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Android Cellphones Open Source Build

HTC To Unlock Smartphones' Bootloader 166

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-step-toward-freedom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From information taken from a facebook post from HTC's page, it looks like future [HTC] Android devices will have an unlocked bootloader. An email sent by HTC's co-founder also confirms that the Evo 3D will be unlocked. This is great news for the Android modding community."
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HTC To Unlock Smartphones' Bootloader

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  • Hello Moto? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Yuckinator (898499) on Friday May 27, 2011 @02:09PM (#36265480)

    Motorola? Are you watching?

    This is where your users will go when their current contracts expire or when they just get fed up with all of the great options on everyone else's phones other than yours.

  • Persistence... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Friday May 27, 2011 @02:10PM (#36265488)

    This makes me wonder if they'll go "oh, we unlocked the bootloaders but the carriers relocked them. Sorry."

    All told, I'd be more impressed if HTC were pushing their kernel changes upstream, and making multiple builds of the video drivers available for other, non-Android OSes.

  • Re:Hello Moto? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday May 27, 2011 @02:11PM (#36265514)

    This is where the minuscule, niche group of users who make up less than .5% of all your customers will go when their current contracts expire or when they just get fed up with all of the great options on everyone else's phones other than yours.

    FTFY. Seriously, most users don't know what a bootloader is let alone whether or not it's locked or unlocked.

  • Re:Benefits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Friday May 27, 2011 @02:29PM (#36265718)

    There are three benefits hardware vendors get:

    1: Lusers who mod their phones, "brick" [1] them, then return it. Locking bootloaders means that they don't get returns or support calls on these types.

    2: It cozies hardware makers with the DRM culprits who want digital restrictions in every device out there.

    3: It makes cellular carriers happy in four ways:

    A: If a security hole in Android comes out, and a phone can't be patches, people are likely to upgrade or buy a new phone.

    B: Phones won't run the latest apps, due to the inability to be upgraded to the latest Android rev, so consumers will trash the devices for a new one.

    C: Carriers can lock out features, add non-removable "branding", etc.

    D: Carriers can create their own locked-down app/music stores.

    [1]: A lot of people don't understand that for some phones, it takes some effort to truly brick them (as in make them impossible to reflash and get working.) For example, people with iPhones who claim their phone is bricked, but never have bothered to do a DFU restore, people with Motorola devices who have never bothered downloading RSD Lite and flashing a factory .SHX back, or people with HTC phones who can't be bothered with copying a ROM to the SD card and holding down a button when turning the phone on.

  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday May 27, 2011 @02:38PM (#36265814) Homepage

    The HTC Incredible was a real contender, and the Droid X stole its thunder. I know, because I switched. The Incredible had one of the loudest speakers I'd ever heard (music) and I prefer soft buttons, not the plastic junk on Droid X. But, I had 2 speakers actually blow. For free, I was able to switch to the Droid X with its larger screen. But the Incredible was a joy to hold and use.

    HTC sees an opening here to jump ahead of the competition. HTC has no real stake in caring about Cyanogen root users. The phone companies do, because of not being able to charge for tethering and other locked down features not available to non-root users.

    But it doesn't matter to HTC. They sell the hardware and design, and if you get the geeks raging about something that costs you nothing, it may give you an edge.

    I have no phone loyalty yet. Most don't. If HTC stays open, I will most likely switch to them when I upgrade in about 3 more generations. They're all android, and all settings and apps import, so Android phones can't vendor lock very well.

    Just because you have a customer now, Moto, doesn't mean anything come renewal time and $100 rebates on new phones.

  • Re:Hello Moto? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by localman57 (1340533) on Friday May 27, 2011 @03:08PM (#36266118)

    And there are thousands upon thousands up people who modify their phones.

    Out of millions upon millions of phones sold. Again, less than 1 percent. But, originally, less than 1 percent of people had cell phones. Then less than 1 percent had data capable phones. Now, less than 1 percent of people install custom firmware. Don't get discouraged by the numbers. We're just leading the curve.

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