Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th May 2011 09:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Well, this is some good news on this fine morning. After Sony Ericsson announcing official support for bootloader unlocking on their Android phones, HTC has just stepped it up a notch: the company's CEO (no less) has announced on Facebook that going forward, HTC will no longer lock down any of their phones' bootloaders.
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Already existing phones?
by sb56637 on Fri 27th May 2011 14:36 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

I don't really understand how the internals of a smartphone work. Does this means that HTC is planning to release some sort of flashable open bootloader for already existing devices? Or are they only promising this for future devices?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Already existing phones?
by AdamW on Fri 27th May 2011 16:22 in reply to "Already existing phones?"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

an open bootloader means it's trivial to boot a non-standard operating system firmware image on the phone, and hence a whole third party environment - so an alternate build of Android, or even a different OS entirely, if the hackers can make it work. It's pretty common to port Android to phones HTC released with Windows Mobile, for instance.

it became trendy recently for phones to lock down the bootloader: it wouldn't run a firmware image that wasn't digitally signed with a specific key controlled by the manufacturer. obviously this makes things much harder for tweakers; you have to crack the protection to load unofficial firmware images.

HTC did this with their last few models - I think the last six or seven high-end phones they released, Engadget's story on this has a list. Now they've promised they'll stop doing it in future. They haven't promised to update the phones that already have locked bootloaders to unlock them; I'm not even sure if they _can_ do that with an OTA update.

Reply Parent Score: 3