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Sony refuses to repair phones with unlocked bootloaders

Sony refuses to repair phones with unlocked bootloaders
If you are a Sony user and plan to unlock the bootloader of your handset using the official Sony tool, you may want to read this article before you proceed. Apparently, Sony Mobile is refusing to repair hardware problems of users' handsets with unlocked bootloaders.

The XperiaBlog reports that a number of users who have tried to take advantage of the Sony repair centers have been turned down by the company, because of the "illegal unlock" of their phones' bootloaders. The bad thing here is that Sony wouldn't even repair factory defects like the yellow tint found in the screen of the Xperia S. How convenient! This move is extremely surprising, considering the fact that Sony itself is providing the bootloader unlocking tool.

Truth be told, the manufacturer does warn its customers on its website that their warranty may be voided if they use the tool:

"Please note that you may void the warranty of your phone and/or any warranty from your operator if you unlock the boot loader."

However, if it "may" void the warranty, that means that in some situations it wouldn't void it. Unfortunately, Sony hasn't bothered to provide more details in order to make this whole thing somewhat more transparent for its users. Well, it looks like in 2012, some companies are still sticking to making vague statements, in an attempt to avoid responsibility and save a few bucks along the way. So, don't be fooled by the fact that the bootloader unlock tool is officially offered by the manufacturer - apparently using it is not "legal".

We've reached out to Sony for more info, and will update the post should we get a reply.

source: XperiaBlog via AndroidAuthority

20 Comments
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posted on 30 Jul 2012, 06:09 2

1. wendygarett (unregistered)


BTW, What is unlock bootloader means... Is it mean to root??

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 06:14 6

2. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


you unlock the phones bootloader if you plan on rooting your phone

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 06:58 2

5. wendygarett (unregistered)


ok :) thank to response

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 10:03 3

13. kabel (Posts: 43; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


Negative. Rooting has nothing to do with unlocking your bootloader. You can "root" your phone and still have your bootloader locked. The "bootloader" is low-level code that starts up the operating system on a given hardware platform. If it is locked, it means that it expects to find unaltered start-up sequence of an operating system, and by that means there is limited number of tweaks that you can apply on a operating system. If it is unlocked, then that means the sector where the bootloader is placed is writable and you can put your own bootloader and boot whatever operating system you want (and if you know how to write drivers to talk to the hardware). This is only high level description, there are more details that are related to "bootloader" story ...

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 12:15

17. Cyan3boN (Posts: 425; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


thanks, i thought bootloader is just for rooting

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 12:49 1

18. kabel (Posts: 43; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


And again "unlock bootloader" is not equal to "root".
"Rooting" means gaining administrator rights on Lunux based machine which will give you ability to change settings, change read/write permissions, uninstall some software ... many things. But, if your bootloader is locked, then that will prevent you from installing different kind of OS, since the locked bootloader will look for certain things in the internal storage, and the phone wil be stuck at the boot animation ...

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 06:14 6

3. andro. (Posts: 1936; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


This is fair enough,you hack the phone you break the warranty. Many software faults can occur over Dodgey for partially failed rooting or jailbreaking etc.

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 06:59 6

6. TylerGrunter (Posts: 874; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


I would agree if they were doing it only for software issues (you can screw your phone in some many ways that they don't have any idea about how to repair it).
But for hardware issues like the yellow tint in the screen? Give me a break, that is their fault and they should repair or replace!

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 07:23 1

7. andro. (Posts: 1936; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


The thing is for any repair to be finished the handset must be the right working condition to give back to the customer so as the customers warranty is still legally valid. Granted Sony could repair a faulty screen but due to rooting and hacking they can not hand back the phone to the customer with a legal warranty still intact,as a result they will not stand over such repairs. To be honest if you do jailbreak or root etc its the risk you do personally take. From my experience from seeing day in day out all the things that can go wrong with phones throughout their lifetimes then the likes of a valid 2 year warranty etc is not something to cast away lightly

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 07:26 1

8. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)


You can overclock the phone's CPU which will make it run hotter resulting in a Yellow Tint screen.

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 06:50 4

4. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 416; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


I can agree on the bootloader warranty void but I cannot accept the fact that Sony will not be fixing the "yellow tint" on the Sony Xperia S! Disappointing!

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 08:05 5

9. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)


Only if the bootloader is unlocked, otherwise Sony do fix the yellow screen issue but only if it is still locked

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 09:49 1

12. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 416; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


oh, yeah! i missed that point there.

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 11:52

16. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)


Haha, easily done! :)

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 08:09 2

10. romeo1 (Posts: 197; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


its is obvious that the warrany will be voided once you've rooted the phone cause they can't see what you've changed.
if you overclocked the phone it could heat up and some parts could overheat thus break

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 09:47

11. Hammerfest (Posts: 367; Member since: 12 May 2012)


WOW... this post is DAFT!

"This move is extremely surprising,"

NO NO ITS NOT, its SONY we are talking about, I have had no issues getting FACTORY DEFECTS repaired from HTC or Samsung even with an unlocked bootloader AND root! They KNOW, or at least the people who have repaired my device, that an unlocked bootloader or root, CANNOT cause a FACTORY DEFECT like screen issues or similar...

However, its STILL not suprising at all, Having owned a Sony CLIE UX50, a Minidisk, a Sony Laptop and TV, they will find ANY AND EVERY excuse to deny a repair! The unlocked bootloader and/or root, is just like handing the gun to a mass murder. GG Sony, GG

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 10:35

14. bustervic (Posts: 22; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


Yep, Sony fails the customer again. No wonder they are bleeding cash.

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 10:55 1

15. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)


Oh, as if Samsung or Apple would've fixed a yellow tint issue for free in the first place.

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 17:17

19. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


I have nothing but a positive experience of sending a phone back to Sony for repair! If you want to unlock the bootloader, then by all means do so. Legally, the fact is you have voided the warranty which means Sony is not obliged to repair your phone.

Anyway, I value my phones having paid good money for them, so why would I want to give any manufaturer a get out of jail free card!

posted on 30 Jul 2012, 21:33

20. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6230; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Another reason WHY i don't root my phone. if you root it YOU VOID your warranty PLAIN AND SIMPLE. you guys shsouldn't argue or blame the manufacturer

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