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HTC Unlocks Bootloader For All of Its Devices

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hunting-goodwill dept.

Android 133

An anonymous reader writes "HTCDEV announced today: 'HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. We plan on releasing the updates that will allow you to unlock your bootloader in the coming months.' However, they do note this: 'It is our responsibility to caution you that not all claims resulting or caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader may be covered under warranty,' and this: 'We strongly suggest that you do not unlock the bootloader unless you are confident that you understand the risks involved.' This looks like a new year gift to some."

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This is good news! (5, Insightful)

americamatrix (658742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527110)

Congrats to HTC for actually knowing what their customers want and giving it to them.

Hopefully some other companies follow suit as well!


-americamatrix

Re:This is good news! (3, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527440)

If other companies don't follow suit, this is a huge differentiator for HTC. Caveats aside, this will make it easier for their customers to reap the same advantages of updates that iPhone owners have had for a couple of generations. Of course, it's the same disadvantages, too. Most 3GS owners, for example, would suggest that their device's support of iOS 5 is, well, limited. Upgrading an old device to ICS may yield a similar ratio of unhappy people.

Of course, they can always downgrade...

Re:This is good news! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527776)

Dude what? This is HTC copying what Sony Ericsson did months ago:

http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/ [sonyericsson.com]

They even went further and released an ICS alpha build to the dev community before christmas!

http://developer.sonyericsson.com/wp/2011/12/15/ice-cream-sandwich-alpha-rom-available-for-unlocked-xperia-phones/ [sonyericsson.com]

Re:This is good news! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528166)

See, while I agree Sony did a cool thing with the Android issue...does it really negate all those douchey things they've done for years?

They locked down the playstation so no more Linux.

Every damn device they release uses their obnoxious memory card. It might be superior to the others it might not, but the difference is, it isn't standard. It's been around for a decade and still isn't standard. And it's expensive.

They got hacked and basically gave no fucks.

So I might buy an Ericson if faced with a choice, but I would probably buy the HTC. Just sayin'...

Re:This is good news! (4, Informative)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528440)

SonyEricsson are not Sony, in the same way that SCEE aren't SME either. Yes, the whole brand has been tainted, but it's not necessarily because of anything the mobile phone guys did.

Re:This is good news! (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528488)

Actually, SonyEricsson is Sony [reuters.com] .

Re:This is good news! (1)

syockit (1480393) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528852)

to requote parent:

in the same way that SCEE aren't SME either.

Re:This is good news! (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528964)

Yes, I did actually know that Sony had bought Ericsson's stake in the venture, which is why I said this:

in the same way that SCEE aren't SME either.

All those hijinks that SCEE pulled with the PS3 and the rootkit-infested CDs that came from SME had nothing to do with with the guys happily sat way over in the corner making phones. There's bound to be a little overlap between SE and SME especially when it comes to the so-called Walkman phones, but as I said Sony's disgrace isn't a result of something that the people at SE have done.

FWIW I didn't buy SE phones before and I certainly won't now. Before it was because I didn't care to use MS (that and I "upgraded" from a T68M to a T68i and saw the way the wind was blowing), but now it's because I won't have anything with Sony written on it. It's hard luck for the guys who had no part in it, but that's life.

Re:This is good news! (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530522)

Except being owned by the same umbrella company that *IS* a big media conglomerate... as if none of their technology decisions have been driven by the parent company in favor of the Media side of things.

Re:This is good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528660)

That was true until a few months ago. Now SE is Sony.

Re:This is good news! (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528466)

"They got hacked and basically gave no fucks."

Not true. They took countermeasures to protect against such an event occuring again. Specifically, they updated the PSN licence agreement to forbid users from bringing class-action lawsuits.

Re:This is good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528326)

And we all know what happens to Sony's independent dev communities...

Re:This is good news! (1)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528038)

I actually went with the Galaxy Nexus because of the unlockability and updateability.

Re:This is good news! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529048)

reap the same advantages of updates that iPhone owners have had for a couple of generations.

This actually goes a giant step farther than that. A device with an unlocked bootloader doesn't even have Android installed on it at all. This opens the door to webOS and Linux at the very least. Not to mention that with the plethora of custom ROMs, you aren't stuck with just the default like you are with iOS.

