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.
I have to admit that I kind of like HTC. Here is this relatively small company from Taiwan, formerly set aside as a crappy copycat, putting out some of the world’s best and most innovative smartphones. Whether you want Windows Mobile 6.5, Android, or Windows Phone, you can’t really go around HTC – they offer something for everyone when it comes to smartphones. They’re successfully competing with the likes of Motorola, Samsung and Apple purely through merit – no lawsuits, no whining, just building really good phones.
And now, they seem to be listening to their customers as well. An overwhelming amount of HTC customers asked the company to no longer lock down the bootloaders on their phones, and the company’s CEO, Peter Chou, has listened.
â€Ž”There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones,” Chou said in a statement on the company’s Facebook page, “I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.”
My hats off to the Taiwanese phone maker. Like Sony Ericsson, they’re listening to the most popular customer request when it comes to smartphones: the ability to tinker. I’m sure Google has had a hand in this as well – I simply don’t believe it is a coincidence that all these companies are suddenly announcing these policy changes.
I always loved HTC handsets – so do many people on xda-developers. One of the reasons is that they were always hackable. I had winmob 6.5 + latest HTC sense on my old Blackstone. They also build very very solid phones. I threw the Blackstone across the room once (by accident, was just gesturing wildly and it flew off my hand) – battery cover fell off, put it back, no damage whatsoever (minor scratch only). Same with my Nexus One – it’s very sturdy. I’d say it’s almost like old NOKIA sturdiness.
Another thing I recall reading on xda-devs is that one of the members asked them a technical question (related to hacking the phone) and they actually answered in detail. I also heard a few times that HTC is cool about warranty – ie you don’t loose it if you try other mods if the problem is obviously hardware related.
I hope the next Nexus is done by HTC again (though I can’t see any reason to change my N1 in the next 1-2 years). Their only weakness is their shitty camera – but I never cared for that, I have my pocketable ultrazoom with me all the time (PANASONIC TZ7) – and I never really used the camera on my phone.
Edited 2011-05-27 11:01 UTC