Behold, the Power of the Android Community: HTC to Unlock Future Bootloaders



Honestly, guys… I can’t even believe what I’m seeing here. Never in all of my days have I seen a company listen to such a vocal minority with such speed and urgency.. Today, friends — HTC has agreed to unlock their bootloaders.

There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. 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.

-Peter Chou, CEO of HTC

Wait- what’s that sound? Its the collective cheers of the Android faithful around the globe chanting, “HTC! HTC! HTC!” Wow. I’m at a loss for words here, guys. I’m actually getting a little teary eyed, not even going to lie to you.

In case you’ve missed the news that’s been going around the past few weeks, there was a growing number of users from the Android community speaking out on HTC’s newest policy of heavily locking down their bootloaders and encrypting them. This would prevent people, like myself, from not only rooting their phones, but installing custom ROMs on future HTC devices across the board. Basically giving us little to no freedom to modify our phones as we please. Android enthusiasts from around the interwebs took to HTC’s Facebook page, bombarding them with comments and messages asking them to cease this new policy and return to their old way of doing things, even warning to never buy another HTC device again.

Not only was HTC listening, but HTC was also deciding. Their decision came today, not even a day later and it was via Facebook that they announced their new policy of unlocking bootloaders on future handsets. And in process HTC let us know that they, unlike rival companies (Motorola, Apple), actually listen to their customers. Bravo, HTC. Bra-freakin’-vo.

Only question that remains is if this new policy will go into effect on the upcoming Sensation and Evo 3D handsets do out in only a few more weeks. As always, we’ll be keeping you updated.

***UPDATE: Got a Phantip from a reader who emailed HTC regarding the unlocking of the Evo 3D and he received this email in response:

Could this mean a potential Evo 3D delay? Or will HTC be issuing an update? The plot thickens…

[Thanks, JD!]

[Via Facebook]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Use The Power of Android To Become a Crime Fighter!

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  1. Your move, Moto

    1. srsly. this was resolved in a matter of days. moto STILL locks their bootloaders and adds their horrible blur.

  2. It’s official, my next phone will be the HTC EVO 3D!

  3. Awesome’ness. Thanks for the speedy post!

    1. Had to let the world and our readers know! =D

  4. this is great news, how does this affect the evo 3d?

    1. I feel like it’s too late for the Evo 3D and Sensation. I’m sure they’re already ready to be shipped around the US. 
      Still, I would think they would be able to provide some kind of an update to unlock the bootloader?

      1. Or they could just provide us a tool, like Sony Ericsson did

      2.  They updated the Evo bootloader often, each time changing its security signature. An OTA to update the bootloader to unlocked is very doable. And the Evo had an OTA on day 1 – if corporate will is there, I’ll bet they could do the same for Evo 3D (aka 3vo)  if required.

        1. NIIIIICE. Thanks, Earl! :D

  5. best news I’ve heard in weeks!  awesome.

  6. Moto just got put to shame.

  7. Android community is WINNING

  8. Honestly, my poo is everywhere. I can’t believe this is happening

    1. Chris, do you need mommy to buy some more diapers?

    2. poo was also everywhere when i read : WHAT DOES BOOTLOADER MEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOMEONE TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. That one had me ROLLING! LOL!!!!

  9. yessssssssssssssssssssss

  10. Htc sensation Ftw

  11. LOL @ “my poo is everywhere”… Chris you’ve added so much value to this site

    1. I agree, he actually interacts with the users and makes the whole experience better

  12. Impressive… but I really do with the 3D had a 4.5″ to 5″ screen, then I’d be sold indefinitely

    1. My wishes as well…  Though either way with the 3d unlocked HTC guaranteed me buying it.

  13. Wow just when I was ready to ditch HTC, now I feel like I will never leave. HTC is the absolute best phone manufacturer in history.

  14. Hai guys I want to know if the sensation CPU is faster than the tegra 2?

    1. 1.0g vs 1.2g sensation is faster even the gpu is better adreno 300

      1. Clock speeds don’t mean anything. But you are correct, the dual-core Snapdragon was showing better “benchmarks” than the Tegra 2…

        1. Lol and then u have the SGSII and its Eynos CPU ehich just about craps over everything xD

        2. Never said they were, but keep in mind the sensation is using a brand new qualcomm dual core chip, meanwhile the tegra 2 is one year old and looks anemic next to Apple’s a5, inexcusable.

          Sent from ?

  15. This and Cyanogen are why HTC are THE phones to buy. I’m glad if they get it even if carriers and the Maffiaa don’t. I can also say my next phone will be a HTC.