Re:This is good news! (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529212)

Yep. Kind of like when you cut off your cock and balls, you have your choice of what size, shape, and color strap-on you wear. Who wants to be stuck with a default penis?

Re:This is good news! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529572)

Do you bleach your asshole? 'Cause I'm thinking about it and I wanted to ask somebody who might have already had it done how you like it. What shade of pink did you get? Do you look at it in the mirror a lot? Does your partner like it?

Re:This is good news! (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38531254)

I guess Motorola will follow suit.

Re:This is good news! (2)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527514)

What their customers want (I am one) is software updates; fast with support of 2 years for top tier devices. This is a cop out, anybody interested in unlocking their bootloader can and has done without any help from HTC.

Re:This is good news! (3, Interesting)

metamatic (202216) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527732)

I'm another person with an HTC phone. What I really want from my next phone is Android without Sense UI crapping it up. Yes, I could get an HTC phone and put CyanogenMod on it, but I'd rather support manufacturers who give me what I really want without having to invalidate my warranty and mess with firmware.

Re:This is good news! (4, Informative)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528024)

I'm another person with an HTC phone. What I really want from my next phone is Android without Sense UI crapping it up. Yes, I could get an HTC phone and put CyanogenMod on it, but I'd rather support manufacturers who give me what I really want without having to invalidate my warranty and mess with firmware.

But of course you can! Buy one of the nexus series phone, and you'll get the pure android experience and direct support from google for software updates. As for me, I recently switched from HTC Desire Z (which got stolen) to Nexus S, and I'm already missing the text reflow on the built in browser, pinch to switch browser window, the ability to force the phone to use 3G only (you need to enter certain code to get to that option on a plain android), HTC IME keyboard, and lots of other tweaks from HTC.

Re:This is good news! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529704)

the ability to force the phone to use 3G only (you need to enter certain code to get to that option on a plain android)

What code are you refering to? There is an check box option on the Nexus S to turn off 4G just like you can turn off wireless, BT, airplane mode etc..

Re:This is good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530512)

*#*#4636#*#*

Re:This is good news! (2)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528044)

maybe what you want is G-Lite [virtuousrom.com]

Re:This is good news! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529348)

The reason I buy HTC phone is Sense

Re:This is good news! (1)

director_mr (1144369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530262)

Just install Launcher Pro Plus, and you won't have to deal with the Sense UI anymore. I did it on my HTC Sensation. It works great and runs a bit quicker now. This is the silliest reason ever to avoid buying HTC phones, as you can choose to not use the Sense UI anytime you want to switch to something else.

Re:This is good news! (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530484)

anybody interested in unlocking their bootloader can and has done without any help from HTC.

Absolutely wrong. Their (and others') devices have become increasingly locked down. A few of HTC's newest phones (e.g. the Vigor/Rezound) have not had any progress in unlocking or getting S-OFF despite a good bit of effort. Read around if you're interested, HTC locked these newer devices down harder than they ever have.

That's not to say they'd never have been unlocked, but it's been getting harder and taking longer. Combine that with being released near to the Nexus, and developer support to cracking it diminishes. Now, HTC does it easily for anyone interested.

Re:This is good news! (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527686)

except it's only for devices after September 2011. if you have a htc device that was released before then.. your sol.

Re:This is good news! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527766)

except that all of the devices before september 2011 were already unlockable...thus you are not sol.

Re:This is good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528152)

Nope. At least the GSM version of the HTC Wildfire S has never been unlocked, except through some 3rd party hardware hack called the "XTC Clip" that seems to emulate a factory testbench SIM to get around the internal flash lock.

If you own a WFS (pretty good quality for its low price, really), it looks like you are still sol.

Re:This is good news! (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528344)

nope, that is not correct. only a few devices are after finding exploit holes in android.

Re:This is good news! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529730)

have you looked at the list from htcdev? I'm sure there may be a couple, but the list is pretty big.

Re:This is good news! (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527798)

Well, so far. Their site says they are working on earlier models ATM. Whether that extends to before 2011 devices or just before September 2011 devices is slightly unclear.

Re:This is good news! (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527950)

AFAICT:

ALL post-September devices are unlockable.

