Not everyone appreciates the changes when new Android versions hit devices. If you want to switch back, it’s sometimes possible to downgrade your Android device to a previous version. Here’s how you do it.
Before we begin, it’s important to mention the risks. Downgrading your Android phone isn’t generally supported, it isn’t an easy process, and it will almost certainly result in you losing data on your device. Make sure you back up your phone before you begin.
Additionally, this process might void your device’s warranty or potentially brick it, making your phone nothing more than e-waste. As such, we do NOT recommend that you continue unless you have experience modifying your device’s firmware and completely understand the risks involved.
Before Flashing Your Phone
How easy it is for you to downgrade your Android phone depends on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers make it extremely easy for users to “flash” firmware images onto their devices while others make it nearly impossible.
The typical process for flashing requires you to unlock your bootloader first. Not all Android phones allow this, so you’ll check for yourself whether your device manufacturer offers an official method for unlocking the bootloader, or whether you’ll need to find an alternative method.
Keep in mind that unlocking your bootloader will wipe your device’s internal storage. Make sure you have backed up your phone or else your data will be lost forever.
With the bootloader unlocked, you can then flash your device to an older version of Android. Be warned, as unlocking your bootloader will probably invalidate your warranty.
The easiest devices to flash, by far, are phones in the Google Pixel series. Google provides factory images for Pixel devices, with different builds for Android 9 and 10. You’ll need the Android SDK installed—with the Fastboot and Android Debug Bridge (ADB) tools—to flash Google Pixel devices.
It’s a mixed bag for other device manufacturers, however. Unless the manufacturer provides them, you’ll need to locate firmware images suitable for your device. The XDA-Developers forum is a good place to find suitable downgraded firmware images for your particular Android phone, but search your manufacturer’s website for official firmware images, too.
Flashing non-Google devices is possible with the Fastboot method, although third-party tools do exist for other manufacturers of Android devices like Samsung.
Manually Flashing Using Fastboot and ADB
The only “official” method for downgrading your Android device is the Fastboot method. While not every manufacturer encourages it, the Fastboot tool is available from Google for you to use and should work with official firmware images from almost all Android manufacturers.
To proceed, you just need to be able to unlock your bootloader and have a suitable firmware image for your device and carrier. Make sure USB debugging is enabled on your Android device before you begin.
If you’ve found a suitable firmware image, your bootloader is unlocked, and you have the Android SDK installed, connect your Android phone to your PC. While the steps below are for Windows 10 users, the ADB and Fastboot commands should work in a similar way on macOS and Linux.
Open the file explorer and head to the saved location of your Android SDK installation. Make sure the Android image files you need to flash are here, too. These usually come as a ZIP file with multiple IMG files held within. Unzip the contents to this location.
In the folder, hold the shift key on your keyboard, right-click inside the window, and click the “Open PowerShell Window Here” button. On macOS or Linux, navigate to this folder using the Terminal application.
adb devices in the Windows PowerShell window to make sure your Android device is detected. If it is, type
adb reboot bootloader to restart your device and boot into the Android bootloader menu.
If the ADB commands don’t work, type
Most manufacturer firmware comes with a “flash-all” script that flashes all the relevant image files to your device. Once your device is in the bootloader mode, type
flash-all to start the flashing process.
If the flash-all script doesn’t work, you will need to manually flash the individual items in the folder. Type the following commands into Windows PowerShell (or Terminal) hitting the Enter key between each step:
fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader name>.img
fastboot flash radio <radio file name>.img
fastboot flash -w update <image file name>.zip
Once this process is complete, your phone should restart. If the flashing process was successful, your device will now be running the downgraded firmware image.
Using Third-Party Flashing Tools
Thanks to the work of volunteer developers, third-party flashing tools are available. These manufacturer-specific firmware flashing tools offer you an alternative method to flashing your firmware without using the Fastboot method.
If your device doesn’t have a third-party tool, it’s best to use the Fastboot method listed above.
