Samsung Galaxy S3 “Developer Edition” Coming To Verizon – Allows For Easy Hacking/Modding


Following in the footsteps of Motorola who introduced a special “developer edition” of their Droid Razr, it seems Samsung will be doing to the same with the Galaxy S3. The SGS3 Developer Edition will help appease the demands of the Android enthusiast crowd, giving those that like to tinker and mod their devices, easily unlocked bootloaders for custom ROM fun. Samsung has long had a reputation for providing devices with easily unlockable bootloaders but at the request of Verizon, locked them down tighter than Fort Knox.

The new Developer Edition Galaxy S3 will be made available directly from Samsung via their site and will run modders $600 off-contract. First with patents, now with carriers — seems “work arounds” are the trend ’round these parts. Below you can find Samsung’s Q&A/press release. Now that you can potentially have stock, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on this GS3, who’s grabbing their wallet for one?

Who is this for?

Samsung and Verizon Wireless recognize that there are many enthusiasts and professional developers that are interested in customizing their device with third-party ROM software.  Unlocking the bootloader can put the stability of the phone in jeopardy; therefore, only experienced developers should attempt to unlock the bootloader.

What about the other carriers?

Other versions of the Galaxy S III are sold with a user-unlockable bootloader as a standard feature. Those models are available directly from the respective carriers.

Where can I buy the Galaxy S III Developer Edition?

The Developer Edition will be sold online directly from Samsung. When the device is available for purchase, it will be sold through the Samsung developer portal at developer.samsung.com for $599.

Why is Verizon Wireless’ version locked?

Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers.  Unlocking the device also voids the warranty.

Has Samsung always unlocked the bootloader on its phones?

While not all previous Samsung Android devices have had an easily unlockable bootloader, all of our other current Galaxy S III flagship lineup, and all Nexus-branded devices, support the standard bootloader unlocking procedure.

What happens if I load custom software and damage (“brick”) my phone?

Problems caused by unlocking the bootloader and installing custom software will not be covered by the warranty. Problems with third-party and customized bootloader software can cause irreparable harm to the Galaxy S III. Users interested in performing these actions should proceed with caution and at their own risk. Out of warranty Galaxy S III Developer Edition devices will be serviced directly through Samsung, and service charges will apply.

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.

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  1. mad. verizon/samsung should have announced this much earlier. i would have bought this instead

  2. Bought….as soon as it’s available. I buy my phones off contract anyway, and I have unlimited data. This is full of win 4 me.

  3. wow really?…what a joke

  4. Everyone should write a complaint to the FCC about these shenanigans.

    1. what shenanigans? what are you talking about?

  5. This is honestly a tough decision. I am sure the devs will find a way to unlock the vzw version soon. This is enticing though. One of the big downsides is it would not be covered through vzw warranty exchange or insurance.

    1. why not insurance?? if youre rooted and drop the phone onto a pavement and the screen cracks what difference does it make?

      1. I doubt the insurance company is going to have the “developer edition” S3.
        So, if it were covered by insurance and you broke it, you would not get the same phone from them.

  6. How about an option to just unlock the existing phone? Since its really just comes down to the end user making the choice if they want a locked bootloader or not.

  7. This is messed up! No other carrier has to do this! Getting tired of all Verizon’s crap lately…

  8. The title of this article is very misleading. It made it sound like this was actually coming to Verizon not just available off contract from Samsungs website for $600.

  9. This is absolutely a joke. Verizon must think its customers are fools to believe this bull. All other carriers kept their phones unlocked. Verizon wanted to screw customers who pre ordered and kept their unlimited plans. Just canceled my order and am going to T-Mobile tomorrow. They have a better choice of phones.

  10. This is f*** up. They should’ve said this model was coming before people bought the locked down model SGS3….

  11. I think the handset needs to be a branded carrier model to be covered by insurance. Not sure it will cover unlocked handsets which this basically is.

    1. But this is still Verizon-carrier branded. It should only work on VZW’s network.

  12. Wow, that’s just greedy. I would before the ease to root and rom my phone without paying extra. Don’t get me wrong, if I had known this ahead of time I still would have purchased the “normal” one since I’m not going to spent $600 for a phone right now but it seems like the one released was locked just to try to get people to spend more money and buy this version = GREEDY

  13. lol Verizon sucks at life.

  14. Yea, in order for a phone to be covered by insurance and/or warranty it must be purchased from the carrier. Customer Provided Equipment (CPE) is ineligible for insurance and/or warranty since the carrier has no way of determining whether or not the phone was already damaged when it was activated on their network.

  15. Let’s all #banverizon and #banapple !

  16. This should not be acceptable.

    Dear Samsung, Due to Motorola’s policy of allowing carriers to lock
    bootloaders I have helped encouraged and actively moved dozens of former
    Motorola customers to Samsumg devices, and those that I helped move
    have gone ahead and helped others make the same move. Now that Samsumg
    has allowed Verizon to lock the bootloader on the Galaxy SIII, I am left
    no choice but to do the same all over again to
    another handset manufacturer. Releasing a developers edition of the
    Galaxy SIII is simply not good enough and an absolute insult to us.
    Motorola and HTC both had the Android community in their hands at one
    time till they started pulling stunts like you are with allowing the
    carriers to lock the bootloaders. If Samsung really wants to make this
    right, release an unlocking tool through Samsung.com, and show us, the
    ones that helped make Samsung the #1 Android Maker that you truly
    support us and want our continued support and business.

  17. We need to make this a public nightmare for Samsung for allowing this.

  18. There is always aftermarket insurance you can get that should cover this phone. Typical Verizon move though..Every phone they get somehow they manage to screw it up and the customers.

  19. welcome to the tinyurl.com/cozaa3k

  20. I really hope the devs stick to cracking the boot loader on the original device, just to stick to VZW..and to save me the hassle of trying to return and get a unlocked one.

  21. Can we existing GSIII VZW owners just have the option to unlock our bootloader and forever void our warranty? I don’t mind that, or even paying a small fee like $50 for it to happen, instead of exchanging mine for another model. Its just a hassle.

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