Some (the ones they list and a couple more) pre-September devices are unlockable, with possibly more becoming unlockable in the coming months.

Re:This is good news! (1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527726)

So you unlocked your phone and got it an an unusable level. Well that isn't under warranty but we will sell you a new phone at full price to make it up to you.
By the way we will work on locking down our original settings so you will feel even more motivated to need to unlock your phone.

Re:This is good news! (3, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527758)

I've always been happy with HTC and took it as a given that I'd have to find some way to unlock the bootloader on my own (thank you, XDA!). I figured that if a company ever trusted me enough to give me that kind of access on a competitive product I'd purchase my next phone through them. I don't think this will mean a whole lot more business for HTC, but it will make the existing ones much happier.

In other words, we hate updating software (4, Insightful)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527198)

Like most hardware manufacturers, they are trying to get out of updating and maintaining software since it's a loss for them. Unlocking lets the whiners who notice or care about updates go play and leave HTC alone to abandon the handsets after ~12 months post release. It's the real challenge Android has versus WebOs, Windows Phone, and iOS. (Yes, I know get a Nexus, but Google abandoned their first phone already too)

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527268)

Google didn't "abandon" the Nexus One. The specs just aren't good enough for the current OS releases.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527494)

And what exactly is the limiting factor? What new features of Android limits the release of new versions to the device? There isn't one. The OS haven't changed that much the features wouldn't run on older phones.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527558)

Indeed. Running Gingerbread here on a HTC Magic without a hitch.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529614)

everybody is sherlock holmes now.

indeed.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527580)

ICS is being ported to the HTC Eris as we speak. The alpha looks promising. If the Eris can do ICS, anything can.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527618)

Storage space, mainly. The Nexus One only have 512MB. Installing on SD card wouldn't be convenient.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

Imagix (695350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528408)

Installing on SD card wouldn't be convenient.

What's your point? I wouldn't have a problem installing on the SD card that came with the phone. Heck, it's never _left_ the phone, might as well be welded to the mainboard.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529560)

You'd have to remove the SD card and put it in a reader whenever you wanted to access it with a computer. Or boot the phone to a bootloader that can act as a reader, cause mounting it to the computer would unmount it from the phone and the phone needs the OS.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1, Interesting)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530398)

That seems more like problem with Android. Why can't Android act as middleman providing access to the SD card, just like it does to the main memory already?

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

Vairon (17314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527656)

Agreed. I put ICS on a Samsung Fascinate I owned and the phone seems faster and more responsive than it was with Froyo or Gingerbread.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528150)

USB Host mode (you could connect some usb h/w to your phone). Not every older phone supports it and new software may not help if usb chip doesn't support this. That is the case in my Samsung Galaxy 551.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528876)

Why would USB host be a requirement for ICS?

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529058)

No idea, but I've looked into api and this is one example of functionality required by newer versions of android.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528468)

Hardware video acceleration.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529002)

Actually, they did abandon it. The day before they said (officially) that the N1 wouldn't be getting the update, was one in which they STILL touted the "If it supports X, it will be able to use ICS" and "of COURSE the Nexus One will be getting the update!" line.

And then there's the whole redirection with HTC (go to him! No, go to him!) regarding customer support, even with actual Android issues.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (5, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527814)

Like most hardware manufacturers, they are trying to get out of updating and maintaining software since it's a loss for them.

So, you're saying HTC is using this as an excuse to not update their software? Last I checked if an OEM doesn't want to update, they just don't. They don't need to throw any bones. You're reading way too much into this.

Unlocking lets the whiners who notice or care about updates go play and leave HTC alone to abandon the handsets after ~12 months post release.

So people that want to use their devices with their own software are "whiners" now? I thought they were paying enthusiastic customers who might or might not have a trusted opinion their less tech savvy friends and family might be relying on to make future smart phone purchases.

It's the real challenge Android has versus WebOs, Windows Phone, and iOS.

