade.android.32teeth.org/

it is a step by step process. written for those of us who are NON TECH and want to upgrade our phone!

i did mine last night following the steps to the letter and it was super easy and done in less than 30 minutes!

Basically signing a 3 year term to receive this upgrade for most Rogers HTC Dream users will only mean a 6-8 months extension to their current contract. The Rogers only started selling the HTC Dream in June 2009 so for most it shouldn't be that much of an issue. For others who got their phones through other means, I'm not too sure how Rogers would respond to that. I'll find out about it tomorrow. :p

They are however waving the $79 upgrade fee and the $35 activation fee. Otherwise for customers who went through Rogers to get their Dream, this is actually a pretty good deal. They can upgrade/downgrade whatever you want to call it for a HTC Magic for free. AND Rogers does not want your Dream back because it's defective. So in the end you'll have a HTC Dream AND a HTC Magic and get the fix for HTC Dream when HTC releases it.

WTF renew on a 3 year contract why would you do that...

I'm really glad I live in a country where they can only do max 1 year contracts to consumers, and 18 and 24 months for businesses. yet despite this, we get the same handset prices on contract as countries with crazy 3 year contracts...

wouldn't this affect the G1 in the u.s. as well? unless the rogers one is drastically different, i thought they were essentially the same phone.

wookietv said,
wouldn't this affect the G1 in the u.s. as well? unless the rogers one is drastically different, i thought they were essentially the same phone.

That would definitely be worth looking in to... I thought they were the same as well. I might be wrong though...

I wonder if my friend received a text message from Rogers. I doubt it. He bought his HTC Dream unlocked from someone via Kijiji. He is, however, on a Rogers plan.

Anaron said,
I wonder if my friend received a text message from Rogers. I doubt it. He bought his HTC Dream unlocked from someone via Kijiji. He is, however, on a Rogers plan.

This is limited Rogers distributed Dream phones only, but if he called Rogers to authorize his unlocked phone with his SIM card he may have gotten the warning anyway.

What on earth has GPS got to do with making phone calls, why are they even linked? Epic fail on HTC's part I think.

AFAIK, calls to emergency services should provide as much location information as possible. GPS lock, among cell phone tower triangulation and other location-detection methods (WiFi) are possibly transmitted to the emergency service. A glitch in any of these might cause a failure in the call (depending on what the glitch is or how it affects the software, of course).

z_rudy said,
AFAIK, calls to emergency services should provide as much location information as possible. GPS lock, among cell phone tower triangulation and other location-detection methods (WiFi) are possibly transmitted to the emergency service. A glitch in any of these might cause a failure in the call (depending on what the glitch is or how it affects the software, of course).

Indeed. I wonder though if this is an HTC or Android issue...

TCLN Ryster said,
What on earth has GPS got to do with making phone calls, why are they even linked? Epic fail on HTC's part I think.

Epic fail how? I guess you'd love to be in some area you know nothing about and need to call 911 and have no real chance of a rescue. Like, say, your car ran off the side of the road and you need help, but didn't watch the mile markers...

acnpt said,
In the US I think handsets have to send GPS data with 911 calls.

Correct :)

http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/911-services/enhanced911/Welcome.html

tch1005 said,
Good for them... Bell would have left it, or charged for a solution...

I've personally had a better experience with Bell than Rogers, and for my area (greater Toronto area), Bell has much better support than Rogers (though I realize it is different in different parts of the country). However, neither Bell nor Rogers are creating the solution, HTC is, so I doubt they would have (theoretically) charged for it. Also note that if you would like to drop the Dream for a Magic, you're tying yourself to a 3 year contract, so Rogers certainly is trying to profit off the situation.