Why there’s scarcely any aftermarket firmware for Hisense Sero tablets

Are you curious why there’s no Cyanogenmod for the Sero 7 or Sero 7 Pro tablets? Or why there’s only one aftermarket ROM for it, released way back in May, with no updates?

I realized why this week. Hisense has not yet released the GPL source code for the tablets. And without developers being able to look at the kernel source, you’ll see very little, if any aftermarket firmware for these tablets.

I know a few people have posed the question via Hisense’s Facebook page. Here’s a sample letter.

Here is a sample letter you can feel free to copy and paste into the message, though I would recommend personalizing it somewhat.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am considering purchase of a Hisense Sero 7 or Sero 7 Pro tablet. Perhaps both. I think your tablets represent an outstanding value. However, as a long-time computer enthusiast, I wish to examine the GPL kernel source code as part of my evaluation. Other companies, as you may be aware, have released the GPL source code for their tablets. Incidentally, because Android uses the Linux kernel, releasing the kernel source is required by U.S. and international law.

Please let me know when you intend to release the code and where I would be able to obtain a copy.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

[your name here]

I don’t immediately lead off with the legal stuff, but since I do know people have been asking for the code since early summer, mentioning the legal requirement is probably necessary.

The benefit from using GPL software cannot be one-way. Some of us (myself included) purchased the tablets believing we would have the opportunity to examine and, if needed, even recompile the source code. It’s been several months now, and it hasn’t happened.

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