If you bought/plan on buying AT&T's variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it's locked down tight.

Historically, Samsung devices – up to and including the SIII – have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it "authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them." In layman's terms, that essentially means that it won't allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run. Ouch.

Steve goes on to say that he "would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work or debug the lower layers." We know that a lot of you are big fans of CM, so this is a pretty substantial statement coming from Cyanogen himself.

Yep, it's confirmed. The AT&T S4 authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them.

I can't see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this. GSM and LTE aren't magical, tethering is controllable on the server side, and theft-of-services is not possible from the application processor side (or even from the modem side as far as I know). The same device is available on every carrier, so it's not an exclusivity issue either. The modem processor has always been locked, and the casual user doesn't want to mess with that part anyway. Samsung has always been developer-friendly, so I am guessing their hand was forced.

The only outcome I see here is stacks of bricked devices being sent back for warranty replacement due to the ease of causing a permanent boot failure, especially since the device is trivially rootable.

The arms race continues. News flash: MILLIONS of people run custom firmware (and I have the STATS to prove it). This is just a stupid move that will cost you customers and money.

I would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work with or debug the lower layers.

While we can't say for sure, it's probably a safe bet that Verizon's variant of the device will be the same way. Unlike AT&T, Verizon has a reputation of locking down all devices, which includes its versions of the Galaxy S III and Note II. No reason to think that the GS4 will be any different.

Unfortunately, it looks like this may become the new norm for carrier-branded devices in the US.

[Steve Kondik (Google+)]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Frederick Eichinger

    What a crock...once I buy it, it should be my phone to do with as I please. I pay enough to use their freaking network, leave the damn phone alone!

    • NemaCystX

      Its not always the carrier that chooses to lock the device. Sometimes the OEM does it to protect their software.

      • Sqube

        Yeah, but if you had to pick one... would you pick the carrier or the manufacturer?

        Keep in mind that Verizon Wireless exists.

        • NemaCystX

          yes, and I am stuck with them, leaving to go to AT&T once the black HTC One arrives

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

            As a Verizon customer myself, I feel your pain and despise my carrier just like you, but moving to AT&T is not a step in the right direction. Honestly, it's not even a parallel step.

          • NemaCystX

            My reasoning is beyond Verizon's stupidity and arrogance. I want the HTC One lol

          • TornZero

            Verizon's stupidity and arrogance is the reason they don't have the HTC One, so it's kinda connected, rather than beyond. :D

      • Daveon Jackson

        That doesn't really apply here the Sprint version isn't locked down. So they couldn't possibly be trying to protect their software. Unless they did it some other way unknown to me (likely.)

  • NemaCystX

    Samsung is becoming like Apple, greedy, cocky, and mediocre design updates.
    Atleast the AT&T HTC One is unlockable (for now)

    • Sqube

      They've also got a developer's edition. HTC is going to have to court the nerds pretty aggressively before they can go back to ignoring us in favor of the typical user.


      • NemaCystX

        exactly my point, COMPETITION keeps the OEMs on their toes, when the OEM gets cocky and doesn't worry about people not buying, they get lazy. All Apple has to do is slap an Apple logo on something and it will sell. Samsung is getting to that point with the Galaxy S line

    • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

      I'm thinking this has more to do with AT&T than Samsung. Regardless someone's not playing by the book. Nexus for any device in the future if I come back to Android.

      • http://www.facebook.com/TylinBeDell Tylin BeDell

        if you're not using Android what are you using Windows? you don't deserve to come back if you're using Apple though

        • NemaCystX


        • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

          Don't be ignorant. I use a One X for a second line and Nexus 7 for tablet. I use my Lumia 920 as my primary and to be frank out performs and better than both. I don't stick my head in a hole and act like there's nothing else out that there that can be just as beneficial and useful out the Android world. When or if I decide to come back to using Android as primary it won't be because of idiotic and arrogant thinking.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          Kids are funny.

      • NemaCystX

        and your on ANDROIDpolice again why?

        • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

          Hmmm, I don't know, maybe because I still have 3 Android devices? I keep up with what's new in a world that's more than one ecosystems? I'm not arrogant and act like there's only one OS to us? I couldn't tell you why I come on here. Ya got me...

          • yankeesusa

            Good answer, stick it to them. I'm all for different technology. Im an android fan but I may get a bb q10 to try out and I won't turn it down.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          Another immature and ignorant teenager.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tiburonchris Chris Jenkins

      The HTC one is not unlockable

      Okay, it is in a sense.

      But when you unlock it from HTC DEV, it says tampered.

      And when you try to relock it it says "re-locked."

      Is that REALLY unlocked?

      • NemaCystX

        Good enough for me

        • http://www.facebook.com/tiburonchris Chris Jenkins

          Lol. Says the person doing your warranty replacement?