Samsung devices can make use of Odin to downgrade their phones. This is one of the best-known flashing tools outside of the official Fastboot method.
The Odin interface is not the most beginner-friendly, but it will allow you to flash onto some Samsung devices, including the latest unlocked Galaxy phones.
Keep in mind that some cellular carriers lock down the bootloader on devices sold through its stores. These network operators can be reluctant to allow users to unlock their phones unless the handset is completely paid for.
Additional tools are available for other manufacturers. This post at XDA developers lists various flashing tools for Motorola devices, including the recommended RSD Lite. Huawei device owners can use the Huawei Recovery Updater (HuRuUpdater) instead.
We can’t stress this enough: These tools aren’t guaranteed to work, and they don’t come with approval from manufacturers. Whether you use a third-party tool or the Fastboot method, the risk of bricking your device remains the same.
Again, before you begin, make sure you’ve backed up your phone before you make any attempt to flash your device as your phone will be wiped during the flashing process.
These ten enterprise M&A deals totaled over $40B in 2019
It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion. This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would…
It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion.
This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would have been good for third place last year behind IBM’s mega deal plucking Red Hat for $34 billion and Broadcom grabbing CA Technologies for $18.8 billion.
Contributing to this year’s quieter activity was the fact that several typically acquisitive companies — Adobe, Oracle and IBM — stayed mostly on the sidelines after big investments last year. It’s not unusual for companies to take a go-slow approach after a big expenditure year. Adobe and Oracle bought just two companies each with neither revealing the prices. IBM didn’t buy any.
Microsoft didn’t show up on this year’s list either, but still managed to pick up eight new companies. It was just that none was large enough to make the list (or even for them to publicly reveal the prices). When a publicly traded company doesn’t reveal the price, it usually means that it didn’t reach the threshold of being material to the company’s results.
As always, just because you buy it doesn’t mean it’s always going to integrate smoothly or well, and we won’t know about the success or failure of these transactions for some years to come. For now, we can only look at the deals themselves.
Jumia, DHL, and Alibaba will face off in African ecommerce 2.0
The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom. Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition. To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and…
The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom.
Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition.
To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and opportunity, perhaps more than any other market in the world. Across major African economies, many of the requisites for online retail — internet access, digital payment adoption, and 3PL delivery options — have been severely lacking.
Still, startups jumped into this market for the chance to digitize a share of Africa’s fast growing consumer spending, expected to top $2 billion by 2025.
African e-commerce 2.0 will include some old and new players, play out across more countries, place more priority on internet services, and see the entry of China.
But before highlighting several things to look out for in the future of digital-retail on the continent, a look back is beneficial.
Jumia vs. Konga
The early years for development of African online shopping largely played out in Nigeria (and to some extent South Africa). Anyone who visited Nigeria from 2012 to 2016 likely saw evidence of one of the continent’s early e-commerce showdowns. Nigeria had its own Coke vs. Pepsi-like duel — a race between ventures Konga and Jumia to out-advertise and out-discount each other in a quest to scale online shopping in Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.
Traveling in Lagos traffic, large billboards for each startup faced off across the skyline, as their delivery motorcycles buzzed between stopped cars.
Covering each company early on, it appeared a battle of VC attrition. The challenge: who could continue to raise enough capital to absorb the losses of simultaneously capturing and creating an e-commerce market in notoriously difficult conditions.
In addition to the aforementioned challenges, Nigeria also had (and continues to have) shoddy electricity.
Both Konga — founded by Nigerian Sim Shagaya — and Jumia — originally founded by two Nigerians and two Frenchman — were forced to burn capital building fulfillment operations most e-commerce startups source to third parties.
That included their own delivery and payment services (KongaPay and JumiaPay). In addition to sales of goods from mobile-phones to diapers, both startups also began experimenting with verticals for internet based services, such as food-delivery and classifieds.
While Jumia and Konga were competing in Nigeria, there was another VC driven race for e-commerce playing out in South Africa — the continent’s second largest and most advanced economy.
