Verizon Galaxy S III comes with a locked bootloader, Rootzwiki has you covered

Verizon might have thrilled several of their customers who pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S III by delivering the devices almost a week early, but unfortunately for those looking to root the device, the phone carries with it a dark secret: a locked bootloader. Considering all other carrier versions are easy-to-root, and historically Samsung doesn’t tend to do so, it’s quite clear that the decision came from Verizon.

However, if a developer’s claims on Rootzwiki were to be true, it might turn out that Verizon’s efforts to close down the device have already gone down the drain. Personally, I would just head to another network if it were an option. If you can’t, and want to root your new S III, then as always: do so at your own risk. And thank the original developer.

Thanks, Jason.

[via Engadget]

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TAGS: Samsung Galaxy S3


    Why would you leave the biggest 4G network? Having a solid 4G connection is more important to me than having root. But, as we see on Rootzwiki, root has been found anyway.

    • lynyrd65

      Disgustingly expensive plans, anti-consumer practices everywhere.

      • bmg314

        Well said. People can tout their lte network all they want (which may be surpassed in a year or two) but that in no way makes up for their price gouging and utterly disgusting way of doing business.

        To each their own, I guess. :)

      • No_Nickname90

        You do know that Verizon, along with all the other carriers, have discounts, right? Like Sprint gives about 18% for students at DeVry. =.D
        I have a friend on an unlimited everything paying about $80 a month with Verizon. I don’t know what kind of mega discount he gettin’, but I’m jealous.


        You get what you pay for. You would rather pay for AT&T’s non-existent 4G LTE? What a joke….

        • C-Law

          If u live in Houston like i, it may not be so bad. And sprint is turning on their lte in a week here so another viable option. I’m on an unlimited plan with my gnex but I see myself leaving when my contract is up

  • Erron

    You do realize there is a difference between a locked bootloader and gaining root access right? With root, the bootloader is still locked.

    You should consider revising your story to pretend you know something about Android hackery.

    • No_Nickname90

      Yes. Doesn’t this mean you can’t have custom ROMs with a locked bootloader since when the phone boots it’ll “erase” the new ROM and reinstall the 1st one? I think that’s how it was explained.

      • David Wray

        A phone with a locked bootloader can still run custom ROMs (ex: Droid X). The user just can’t install custom kernels. It also creates a few extra hoops that some developers will not waste time jumping through to write a custom ROM.

    • JMcGee

      I’m no expert here, but I detect some irony. An exploit allowing a true custom recovery to be installed, to which I believe this article links, is in fact a workaround to a locked bootloader. It should allow for full development with custom roms and kernels. Right?

    • Brian Davis

      Ha ha. You tried to be cool, but you failed miserably. Jmcgee is right. A custom recovery can be installed on the Verizon siii using the Root wiki exploit. perhaps you should practice a modicum of due diligence before acting like a condescending tool.

  • Jason Farrell

    Only being able to root it isn’t the same as being able to flash your own kernel/recovery/ROM combos. Supercurio even commented that this locked bootloader will actually mean MORE BRICKS for Verizon (== no $$$ being saved) because it hinders recovering from bad flashes.

    In any case, if I were on Verizon, I’d loudly return this dud and wait for the next batch of “guaranteed to be unlocked” Nexus’ in November.

    • violator702

      A lot of people preordered this phone just before the share everything plans went into effect. How do you know Verizon will get another Nexus?

      • Jason Farrell
        • violator702

          I’ve read those rumors but 5 Nexus devices doesn’t mean 5 different US carriers. I personally would luv Verizon to get another Nexus, but they never seemed interested in the Gnex at all.

          • Haxcid

            Verizon is not really interested in their customers as they keep getting paid every month. This is clearly evident in everything they do. Upgrade fee for existing customers, ending unlimited data, grossly priced shared data programs, and one of the worst phone selections and pricing of all time.

          • kwaping

            I wish I could upvote this more than once! This might be the last contract I sign with VZW.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            humored you and upvoted him. so consider yourself having had 2 votes on this one. ;-)

  • Aaron soles

    The galaxy nexus I had on Verizon had a locked bootloader. But you can unlock with a one click or adb /fastboot pretty easily

    • BIGshane123456

      what do u mean, the verizon g nex didn’t have a locked bootloader?

      • Crimsonshadow774

        False. I had to unlock 5 separate Galaxy Nexus bootloaders when my family switched last week.

        • David Wray

          Pretty much every Android phone comes with a locked bootloader. Articles like this say locked when they really mean encrypted. There is a big difference.

  • Hrethgir

    It all comes down to whether its an encrypted bootloader like Motorola uses, or an easily unlockable one. Guess we’ll see soon enough. Shame on you Verizon, shame….

    • Jason Farrell

      It’s already been confirmed locked & encrypted (by samsung level 2 techs via phone&chat)

      • Joe F’n C

        again…this is just a matter of how well its been encrypted. whose to say that samsung didn’t purposely make the bootloader easy to crack? verizon wouldn’t know any better and lets be honest just because vwz says DO THIS doesn’t mean anyone puts any actual effort into the outcome.

  • BIGshane123456

    My brother got one of these. If it were me it would be going back right away.

  • tenei

    An encrypted bootloader which this appears to be is not overcome by this root exploit . You will not be able to flash kernels which means you can’t change CPU speeds, change voltages, and even things like camera function and bluetooth. You will not get the full experience of roms as they may have things not working. This is a very big deal. Root is a step in the right direction but this does not look good and should not be publicized as overcoming the encrypted bootloader.

    • Sean Kalas

      Perhaps you’ll want to explain how I’m running my Droid X at 1.2GHz at times and undervolted other times.. learn before you pass your ignorance as fact.

      • tenei

        I don’t know the history of the Droid x. Did it have an encrypted bootloader? Was there a workaround that allowed you to be able to flash a custom kernel? I apologize for my ignorance but I can only go by what I know that currently for the S3 there is no way to do this. Please correct my post so that people have all the most accurate information at hand.

        • Joe F’n C

          the droidx has a lot of workarounds to make all these things possible. He did not mention that it took the better part of a year to make all this possible. I would rather have this access from day one. Plus jelly bean is right around the corner which means if the loader is encrypted it will take longer for us to see updates compared to other carrier phones. I loved my droidx at the time it was a flagship phone and held its weight even up until now. However I won’t miss the difficulties that came along with rooting early on and updates blocking root access. I like a challenge but something like this could deter developers from working on vzw software for the phone and thats not fun for anyone

  • Pkmmte

    Suddenly I’m not so excited about my Verizon Galaxy S3 anymore…

  • Cale Leda

    Looks like I’m gonna be on my OG Droid for a bit longer.

  • Aaron soles

    That sucks if it’s encrypted! It’ll still be a nice phone and I’m glad I’ll have it Monday. I’m sure somebody will find a way to unlock and decrypt it