Today is starting out pretty well - minutes ago, we finally got the HTC Thunderbolt kernel source, and now Sony Ericsson decided to lift our spirits even further via a blog post announcing their commitment to the Android development community. And a commitment it is - Sony Ericsson may just be the first large manufacturer truly listening to us.

Sure, Motorola unlocked the bootloader of the XOOM, and Samsung did the same to the Nexus S, but Sony Ericsson is promising to release versions of ALL Xperia phones with easily unlockable bootloaders, at least ones slated for 2011. This includes the Xperia Arc, Play, Neo, and Pro, but SE is quick to clarify - by far not all devices will be this open. In fact, there will be quite a few restrictions, not all of which are clear right now. For example, SIM-locked devices, i.e. devices locked to a specific carrier, will not come with an unlocked bootloader.

What this essentially boils down to is a line of unlocked devices (both carrier- and bootloader-wise), likely sold without any subsidies and therefore more expensive. It is not the ideal situation, but we can't really point the finger at Sony Ericsson alone - carrier agreements and contracts are making it impossible for them to release everything as open as we'd like.

Still, Sony Ericsson's commitment to Android developers is a huge step forward. First, a promise to decouple their Rachael overlay from the core OS for faster and easier upgrades, starting with the Xperia Arc, and now easily unlockable devices? Sony Ericsson may just become our favorite Android manufacturer after all.

Source: Sony Ericsson

Image credit: Phandroid

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://mrmaza.my Azam

    well done SE... now i got some reason to sell my desire HD....

    in love with SE for a long time...

  • http://canadroid.com BigC_13

    SE makes great quality phones, and it looks like their finally getting fully committed to Android which is awesome. Looking in to getting the Arc for my gf when it comes out.

    • http://mrmaza.my Azam

      planning to do the same thing. getting for my GF too

  • ari-free

    Dancing Android on crack, Kristen Schaal and now this. Everyone is falling in love with SonyEricsson these days.

  • SE FAN

    I have been a SE user for many years now.. and i know them ..
    Take a look at thier PR status after crappy performance of Xperia X10 , subpar with all snapdragon series.
    Surely I for one not going to buy another SE .. and anyone who believes that they will open bootloader , can only imagine.. They have not lived upto thier promise thus far..
    and recent announcement also includes gingerbread to dying X10 , excluding mini ,X8...
    you guys decide

  • sudip

    I am a disgusted but loyal consumer of sony ericsson product. However with the promise to upgrade x10 and this one...I am beginning to rejoin the 'i lv SE' community.

  • Asphyx

    This just proves what I have thought all along.

    The Locked bootloaders are more due to carrier insistence than Hardware manufacturers desire to lock down phone.

    Makes sense why do they care as long as you buy the unit. They stand to lose nothing while thre Carriers lose the ability to lock out other carriers and features they wish to charge for.

  • bimo

    Will this new version of android fix my problem of SE ARC, because my phone keeps rebooting all time.