Source: Samsung Will Not Lock Bootloaders Unless Google Requires It


Well isn’t this just a reassuring rumor? Supercurio – an Android developer – claims to have spoken with an inside source at Samsung who told him that the company will not use encrypted and locked bootloaders unless Google requires them to.

Samsung has always approached Android with an open mindset and I’m glad to hear that they won’t be pressured to change their ways for no good reason. HTC was the same way once upon a time, but they began locking down newer devices recently.

If this rumor is true then I’m sure Samsung will win over a lot of new customers who find themselves locked down by their current OEMs of choice. [via Android Police]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Goodbye Motorola! Love my Droid1 but will be looking elsewhere now..

  2. Agree with Kefer. Ill probably keep my D1 as long as I can, but my next for surely will not be a locked motorola. Lets hope for galaxy s2 on Verizon.

  3. Don’t you think the carriers have some skin in this game? It’s not just google.

  4. Samsung and their crappy TouchWiz! I remember I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the vibrant, especially since that was the first good (how wrong I was, thinking that it was “good”) android phone on t-mobile… After using it for a week, I was so disgusted that I went back to my G1.

    1. That’s why this is good news… custom roms…

    2. You could just have downloaded launcher pro to get rid of touch wiz completely in 3 minutes.

      1. I use ADW launcher, but touchwiz goes far deeper then lancher: changing standard google apps, like contacts and dial (why add call voicemail and remove favorites? I haven’t used voicemail in two years, that’s what google voice is for). And why does android phone has “save contact to phone” option??? It took me two hours to manually separate contacts, and then delete each one individually from the phone! Samsung is trying to make their phones look like iphones, and that’s stupid by itself. And what about upgrades? How come cyanogen was able to release updates for 30 phones, and samsung is unable to release upgrades for 5 models that they have?

  5. @Corwin. Not sure if this is true as I use the d1 and it doesn’t have any UI, but if a phone is not encrypted can’t you just root it and run vanilla android? Can anyone confirm this? The whole point of Samsung saying they will not lock the phone is so the user can modify it to his liking.

    1. You’re right – you can root it and ditch any custom skin from the OEM’s. I have a rooted D1 and won’t go back. If this is true I’m going to give Samsung a serious look for my next phone – sometime in July.

  6. Between this and their quick release of the Droid Charge source code, I almost wonder if they’re trying to mend fences with the Android power user community. I mean, given that Motorola and HTC seem bent on burning bridges lately, it’s probably not a bad move. It certainly makes the Charge seem more attractive.

    1. Never mind the “Charge”. The S2 is where it’s at — or will be when it gets released. Amazing, amazing phone.

  7. Well, how else are we going to replace their shitty TouchWiz and DFS crap?

    1. Shitty touchwiz? better than senseless UI

  8. Did I miss something? ‘unless Google requires them to’??

    Since when did google implement that policy…

    1. With google still not releasing honeycomb, I think google will announce their plans to deal with fragmentation within the next two months.

      If google wants to prevent honeycomb from going to unauthorized devices, that would require google to require every manufacturer to lock down their devices.

      However, if google does do this, I might switch OS because rooting is what makes android great.

    2. Of course they won’t require that. It goes against everything Android and Google stand for. Samsung just said that they will lock their bootloaders when Google requires it (=never)

  9. A lot to consider. I like having the option to root but I have yet to do it. I am also rocking the droid 1. I have loved it but i am ready for 4g and an upgrade. I will consider the Droid Charge. I don’t think its ugly at all like some seem to think and I like the hardware buttons being used. I am considering the Droid Targa, but Motorola locking down so much does give me pause. Motorola on Verizon has kept their phones up to date. Motorola also has given us some of the best battery life out of a device that I have seen. I like HTC sense a lot but I can not deal with the terrible battery life. I wish Samsung had consistent updates in the US, because in Europe and all around they really update their phones quickly.

  10. I hope this is true.

    Android will suck if all of the manufacturers eventually lock down their devices.

  11. It’s hard to believe that when a company like Samsung stares down a $100 million order from a company like Verizon that wants them to lock the bootloader, that they wouldn’t promptly and happily capitulate.

  12. Still have LG and Sony?

  13. @corwin. I think you are confused. You are listing all problems that can be solved by rooting. Samsung is telling us that by having an unlocked bootloader you can do whatever you want to your phone. If you don’t like samsungs phone b/c of touchwiz then Root or go to some other manufacturer that doesn’t have a UI (do they exist anymore?).

  14. @Corwin. I think you are missing the point of this article. Samsung is basically telling you “if you don’t like touchwiz and all the BS we put on our phones, root and remove it.” Not sure why you are complaining here.

  15. This is why I LOVE Samsung

  16. yeah Sammy Baby!
    Hopefully HTC and the others will see the merits of the hacking community and take a similar stance.

  17. I hope samsung goes this route. I wonder if Motorola will change their tune if two of its biggest Android competitors are gettting rid of locked/encrypted bootloaders. I mean, they will definitely fall behind their competitors, especially with the people from Android communities that want the freedom to hack/rom their phones. I hope that they will open their eyes now and do the right thing. Though I feel it’s wistful thinking.

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