E-tailers Takealot and Kalahari had been jockeying for market share since 2011 after raising capital in the hundreds of millions of dollars from investors Naspers and U.S. fund Tiger Global Management.
So how did things turn out in West and Southern Africa? In 2014, the lead investor of a flailing Kalahari — Naspers — facilitated a merger with Takealot (that was more of an acquisition). They nixed the Kalahari brand in 2016 and bought out Takelot’s largest investor, Tiger Global, in 2018. Takealot is now South Africa’s leading e-commerce site by market share, but only operates in one country.
In Nigeria, by 2016 Jumia had outpaced its rival Konga in Alexa ratings (6 vs 14), while out-raising Konga (with backing of Goldman Sachs) to become Africa’s first VC backed, startup unicorn. By early 2018, Konga was purchased in a distressed acquisition and faded away as a competitor to Jumia.
Jumia went on to expand online goods and services verticals into 14 Africa countries (though it recently exited a few) and in April 2019 raised over $200 million in an NYSE IPO — the first on a major exchange for a VC-backed startup operating in Africa.
Jumia’s had bumpy road since going public — losing significant share-value after a short-sell attack earlier in 2019 — but the continent’s leading e-commerce company still has heap of capital and generates $100 million in revenues (even with losses).
Airbnb’s New Year’s Eve guest volume shows its falling growth rate
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in…
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.
It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in this coming year’s technology exit market. Expect the NYSE and Nasdaq to compete for the listing, bankers to queue to take part, and endless media coverage.
Given that that’s ahead, we’re going to take periodic looks at Airbnb as we tick closer to its eventual public market debut. And that means that this morning we’re looking back through time to see how fast the company has grown by using a quirky data point.
Airbnb releases a regular tally of its expected “guest stays” for New Year’s Eve each year, including 2019. We can therefore look back in time, tracking how quickly (or not) Airbnb’s New Year Eve guest tally has risen. This exercise will provide a loose, but fun proxy for the company’s growth as a whole.
Before we look into the figures themselves, keep in mind that we are looking at a guest figure which is at best a proxy for revenue. We don’t know the revenue mix of the guest stays, for example, meaning that Airbnb could have seen a 10% drop in per-guest revenue this New Year’s Eve — even with more guest stays — and we’d have no idea.
So, the cliche about grains of salt and taking, please.
But as more guests tends to mean more rentals which points towards more revenue, the New Year’s Eve figures are useful as we work to understand how quickly Airbnb is growing now compared to how fast it grew in the past. The faster the company is expanding today, the more it’s worth. And given recent news that the company has ditched profitability in favor of boosting its sales and marketing spend (leading to sharp, regular deficits in its quarterly results), how fast Airbnb can grow through higher spend is a key question for the highly-backed, San Francisco-based private company.
- 2009: 1,400
- 2010: 6,000 (+329%)
- 2011: 3,1000 (+417%)
- 2012: 108,000 (248%)
- 2013: 250,000 (+131%)
- 2014: 540,000 (+116%)
- 2015: 1,100,000 (+104%)
- 2016: 2,000,000 (+82%)
- 2017: 3,000,000 (+50%)
- 2018: 3,700,000 (+23%)
- 2019: 4,500,000 (+22%)
In chart form, that looks like this:
Let’s talk about a few things that stand out. First is that the company’s growth rate managed to stay over 100% for as long as it did. In case you’re a SaaS fan, what Airbnb pulled off in its early years (again, using this fun proxy for revenue growth) was far better than a triple-triple-double-double-double.
Next, the company’s growth rate in percentage terms has slowed dramatically, including in 2019. At the same time the firm managed to re-accelerate its gross guest growth in 2019. In numerical terms, Airbnb added 1,000,000 New Year’s Eve guest stays in 2017, 700,000 in 2018, and 800,000 in 2019. So 2019’s gross adds was not a record, but it was a better result than its year-ago tally.
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