"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."-Samsung and Verizon
The other day when Verizon customers started to receive their pre-ordered Samsung Galaxy S III, there was a bit of an uproar when it was discovered that the phone had a locked bootloader. But the pair happened to have an ace under their sleeves.On Tuesday, Samsung and Verizon introduced the Developer Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S III with an unlocked bootloader. The device will run over Big Red's LTE pipeline and will soon be available from Samsung's web site at developer.samsung.com for $599 off-contract. In a self-penned Q&A, both Samsung and Verizon say they realize that there are many users of the device who would like to run third party ROMs, although they do warn that only those experienced with such matters should be playing around with the phone.
The Q&A did mention a reason for the locked bootloader on the subsidized Verizon model. The quick and dirty answer is that unlocking the bootloader would prevent Verizon from making sure the users of the phone receive its normal level of customer service and could negatively affect how the phone connects to Big Red's network. Other customers could be impacted by the use of unapproved software and the user's warranty could be voided. Samsung, on the other hand, tried to look the other way by saying that while not all of their previous Android flavored models had an easy to unlock bootloader, the other Samsung Galaxy S III models and all Nexus branded models have one that is easy to unlock.
So there it is, folks. Verizon users can have an unblocked bootloader on their Samsung Galaxy S III although it will require them to dig deeper into their pocket to pay for it.
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.