Bootloader unlock policies are always a sticky situation. On one side you have the Android modding community wanting full control over the devices they’ve purchased, to do things like modify the software and flash custom ROMs. On the other side are manufacturers who’s hands are usually tied thanks to carriers making a locked down bootloader a requirement for phones operating on their network.
Recently, we’ve seen a shift in the tides as OEMs attempt to circumvent these restrictions, whether it be with their official bootloader unlocking software (a la HTC), or official “developer edition” devices that come out of the box with bootloaders pre-unlocked and ready to flash the custom ROMs like CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android.
LG is one of the bigger Android OEMs who has chosen to distance themselves from the issue, shying away from talk of unlocked bootloaders or developer editions when it comes to more strict carriers (like Verizon or AT&T) — until now. Senior XDA member Wolfgart mentions in a post on the developer forum that he received an email from LG stating that they are working on a software solution that will not only appease ROM flashing addicts, but avoiding stepping on the toes of carriers. Here’s the email:
“Thank you for your feedback regarding bootloader unlock and
we are sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment that have been caused by lack of support for bootloader unlock on the latest LG smartphones.
We are already aware of many developers’ requests and opinions on bootloader unlock.
So we have been preparing a server to provide safer bootloader unlock.
Also, we are internally discussing the target model and the time of providing bootloader unlock.
However, it will take some more time due to the technical restrictions, security issues, and the policy of mobile carriers.
We deeply apologize that we are unable to support bootloader unlock right now and would like to ask for your kind understanding.
We will let you know more specific information when the support policy for bootloader unlock is decided.“
Now we should note, there’s no specific timing on when we can expect LG’s bootloader unlock to arrive, or even which devices will be supported. While we imagine flagship devices like the LG G3 will be supported, it might not be until the LG G4 or G5 that we see this implemented (so don’t go holding your breath). Still it’s a step in the right direction and a victory for those of us who’d like to enjoy a little more freedom on devices we’ve spent a small fortune on.