HTC unchains smartphone bootloaders

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The modding community is chalking up yet another (well-deserved) victory, as HTC CEO Peter Chou says future devices manufactured by his company will boast unlocked bootloaders.

"There has been overwhelming customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we've listened," Chou stated in an official Facebook post.

HTC unchains smartphone bootloaders "[So] today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience."

Chou also confirmed HTC would support an unlocked bootloader for the EVO 3D smartphone, although it remains unclear if the device will ship unchained or win its independence via a subsequent OTA update.

As expected, HTC's decision was loudly applauded by Android enthusiasts across the blogosphere. 

"Wait, what's that sound? [I know], it's the collective cheers of the Android faithful around the globe chanting, 'HTC! HTC! HTC!'" wrote Phandroid's Chris Chavez.  



"I'm at a loss for words here, guys. I'm actually getting a little teary eyed, not even going to lie to you."

Meanwhile, Artem Russakovskii of Android Police enthusiastically proclaimed "victory" for both the modding and Android communities.

"[Yes], devices with locked bootloaders can still be rooted and usually partially unlocked. They could even enjoy custom ROMs, but because the system kernel cannot be replaced, these ROMs cannot be considered complete - they can change things on the surface but not under the hood," Russakovskii explained.

"The message HTC sent to the Android community is loud and clear: We're back, baby! [So] congratulations to everyone who fought the good fight - victory is ours today. Now if only Motorola followed next..."

As I noted earlier this week, working with the modding community rather than against it is generally a good idea (i.e., Microsoft Kinect), as it is likely to build some serious hype and increase sales.

Obviously, HTC (correctly) realized the genuine advantages associated with unlocking the Evo 3D as well as future devices.