As the Internet backlash started building against Verizon for locking the bootloader of its Galaxy S3 model, Big Red tried to get out of it by suggesting it’s actually all Samsung’s fault. The allegation seems suspicious to anyone who’s followed Verizon’s history with locked bootloaders, and to anyone who knows that the Galaxy S3 bootloader is unlocked on every carrier in the world – except for Verizon. That’s kind of a strange coincidence, isn’t it?
Later, when they realized nobody’s buying it, Verizon came up with their same old excuse (which also nobody buys) that an unlocked device could hurt their network. That’s just code for “why would we let you tether to your phone, when we could charge you twice for the same data?”:
Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.
Now, Samsung unveils a Galaxy S3 Developer Edition, which comes with an unlocked bootloader, but unfortunately won’t be subsidized by Verizon, so you’ll have to buy it contract-free for $600. The availability of the device hasn’t been announced yet, and you will only be able to buy it from Samsung’s developer site. This seems like a clear move against Verizon’s initial accusations, that somehow Samsung just doesn’t want to offer them an unlocked phone. But now that Samsung publicly provided a solution, it seems that Verizon doesn’t want to subsidize it. I wonder why?