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Sony refusing to fix phones with unlocked bootloaders

July 27, 2012

Smartphone manufacturers have been known to lock the bootloaders of their devices, ostensibly because of security concerns. This is an ongoing battle between the large Android development community and device manufacturers, with the former obviously hoping to take full advantage of the open-source nature of Android.

The search is still on to find the perfect way to provide complete user access while keeping the device secure. Some manufacturers, like HTC, provide an “official” bootloader unlock process for certain devices (which unfortunately does not include the One series of devices yet). Sony has also done the same, with a bootloader unlock option available for almost the entire Xperia lineup, which you can find here. But you might want to take in this new information before jumping to unlocking the bootloader of your Xperia smartphone.

According to XperiaBlog, Sony is refusing to fix hardware issues of their devices if the bootloader is unlocked, claiming that it is illegal to do so. This is definitely a surprising turn of events considering that Sony “supports” unlocking your device bootloader, albeit at your own risk. There is also the fact that the unlocking of the bootloader should not create an issues with the hardware of the device. If you thought re-locking the bootloader is the way to go, unfortunately that does not seem to work either, as they know if the bootloader has been unlocked in the past.

Granted, Sony mentions that unlocking the bootloader “may void the warranty of your phone and/or any warranty from your operator.” The keyword here is of course, may. If Sony was going to take such a hard stance on going through with the unlock, it should have been stated outright, instead of the vague connotation of the disclaimer.

Stay tuned to see how this issue plays out!

What are your thoughts? What do you think about Sony’s harsh stance when it comes to unlocked bootloaders? Should people with devices from other manufacturers also be worried about the same treatment? Let us know in the comments section below.