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OnePlus now has a request form for bootloader unlocks, but don't worry yet
- There is now a bootloader unlock request form on OnePlus’ official website.
- Requesting to unlock the bootloader of a OnePlus device would go against the company’s history in a big way.
- However, it’s very likely this request form is more about T-Mobile than OnePlus.
Historically, OnePlus as a company has been very welcoming to the custom Android development community. The original OnePlus One shipped with Cyanogen, which at the time was the most popular custom ROM available. It’s always been super easy to unlock a OnePlus bootloader and flash all the software you like.
That’s why it might shock some members of the community to know there is now a request form for bootloader unlocks on the official OnePlus website. You can see it by clicking here (you’ll need to log-in to a OnePlus account to see the form).
Other OEMs have similar request forms for bootloader unlocks, so this isn’t a new thing. If you want to unlock your phone’s bootloader, you send in a request and — eventually — you receive an unlock code back via email which then permits you to unlock your bootloader.
However, OnePlus has always made unlocking the bootloader incredibly easy on its devices: just use the ol’ fastboot oem unlock command and you’re golden. It only takes seconds, no requests necessary. With that in mind, this change would be a huge blow to OnePlus’ reputation in the custom development world.
Our guess is this has not much to do with OnePlus and instead has more to do with T-Mobile.
According to OnePlus, the upcoming OnePlus 6T will be the first device from the company to launch with a U.S. carrier partner — T-Mobile. It’s very likely this bootloader unlock form is a requirement from T-Mo specifically for the T-Mobile-branded OnePlus 6T, not for OnePlus phones in general.
We don’t know for certain if that’s the case, but we’d place a strong bet on every OnePlus phone you buy directly from OnePlus continuing to have an easily-unlocked bootloader, just as usual. But, if you buy from T-Mobile instead, you’ll have to use this form.
What do you think? Is our theory correct, or is OnePlus going to make it harder to unlock bootloaders across the board? Let us know your theories in the comments!