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HTC to continue locking bootloaders; details tool for users to unlock them

HTC to continue locking bootloaders; details tool for users to unlock them

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HTC has laid out what the process will be for unlocking bootloaders on the Sensation, Sensation 4G, and Evo 3D. Users will need to register an account with HTC, tell the company they understand the procedure voids their warranty, send a unique device identifier (pulled via the Android SDK) to HTC, use a Web-based tool to get an unlocking "key," and finally use said key to unlock their bootloader. That may sound a little over the top, but then we suppose HTC wants to track who has and hasn't unlocked their bootloaders for future warranty purposes.

Unfortunately, HTC has also added a more troubling chapter to this whole bootloader saga. Unless we're reading the update wrong, HTC is backing away from CEO Peter Chou's promise to stop locking bootloaders on May 26th, when he wrote "Today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking bootloaders on our devices." Compare that to today's message:

Because unlocking the bootloader provides extensive control over the device and modifications may cause operation, security and experience issues, new devices will continue to ship locked but will support user-initiated unlocking using a new Web-based tool.

In other words, HTC's move here doesn't quite live up to its original promise. In addition, the company is likely tracking which devices get unlocked. That's the downside. The upside is that the company is sticking to its original timeline for offering this functionality. And yes, HTC is planning to distribute an officially sanctioned way to do a fairly nerdy and complex thing -- moving at least some control from carriers and manufacturers to users. That's definitely something, it's just not as much as we'd been hoping for.

Source: HTC Facebook; via Android Central