  16. Herro

  17. What dual core, LTE beast of HTC will Verizon pickup now?
    – It’s official, so long Moto,,, PWND!

    1. A battle of the cores! A core duel!

  18. so yarrelray was… right?!?!?! O.o

    1. Please. He predicted it would be unlocked. Initially, it wasn’t. Therefore, he was wrong. It was only after tons of people finally raised hell that HTC re-reviewed their bootloader policy. If it hadn’t been for that uprising, it would still be locked. But it remains to be seen if devices currently and soon to be released will be able to be unlocked, including the E3D that Richard went on and on about. Don’t feed his ego… he thinks he has a big enough head already…

      1. don’t you ever…. EVER criticize my prophet Richard Yarrell! He FORESAW this, it came to him in a vision

        1. ….you can’t be serious…

        2. After this prediction came true I am now a follower as well, he is the next Harold Camping except he actually got it right.  lol

    2. Don’t feed the machine. That’s the last thing he needs to know.

    3. everyones right sometimes even…….. yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrelray……….. 

      1. I guess I just fell into the alternate universe where he is then.

    4. I am starting to think he knows people or works for Sprint…

      1. never mind he ain’t right

  19. Cue the HTC Doubleshot lust.

    BREAKING: In other news, HTC in negotiations with Google to acquire the Nexus brand. [Not really, but doesn’t it feel like it?]

  20. Loved my Hero, Worship my EVO. I started looking into other companies for my next android phone when I read about the bootloader issue. 
    Good Job HTC. I am back on board. And so are the friends and coworkers that look to me for advice on which handset to buy. ;) 

  21. Wow, HTC is an amazing company. Cudos to everyone that helped make this happen.

  22. I liked them on Facebook, just so I could like this post too.

  23. what does an unlock bootloader do?

    1. It allows you to easily root and run custom roms.

  24. This is why HTC is my favorite of the all manufactures that support Android. I have the evo and I love it. I tested multiple Roms on this and HTC devices are the most supported by hackers. HTC is definitely a one of a kind company and is leading the way in the smartphone market. Thank you HTC for helping creating such a great culture for Android and for listening to what customers want.

  25. Any one know if they are going to leave the system and recovery files open or just the bootloader.  Even if they unlock the bootloader but encrypt the system and recovery files we still won’t be able to flash custom ROMs.

  26. I like the creative writing article

  27. @Christopher Chavez….Great article i must say so myself seeing the error of there ways is all that matters. Rather that delays the HTC EVO 3D only Mr. Chou has that answe. Regardless locked or not the evo 3d will be the best device on the market. You have people bandwagon bashers of anything htc/sprint they ARE TOTAL FOOLS case and point @squiddy20 someone with some kind of OUTDATED SAMSUNG MOMENT which is rooted in my world SO WHAT ROOTING AN OLD DEVICE WHICH I’M SURE SOMEONE ROOTED IT FOR HIM AND HE APPEARS HERE IN THESE FORUMS LIKE HE IS SOME KIND OF ADVISOR.. All he does is bash HTC/EVO/SPRINT truthfully he is a total waste of time and effort. Bottomline HTC/SPRINT and the EVO3D RULES ANDROID that Will never change as far as I am concerned…SPECIAL NOTE TO THE MODERATOR OF PHANDROID: You may have BLOCKED MY ACCOUNT FROM THE BROWSER AS FAR AS POSTING COMMENTS IN THAT FASHION BUT YOU WILL NEVER STOP ME FROM POSTING COMMENTS BY OTHER MEANS SO TO YOU MR. MODERATOR….GO SHIT ON YOURSELF

    1. the moment is a sprint phone…..    just putting that out there incase you didnt make the connection while you were busy fapping to spyshots of your precious EVO 3D

      1. and have you heard of sdx??

    2. Please cite for me when/where I have “bash[ed] HTC/EVO/SPRINT”. You yourself just pointed out that I have a Samsung Moment, a SPRINT ONLY phone. Why would I bash the carrier I have been with for several years, and have no intention of leaving? As I pointed out to you, I myself have rooted my phone. If you want proof, look me up over at SDX, username: squiddy. I’ve helped many people and asked many questions of others there. I know I’m not THE most knowledgeable person, but I do know more than you. For instance, did you know it’s “case IN point” not “case AND point”? Please. Don’t insult me when you can’t even get a simple, well known idiom right. Wow, so some mod finally did block you, eh? What a moron. Anyone else would have taken the hint by now. Grow up you sad excuse for an adult. You have the mentality and maturity of a 6 year old girl. @facebook-1787373408:disqus Thank you for also pointing out that very well known fact that Dick here has absolutely no knowledge of. You’d think a Sprint fanboy would know everything about said company…

      1. Yarrel vs Squid..i freakin love your guys epic battles lmfao!!

    3. STFU 

    4. The Samsung Moment makes the end user have to be an Android expert just to get it to work right.  
      You kids with your stock phones that have working GPS, Data, and 3D. Your spoiled. ;P

      1. Thank you for pointing that out!  :D  Seriously, my GPS doesn’t work half the time, no matter what “fixes” I throw at it. Back on 2.1, I used to get data lockup at least once a week. For those of you who have the luxury of not knowing what that is (Dick Yarrell), it’s when not only your data stops working, but all call functionality as well. Even calls to 911 cannot be made until you reboot the phone. On stock, a reboot of the phone takes about 2 minutes, compared with what, 20 or so seconds on most other phones? Hell, I can’t even play any version of Angry Birds without the app FC’ing or some part of the app not displaying correctly. But all of these tweaks and playing around with the OS/apps has made me better off when it comes to Android. Sure, I may not know what Odin is right now, but it won’t take me long to figure it out.

