People have been waiting forever to get a Bluetooth-capable phone on Verizon. For whatever reason, there just haven’t been any available. With the release of the Motorola V710, the dry spell was broken.
However, early purchasers have run into some surprising shortcomings – the V710 doesn’t seem to support some common Bluetooth profiles, including OBEX file transfer for copying pictures and other files off the phone. Verizon finally got a Bluetooth phone, and it can only be used with headsets and dial-up networking.
Why did Verizon (or Motorola) limit the Bluetooth functionality of the V710? Engadget is reporting that Verizon claims it’s a “fraud prevention” measure, to keep your phone from being Bluejacked, and your files stolen. Of course, this has the convenient side effect of leaving you with only two ways to get photos off of your fancy new cameraphone – email or picture messaging, both of which you’ll have to pay a little extra to Verizon for.
In the comments section of the original Russell Beattie post linked above, there are people that claim that Motorola says the reason the phone lacks full Bluetooth functionality is that it was released before it could be fully qualified for the Bluetooth spec, and that a firmware upgrade might be forthcoming to fix the issue. This conflicts with what Verizon is claiming (fraud prevention), and is purely speculation at this point.
There are some first hand reports and more discussion in a thread over in the Mobile Computing Outpost forum at Ars Technica (the best place forums on the net!).
Whatever the reason, Verizon is getting lots of bad press on the web for the Bluetooth problems in the V710. Om Malik is calling for a boycott. X-Gadget calls Verizon the Bluetooth Nazi. (“No Bluetooth for you!“) Eek.
Hopefully this will all get straightened out in the end. I don’t like the idea of carriers choosing what functionality you can and can’t use on a phone on their network by disabling functionality that the hardware manufacturer already put in place.