Normal people don't care about updates or unlocked boot loaders. Do a poll of the next 100 Android users you see and see how many of them even know what version of Android they are on and if there is a newer version than what they have. You will find that the vast majority don't know and will be more annoyed by the question than anything else because they just don't care. Updated competitor handsets is not what Android has to worry about. Android has the formula down pat. Give the customer the features they want at the price they are willing to pay. That's it. In that arena, only windows phone has a hope of competing in any time soon if they can get the price of the handsets down with some cheap SOCs. Until that happens, Android will reign supreme as it has for a while now and the dominance will only accelerate because the formula ain't changing anytime soon.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528272)

Last I checked if an OEM doesn't want to update, they just don't. They don't need to throw any bones. You're reading way too much into this.

They need to throw bones to keep their customers happy. If they lock the phone and disallow updates, tech enthusiasts are infuriated. If you update the phones and there are problems everyone is mad.

If you let them unlock their phones, tech enthusiasts are thrilled AND HTC has saved themselves a lot of trouble.

So people that want to use their devices with their own software are "whiners" now?

I think you are a whiner.

Normal people don't care about updates or unlocked boot loaders.

Now you are just arguing against yourself. HTC doesn't have to do updates so much anymore, that's the point.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528956)

Last I checked if an OEM doesn't want to update, they just don't.

And then they get a lot of criticism from a very small percentage of the user base. This move costs them very little and allows them to all but eliminate the criticism. And still not pay for updating Android.

I wonder what Netflix will do.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530176)

What's Netflix have to do with anything? Their app runs fine on my Evo 4g with Cyanogenmod 7.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (3, Insightful)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527868)

Like most hardware manufacturers, they are trying to get out of updating and maintaining software since it's a loss for them. Unlocking lets the whiners who notice or care about updates go play and leave HTC alone to abandon the handsets after ~12 months post release.

Divide and conquer: complain when it's locked; complain when it's unlocked. If their update process is the problem, why are you complaining about unlocking the boot loader, which lets you update when you want? Your problem isn't fixed by this change, so you're complaining about this change?

I want to *own* and control the hardware I buy. Unlocking is about more then just an update schedule.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

Caratted (806506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527958)

If Google has abandoned the G1, Apple abandoned the first iPhone first.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528210)

If Google has abandoned the G1, Apple abandoned the first iPhone first.

G1 isn't a Nexus phone.

Re:In other words, we hate updating software (2)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528756)

I'd agree that handsets need a longer lifespan, but it seems like the handset hardware development moves pretty fast and the software seems to follow, using up the capabilities of the new hardware that I'm not sure what the workaround for this is outside of totally remaking handset software so that its modular enough to jettison high-performance features to run on older hardware.

My sense is that it's kind of a fact of life in the smartphone world that whatever you have now is kind of obsolete 12-18 months later, at least if you expect all the features for the current OS release to work on older hardware.

@Motorola - hope you're paying attention! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527200)

Hopefully Motorola will also be "committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction" and do the same.

Re:@Motorola - hope you're paying attention! (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527338)

Moto will be along presently.

Re:@Motorola - hope you're paying attention! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527966)

Motorola?
Come now. Are they not the ones who have an encrypted booloader to make it more difficult to unlock than HTC or Samsung?
They make it as difficult as possible. The other companies made it easy but just not official.
 

Re:@Motorola - hope you're paying attention! (1)

evilRhino (638506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529172)

But they're owned by Google now.

Re:@Motorola - hope you're paying attention! (1)

GenePoolFairy (1446069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530234)

Which will not care about legacy devices (Droid, Defy, etc).

Let's hope this becomes a trend (2)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527212)

Let's hope that other manufacturers also do this. (Right now, I'm looking at you, Asus, though I'm sure my gaze will wander...)

Re:Let's hope this becomes a trend (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527298)

I know, let's hope us having control over our own hardware becomes a trend, rather than the obvious reality it should always have been.

What about WP7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527214)

No Love for my HTC Mozart WP7? et tu HTC?

Re:What about WP7? (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527444)

Nor my Incredible 2. I guess I'll have to unlock it the old-fashioned way once the warranty is up.

All devices? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527220)

That includes Windows Phone devices too? Or this is one more example of /. "journalism"?

Re:All devices? (-1, Troll)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527284)

That includes Windows Phone devices too? Or this is one more example of /. "journalism"?

The big android logo on the story didn't give you a heads up?

