Sony Ericsson announces bootloader commitment to all Xperia devices

Posted by Mark Raby

If you're the kind of developer that likes to really tear into the heart of a device, Sony Ericsson has some awesome news.

The smartphone manufacturer has just announced that all of its upcoming Xperia devices will be easily unlockable. The bootloaders won't require a lot of unnecessary tampering or hacking. Instead, Sony Ericsson wants you to poke around and see what you can come up with.

The Arc, Neo, and Pro are all included in this announcement, as is the much anticipated Xperia Play, also known colloquially as the "Playstation Phone."

"Over the few last years, Sony Ericsson has received several requests from the Android community to allow advanced developers to unlock the boot loader of their phones. Up to now, the answer has been 'No.' The reason is that we haven’t had a secure technical solution in place to support this. Furthermore, the boot loader could not be shared since that would violate important business agreements with many of our partners, such as operator customers and developers who want to protect their apps and games from being ripped from the secure area in the phones," wrote Sony Ericsson in a blog post.

The new commitment to developers comes with a slight footnote. Not every version of the phones listed above will be easily booted. Only certain versions of the device will have that freedom, and it has to do with the way the individual carriers handle things on their end.

So for example, if the carrier puts a SIM lock protection on your phone, it can't be easily booted. But from Sony Ericsson's perspective, it is doing all that it can to appeal to the open-source, creative mindset that surrounds all Android phones.

"The only way to determine if you can unlock the boot loader for your phone is to connect your phone to the Fastboot tool in the Android SDK. If your phone can connect to Fastboot, the boot loader can be unlocked," Sony Ericsson explained.