          • NemaCystX

            I've never had to do a warranty replacement because I'm NOT picky like some people about a tiny dead pixel on the screen, or my radios not acting right or that screen hue is off by a few degrees, or that my camera flash is not as bright as the other peoples same device is.

            I know how to use my device to the extent I can hack, root, flash etc and HANDLE it to the point I don't need warranty repair.

            Its people that hack and then send it back to warranty repair because of something stupid they did and expecting a replacement, even though it wasn't the OEM's fault you screwed up your device, that put business's out of BUSINESS. These companies lose money on these replacements. Its people that abuse the system that shouldn't be able to use it.

            The OEM shouldn't be responsible for your stupidity. Its one of the reasons why OEM's have to LOCK their devices in the first place, Warranty Fraud is a very expensive thing to a company, its the equivalent to piracy.

            Regardless of how you look at it, your stealing by saying you didn't hack your device and by re-locking it and allowing no trace of root or Unlocked bootloader access, its still fraud.

            Again, this is why OEM's have to lock their devices if there is no reason to beyond the carriers request.

            So, for example, the OEM may lock a certain model because of how many people might potentionally try to unlock it or hack it then claim warranty service.

            AT&T & Verizon have the most customers, so its quite obvious they would likely be locked if the OEM felt it was in their best interest to avoid that kind of fraud.

            It might seem like I'm throwing out ideas, (which I am, lol) but you have to look at this from a business perspective.

          • http://www.facebook.com/tiburonchris Chris Jenkins

            Exactly my point.

            People like you and I know how to use an Android device. But for those idiots who complain about the smallest imperfection....The HTC One or Samsung Galaxy may not be best for them due to the facts listed above.

          • Jason Tschohl

            And the simple solution to that is make it unlockable but ONLY at the carriers store. They unlock the bootloader for you if you so desire and void your warranty right then and there by entering the information into your account. Problem solved.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

            Much like piracy, I think you're (notice how that's spelled) blowing this "problem" way out of proportion.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Oh, it's most definitely AT&T. Samsung wants unlocked devices everywhere.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Then they can refuse to sell it any other way. But they didn't.

    • yankeesusa

      This is not samsungs fault. They will do what att says as it gets them more money. Samsung tries to make all their phones developer friendly. does the s4 have a developer edition?

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Baloney. Samsung could tell AT&T to get stuffed and AT&T would back down.

    • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

      Can you try that again in English?

  • Fabian Pineda

    Dude... You peeps in the US need to demand your gov some regulation. That private carriers market has you all by the balls.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.blough Marcus Blough

      They also have our politicians by the balls...

      • andy_o

        Maybe we should elect fewer politicians with balls.

        • TornZero

          Then they'll have our politicians by the breast.

          • New_Guy

            Balls or breasts, they all love money. In a capitalist society, if you have the money you have the politics and thus the power. Hard road to get this regulated.

          • BetterWithRoot

            I think Jafar said it best:
            "You've heard of the golden rule, haven't you? Whoever has the gold, makes the rules."

          • On a Clear Day

            That's funny!

    • Go Hawkeyes

      As soon as I can muster up the millions of dollars to donate to my representatives in congress to offset the millions of dollars the carriers are donating I might actually stand a chance of them listening to what I want. In the mean time, the carriers will continue to have the government in their back pocket.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chris.moch.10 Chris Moch

        THIS exactly... they are nothing but elected whores.. and whores only respond to money

    • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

      I would think the FCC would need to be involved. Who knows, but as long as VZW and ATT follow the same structure, it's doesn't matter. TMobile and Sprint success is very important in the next couple of years.

    • crankerchick

      I think part of the problem is the government doesn't see anything wrong with carriers locking down the bootloader.

    • ATBro

      All of our politicians are bought and paid for by one corporation/special interest group or another, so they will do their bidding at every turn. More background checks for gun sales had about 85% to 90% of people supporting it but the NRA said no, so... no just about any maniac can buy what ever killing machine they want to shoot at kids in school.

      • http://www.shadowhime.net/ Ryan

        Background checks won't stop anyone. I own a gun myself, I went through the process legally and it only took 10 minutes to get a gun. That simple. However, I live in a state that is rather laxed about it anyway, and is a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. NRA, though I don't agree with fully, but I'd still join the NRA had I the money to do so. Now, my other point I should make. School shootings will not stop by regulating guns or taking them away from citizens (re: New York's draconian laws). What to do to stop it? Simple, allow guns in school zones by legal citizens, relax current laws on clip size, ammo, what we can and can't buy, etc... Allow teachers to carry a gun with a CCL, among other things. Why do I say this? To compete with the black market which is completely under the radar of the government. It doesn't take long for someone to find a gun in the black market to use in a shooting. More regulation is only going to cause more of these shootings.

        [edit] - Changed something because my original meaning was weird.