Re:All devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530678)

First words in the summary read: "HTCDEV", and Windows Phones obviously don't allow for platform development, since it is a closed platform. Also, there is an Android logo in the story, and the page the article links to specifically talks about Android devices.
Not sure if you missed all that and are sincerely asking or if you are just trollin ;)

Re:All devices? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527630)

What's a "Windows Phone"?

Re:All devices? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528104)

Better point.

Re:All devices? (3, Informative)

beano311 (852024) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528380)

Actually, it doesn't even include all of their Android phones either, take a look at the link. The Amaze 4G, EVO 3D, EVO 4G, EVO Design, EVO View 4G, Flyer, MyTouch Slide 4G, S710d, and Sensation are the only phones listed. Also worth noting is that you have to register a developer's account and send your device ID to HTC to get the proper unlock file back. While allowing users to unlock their phones is great, I'll stick to the traditional method of using third party tools.

Re:All devices? (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529808)

I'll stick to the traditional method of using third party tools.

Agreed. I unlocked my Desire after having it for three months, and I did a bit of research before doing it. While there were a few steps involved (Unrevoked and then s-off IIRC, each with a concise list of necessary actions), the process was simple and straight forward. They even had an idiot-proof Linux-based bootable iso which did most of the the work for you. The few cases of real brickings I read about involved bad USB cables or people yanking their phones during bootloader flash, which will always end badly no matter what. Even if the process gave me some moments of unrest while my device was unresponsive for far too long it was recoverable with a hard reboot and repeating a few steps.

The features I originally wanted was ability to sync clock by NTP, root-enabled ssh server, and buying paid apps from the market since that was not available in my country by normal means. Some time later I switched to CyanogenMod and never looked back.

About sshd: this is off-topic, but this guy deserves a plug, he helped me out when I couldn't buy from the market: If you need a ssh/scp/sftp-capable server for your phone (works without root if you only need to manipulate userland files), I can heartily recommend quicksshd [android.com] . Brilliant little app, works over 3G, and the dev was cool enough to mail me an unrestricted apk for sideloading purposes even prior to paying him :)

Re:All devices? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528594)

Good point...

Re:All devices? (2)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530114)

News that matters. Nobody cares about Windows Phones.

Man up, Motorola (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527250)

Now, if only Motorola can do the same, I'd be a lot happier with the Atrix I'm posting this from. (I love the gigantic battery in this thing, but I don't want to be stuck with Gingerbread on a premium phone that's only a few months old).

Re:Man up, Motorola (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527348)

The Atrix has a method of unlocking the bootloader. The Atrix 2, on the other hand, it is still locked, and only yesterday did a FXZ flash appear, so someone who soft-bricked their device can restore it.

I wish Motorola would follow suit.

Not ALL devices, also, leaves a record (5, Informative)

kav2k (1545689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527352)

All devices? It only applies to "All HTC Android devices launched after September 2011". Also, tho process means they will have a record of a certain device requesting such unlock, possibly affecting warranty.

Re:Not ALL devices, also, leaves a record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527704)

Also, tho process means they will have a record of a certain device requesting such unlock, possibly affecting warranty.

You say that like it's a problem. I don't think it's entirely unreasonable. "What's that? Your phone keeps calling random numbers? That'll be an issue with the dodgy custom ROM you're running. No, we won't fix it for you under your warranty. We won't be held responsible for you installing unapproved software which then goes on to screw up your device. "

At least this way those who don't care about this sort of thing won't have to care and still get their warranty, but those who want the freedom to meddle and tweak can do so at their own risk. You wouldn't expect Ford to help you with that custom software you'd been running on the built-in computer in your car.

Re:Not ALL devices, also, leaves a record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527808)

> Also, tho process means they will have a record of a certain device requesting such unlock, possibly affecting warranty.

"affecting warranty" seems reasonable to me. If they didn't do this, they'd have devices being returned because users who do not understand the risk try "that bootloader unlocking thing" and cripple or even brick their devices. Remember that these are not PCs -- you don't just buy hardware, you buy a full-fledged system, so the manufacturer cannot just say, "the hardware still works so leave me alone". That's not even considering the very real possibility that hardware gets damaged because of misbehaving software, a rather natural thing outside the "safe haven" that PCs offer to software writers.

Not affecting warranty would mean to pass this cost on to all users, rather than just those who actually tinker with their system.

