If you’ve ever doubted  the benefits of having an unlocked bootloader, now it’s the time to reconsider that position. The CyanogenMod team has officially released the latest version of CyanogenMod 9 (CM9) for most U.S. Galaxy S3 versions available in stores, with the sole exception (U.S. Cellular and C Spire have not shipped their Galaxy S3 yet) of the Verizon model, which as we’ve learned a couple of days ago, has a locked bootloader.

Verizon tried to blame the issue on Samsung at first, which caused Samsung to release a “Developer Edition” version that works just as well on Verizon, but has an unlocked bootloader. The only (major) downside is that you have to pay its full retail price of $600, and Verizon won’t subsidize it.

So while every other Galaxy S3 owner will be able to install CM9, and soon CM10 and I’m sure many other versions for another few years, given the popularity of this phone, the Verizon Galaxy S3 owners will be stuck on Samsung’s stock ROM, and they will be at the mercy of both Verizon and Samsung regarding future updates.

I should mention that these CM9 ROMs for Galaxy S3 models on T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T are not fully stable yet, because CM9 is still in the RC1 phase, but they should become stable very soon, at which point the CyanogenMod team will start working on CM10. There may be some hope for the Verizon Galaxy S3 model, too, regarding getting CM9 support, but developers will have to figure out how to get around the locked bootloader properly, first.

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