    5. He and everyone on this forum bashed YOU. NOT HTC OR SPRINT. because you’re a dick.

      And thank you mod for banning his account. He is not welcome here by anyone. Please ban his ip address too thanks.

      1. I will never ban Yarell. He’s too much fun =)

    6. You’re calling someone out for bashing a carrier when you specifically go on Verizon-related articles and do nothing but bash them.

      Anyways, I hope you’re enjoying your Evo with bloatware that Sprint installed via firmware updates.

  28. now make your phone to have the same great battery life like galaxy S2.

  29. Wow, amazing news. Although it might be too late for EVO 3D I hope not. Please release an update to release the bootloader like Sony did.

  30. HTC: by proving me wrong it is only fair that I make my next purchase an HTC.

  31. Well I’m amazed.  I figured their prior statement about ‘reviewing’ the policy was just PR speak.

  32. way to be behind engadget on this story. Engadget is a great website but not even android specific, like this one.

    1. Wait- are you serious? I posted this an hour before Engadget. Read the post times, homie.

      1. im sorry that was my honest mistake but that still leaves you behind android central

  33. my next phone is guranteed to be htc.

  34. Drumroll……. NEXUS 3 featuring Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Nvidia Tegra 3, by HTC.

    (oh and please no more physical buttons)

  35. I didn’t like HTC Android phones until now, I wasn’t keen on Sense, etc. Now: I don’t care. I am sold. I will be getting HTC in the future!

  36. Now if only HTC sold phones with better keyboards. The one on the G2 was like squishing sponge. o_O

    1. Yours may have been. Never assume any issue you have means the phone in and of itself is flawed.

  37. I was getting teary-eyed too before I even read it in the article

  38. Okay, great, it will be unlocked on future devices.  What about devices like the Incredible 2 and Thunderbolt?  Are they going to release updates that unlock the code?  I sure hope so…

    1. I think that you’re mistaking “locked” and “encrypted”. The Thunderbolt isn’t encrypted, and the bootloader can be unlocked. You can still root a phone with an encrypted bootloader, but you can’t run a true custom ROM. For example, if your device has an encrypted bootloader (like a Droid X) you can only flash ROMs built around the 2.2 kernel (until the 2.3 build was leaked). This is why people with rooted Droid 1s were running Gingerbread ROMs long before the DX started getting GB-based ROMs; the D1 isn’t encrypted. Not insulting you in any way, just clarifying.

  39. HTC = “Hey, That’s Cool”.

  40. lmao @ chris chavez’s facebook post: “My poo is everywhere”

  41. Was waiting on the Bionic, but now im on the HTC bandwagon, next plea is to please bring a multi core LTE HTC phone to Verizon… and SOON!

    Please Verizon, get your shit together and bring us some decent LTE multi core phones.

  42. I’m guessing the Sprint HTC EVO 3D will get a small OTA update that unlocks the bootloader, or enables it to be unlocked. It is probably already rolling off the production line right now.

    That being said, I am definitely making it my next handset in light of this move by HTC. Power to the people.

  43. Hahaha Chris I love your comment from the pic “Honestly…. my poo is everywhere…”  I feel the same way though and am really glad they listened to the community and came back with such a quick response!!

  44. I think I just saw Steve Jobs loosening his turtle neck just a little bit. The pitchforks are heading for his office as we speak. LOL!

    1. @Darkflame, I honestly do not think people are worried about Apple locking down their stuff. Apple users are not that tech savvy (that is why they bought Apple in the first place), so it really does not matter as much to them as Android users.

  45. Great news from HTC! If they just unlock their HTC Sensation I will be buying one right away!

  46. Too bad Big Red won’t activate unlocked boot loaders anymore. HAHAHA
    Looks like no more HTC devices for you

  47. Iv had my evo since the thing came out and just about everyone who sees it loves it. Now there is a better one coming out! plus as of yesturday i get the upgrade from sprint so im holding out and once the 3D comes out yall can be sure ill be sitting outside that sprint store in a tent with some Twinkies waiting for them to give me my 3D lol

  48. If only other companies – especially Apple – would listen to their customers for once.

    Way to go, HTC!

  49. This couldn’t have happened at a better time. I just got my new Incredible 2 and I thought I’d be waiting a while for root. Looks like I won’t be!

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