"keeping a record of those users", now that's a different thing. I'd personally favor a method where this is not needed, e.g. have the device record that its bootloader was unlocked. To be honest, I didn't RTFA, so this might actually be the case.

Re:Not ALL devices, also, leaves a record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529196)

You're wrong. All devices from September onwards are *already* unlockable. From TFA, "We continue to work on models launched prior to September 2011", ie, they're adding the remaining 2011 models onto that list.

Good job HTC (3, Informative)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527414)

I'll be in the market for a phone in the next few months...I'll remember this.

Re:Good job HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527970)

FWIW, I wouldn't necessarily exclude Samsung.

I just bought a Samsung Galaxy S II from T-Mobile (SGH-T989) yesterday... the bootloader wasn't 'unlocked' out of the box, but simply rebooting the phone while holding a key combo provides you with a screen that allows you to unlock the bootloader. They even provide a utility (ODIN) for updating the Recovery as well. The only "catch" I see is that it does track how many times you've flashed which could potentially be used against you. However, there's already a way to reset this counter.

Re:Good job HTC (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528792)

I'll be in the market for a phone in the next few months...I'll remember this.

+1 Fascinating

Re:Good job HTC (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530318)

I'll be in the market for a phone in the next few months...I'll remember this.

+1 Fascinating

+1 Cool Story Bro

Re:Good job HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529642)

Also remember that they caved into Microsoft and their bogus patent claims against Android.

Unlocked bootloader or no, I'm not going to pay a Windows tax on a phone.

Christian Louboutin is really women favorite women (-1, Offtopic)

maosheng3366 (2500306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527690)

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htc does the right thing (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528234)

When HTC actually does this (announcements are one thing, results are another) they've pretty much staked down their position as my top vendor.

Someone asked if this would also be true for Windows phones. That's an interesting point. Years and years ago, when I had a Windows Mobile 5 Treo, my primary daily fantasy was to be able to flash it with the other operating system Palm was selling at the time because I just couldn't stand the pain anymore. However, flashing a different OS was never practical, and I dumped the phone for a Blackberry soon after.

And so, people who are issued or otherwise acquire a Windows 7 phone... I wonder if this means they can flash it with Ice Cream Sandwich. That might come in useful.

Their unlock process calls home (5, Interesting)

friend function (1492021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528246)

It worries me that their unlock process [htcdev.com] calls home for an auth token.

Re:Their unlock process calls home (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528496)

'Cause teh badz might know ur phonez iz be unlocked? Dude, just fucking kill yourself if you're that much of a useless pedantic dicksucking pussy.

Re:Their unlock process calls home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529494)

If the bootloader is properly locked, it probably *has* to phone home with the chip ID or serial number to get the required key needed for unlock.

Re:Their unlock process calls home (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530192)

There's no other way to do it. If that worries you, holy shit you should not have a phone, you have NO idea what the carriers know about you! THEY KNOW EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU MAKE A PHONE CALL, AND WHO YOU CALLED.

Re:Their unlock process calls home (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38531468)

Of course there is. They just need to include a small chip in the device that contains the original boot loader, and a special key combination can restore the boot loader to factory spec. There would then be no practical way to brick the phone.

This is old news and not very good news (1)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528504)

That page has been up for a while now, this is not a new announcement. Astroturfing much? Also, they still will not do it on some phones, citing carrier restrictions. Note how none of their supported devices are on Verizon.

Re:This is old news and not very good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530122)

Like the Rezound which is unlockable now?

Great retention and comprehension ability there...

All Except for (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529020)

The Nexus One. They sort of want people to forget that they made the poor thing.

Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38531010)

Both hardware and software is moving fast, for a few hundred bucks you can get the latest. Quit crying a year is old in phone time. Your contract is 2 years you get a year up to date and a year not. if you guys would quit buying them full price and wait on your contract. They might be forced to make them only one year again.

I doubt it will do much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38531198)

| However, due to some of our carrier customers concerns, certain models with specific restrictions may not be able to be unlocked.

To me, this single statement ruins the whole thing. I think it is great that HTC wants to allow their customers the choice of unlocking their phone, but my bet is on almost all of the carriers (in the US at least) exercising their veto power on this.

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