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