Android Users Score Big Point in Fight vs Locked HTC Phones

May 28, 2011

HTC finally came to its senses when Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC, confirmed on Facebook that the company will no longer lock the bootloaders on their devices. This came after the Android community ceaselessly pounded on HTC’s doors, asking for the key to their devices.

The company was quick to heed the public clamor for unlocked bootloaders and acknowledged the “overwhelming customer feedback” about open bootloaders on HTC devices. “I want you to know that we’ve listened,” Chou said.

HTC CEO Peter Chou announces unlocked bootloaders

Just last Tuesday, HTC announced via a note on its Facebook page that they would be reviewing the issue and their existing policy on bootloaders. The result came two days after when Chou made the public confirmation.

Unlocking phone bootloaders has gained a wide following all over the world becaused an unlocked bootloader means the phone’s operating system–Android especially–can be easily replaced with a custom version or an up-to-date version. An unlocked bootloader makes it easier for the phone’s owner to remove unwanted features and applications or install new ones.

So many users have been complaining of very slow-coming official updates for the firmware on their devices. Yet, the Android community, following in the tradition of the opensource philosophy upon which the Android platform was built, is much quicker to create custom or updated versions than manufacturers or mobile carriers can push on their own.

On the other hand, manufacturers often ship their phones with locked bootloaders. Several reasons exist for that. For one, an unlocked bootloader gives the phone user–especially a techie one–the power to install software, including faulty software, to the phone. That can be a customer service nightmare for phone manufacturers. Another reason is to secure the phone against possible hackers. Yet another reason is that carriers request the locking of bootloaders. One more reason is that manufacturers simply want to restrict the functionality or lifetime of the device.

Apparently, Chou’s confirmation applies to upcoming handsets, including the HTC Evo 3D that is rumored to be released in early June. Chou’s statement has been, at the very least, vague about the status of existing handsets. Users have sent queries to HTC for clarification on whether the company will issue updates to remove the bootloader locks on existing HTC phones. HTC has not provided clarification at this time.

If you are going to get the HTC Evo 3D, would you prefer its bootloader locked or unlocked?

Comments

  • Eric F

    I really hope they unlock existing devices. Quite frankly I will not be buying another HTC device unless they unlock the old ones… I applaud HTCs effort to do the right thing, but lets just hope they don’t leave half of us out in the cold.

  • Matt

    LOL is this a trick question? That like taking a hot girl home and she ask to you prefer me naked or clothes on haha

    • Elmer Montejo

      LOL@Matt!