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HTC Bootloaders

27th May 2011 sow a memorable event happening in the world of consumers versus big corporate.

A couple of weeks ago, HTC announced that they would be locking the bootloader down of the Android mobile devices to make rooting even more difficult. Rooting Android devices have not been difficult, but it also has not been strait forward. One would use some sort of exploit to gain the root access required to replace the bootloader. By changing the bootloader of the device, you are able to tell the phone to start into a different version of Android, rather than the HTC version.

Sparked by the lockdown announcement, the community responded with Twitter, Facebook and mail campains, directly towards HTC. With webpages giving the e-mail addresses to senior execs in HTC and asking community to mail them directly with petitions not open up the bootloader.

Well, HTC listened and posted on their community page:

This proofs that the community can make a difference, or does it?

  • How open would it be? Opening the bootloader is one step, allowing to gain root access to then be able to replace the shipped ROM is something all together different.
  • Would it be all the devices? With a selection of 40 handsets from HTC that run Android ( Use the search at ) would the bootloader be changed for all devices?
  • Would warranties be honored by distributors?  Leaf handle the HTC warranties in SA and guidelines from them about this issue would be great.

A very historical event, but still not the answers developers need, but wait! Still good news!

Now I'm waiting for the entrepreneurship to step up to the plate.

Think about it, a HTC Desire HD with 4.3" touch display, but running a custom ROM that my dad can SEE and UNDERSTAND. A custom ROM that are suited for kids, that gives them 4 buttons only, and nothing else. Have a stripped down version of the ROM for enterprise, removing market and other problem items and locking it into your enterprise rules.

Now there I hope to see innovation!

Thanks HTC!


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