LG will soon provide an official bootloader unlock solution, Android ROMing community rejoices



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.

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. Do it! DO IT NOW!

    (Seriously.. Just got a shiny new G3 and would really appreciate it. Mmmkay, thanks.)

  2. Replace LG with Motorola and this is about identical to a story that made the news about three years ago.

  3. This won’t come to Verizon or at&t phones

    1. Knowing Verizon and AT&T polices I would agree with you, however AT&T and Verizon are the only ones with locked bootloaders so makes me wonder who the unlock would be for, seems like there is a chance Verizon and AT&T coiuld get it, considering this would be useless to any other carrier. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed.

      1. Which LG’s have unlocked bootloaders now?

        1. L-series are unlockable. And well, I feel like I was underrated. Check http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=54690719&postcount=92 Also my petition could do something.. When a person signs up, then the messages are being sent to two LG mails..

          1. not all L-series phones are unlockable.. LG L9 isnt and wont be.. so having said that this is my last LG ever

      2. All G3s except the T-Mobile US version are locked, even the international open version.

  4. Praise Jesus!

  5. Just a heads up, the T-Mobile G3 comes with the bootloader already unlocked.

    1. Yep, I found that out and immediately went to get one about 2 weeks ago. Oddly enough, the G2 boot loader was locked on all carriers.

  6. Sounds like a — “Leave us alone” — letter to me.

  7. The way I read the email, they will continue to honor the mobile carriers policies which means it will never happen for AT&T or Verizon phones…..

    1. or T-Mobile as far as the L9 is concerned

  8. Samsung should start removing the locks on the shitty bootloaders. With all of this nonsense, this will probably be the last Samsung device I will own. Thanks Samsung!

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