Yet again, Sony finds itself at the defense table, facing less than enthused crowds who have not taken too kindly the company’s stance on warranty. The Japanese phone maker now explains its side of story of why folks who have unlocked their phone’s bootloader – using the tool provided by Sony, we might add – face the risks of voiding their warranty.
As sent to Phone Arena, here’s Sony Mobile’s full statement:
“For most issues/problems, unlocking the bootloader voids the warranty. Sony Mobile only honors the warranty if it is a known issue in that model/batch of phones or if it is an issue that clearly could not have been caused by flashing a different ROM. Because a new ROM can have a wide range of consequences (e.g., it can overheat the battery or change the voltage, which can damage other components), that basically means that only a small subset of issues are still covered by the warranty. Therefore, even when the phone is in warranty, the service center usually has to do a very costly board swap in order to get the phone back to its original state before it can perform any repair. The end-user has to pay for that part of the repair.
We are proud of providing the unlock feature to the developer community. Previously, there was a large risk of bricking the phone when unlocking with third party software. Sony Mobile’s solution remove’s that risk. When we initially provided the unlock feature, it was presumed that only highly skilled developers and super-users would take advantage of it. From blogs and discussion boards, it was clear that the community understood the risks and that unlocking largely voided the warranty. It appears that less sophisticated users (despite all our warnings) might be using the feature, and are now surprised by the consequences.”
As for the non tl;dr version: Sony basically said that as long you’re bringing your phone to the repair center for known issues in a model or batch, it will honor the warranty – regardless of the unlocked bootloader status. The same can’t be said about damages that arise from the flashing of different ROMs, as it’s known to come with the possible consequence of damaging the phone’s components. While Sony provides a tool to unlock the phone’s bootloader, it is meant more for power users that know all the risks involved upon using the unlock feature.
And for what its worth, the company’s website does state that: “Sony can then no longer guarantee the full functionality of your phone, and will not be responsible for any unsigned custom software being flashed to the phone after the bootloader is unlocked.”
What say you, readers? It is a good enough explanation? Let your thoughts be heard in the comments below.