        • lljktechnogeek

          At the risk of adding yet another gun control derail to the Internet, I somehow doubt that adding another firearm to as chaotic a situation as a classroom under attack would do anything more than create additional collateral damage. Not to mention that if the goal is reducing the number of firearm death as a whole, mandatory instant background checks would very likely have a greater impact than arming teachers.

          Actually, if the goal is reducing the number of people who die because of guns, what really needs to be done is massive improvements to our mental health infrastructure. I forget the exact percentage, but the majority of firearm deaths are from suicide, and historical evidence has shown that increasing the difficulty of committing suicide does reduce the number that occur. (In other words, destroying all handguns in the world would in fact likely reduce the number of suicides, although the externalities of such an action could very easily make that an undesirable act even if it were a possible one.)

          The problem is, the people who scream the loudest about the evils of gun control are about as likely to support increased government spending on mental health as Steve Jobs is to climb out of the grave and endorse Windows 8, so we're pretty much doomed no matter what.

        • GraveUypo

          yeah because they happen way more often in other countries with stricter regulations than in the us.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          The NRA needs to give people like you better talking points. These don't make sense. Especially since you write so poorly.

    • On a Clear Day

      First rule of being a responsible adult.

      Research things before you allow yourself to get involved in them. Only an idiot, quite frankly, these days doesn't realize that AT&T and Verizon - most especially along with dear bitterly un-sweet hearted Apple - DO NOT want you to have any freedom to flee the prison cells into which you have allowed them to lock you.

      Grow up people. THINK before you sign a contract from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint - or anyone else WHY? Are you so broke you can't be patient and wait until you can save $400 or $500 dollars and buy a phone you truly own - as opposed to allowing yourselves to be sucker into the fool's paradise of a contract carrier?

      It is time Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and Apple were forced by virtue of the people refusing to use their services to at least pretend they actually care. Avoid them - stop using them - help them down the road to bankruptcy and see how quickly their tunes change.

      BUY an unlocked phone you can take anywhere you wish - and make it clear that your days of being seduced and conned by "a really great deal" that cost you thousands more over two years than you needed to pay are over and now, you are truly an adult and demand real value for your money - not conniving, duplicitous and manipulative hype.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        You single out Apple why? All of the Android manufacturers do the same thing. You think they and Google are your friends and care about you?
        Enlighten us as to which carriers in the US have good voice and data coverage and allow unlocked phones.
        Oh right...none of them.
        Naive in the extreme.

        • On a Clear Day

          Do you work for Apple or Verizon?

          I single out Apple - Why? - because of all the manufacturers I consider it the most dedicated to using the Pied Piper approach to marketing.

          Apple - in keeping with the capricious and dictatorial style of its late and in my opinion - un-lamented leader is not a nice company - by any stretch of the imagination - we are talking selfish self-interest to the max.

          It is a company more interested in advancing its own narrow, interests than giving even the slightest bit of serious caring about the interests of humanity as a whole.

          Look at a picture of Steve Jobs - look into his eyes - and try to honestly tell me this is someone who would be believe would willingly to be kind to understanding you - if you do, then all I can say is God help you when it comes to being a judge of good and kind character because you obviously have not a clue.

          God did not put us here on earth to try to lock people into our "business model". God put us here to try to help each other; to help each of us attain a higher understanding of HIM or HER and ourselves and reality as a whole and thereby - from said understanding - help those who follow us have a clearer understanding of what is important and what is not to being a good human being.

          Steve Jobs was NOT a nice man and the company he lead is NOT a nice company. If you cannot see that - then, well, we have nothing more to talk about.

          • Your dad

            > It is a company more interested in advancing its own narrow interests than giving even the slightest bit of serious caring to the interests of humanity as a whole.

            > Look at a picture of Steve Jobs - LOOK into his eyes

            > Steve Jobs was NOT a nice man and the company he lead is NOT a nice company. If you cannot see that - then, well, we have nothing more to talk about.

            Oh wow. Stop smoking the peyote - seriously. Are you really enough of a Pollyanna to believe that any of these companies gives two shits about you or 'humanity'?

            Steve Jobs might not have been a 'NICE man', but at least he isn't a known criminal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Kun-hee).

            Well, at least with Samsung, the board realized that he 'was NOT a nice man' and forced him to resign. I'm glad he's not still the president of the company!

            Oh wait - he came back the next year after everyone forgave him for buying off the whole damn Korean government. At least he didn't break the law, right?

            Oh wait - bribery is a crime, isn't it? Even in South Korea? Yes! It is! So Lee Kun-hee is just as much not a 'NICE man' as Steve Jobs! They're both felons, after all!

            Oh wait - Steve Jobs wasn't a felon at all, was he? He boss at a company that made computer gadgets. Not cigarettes. Not genetically modified foods. Not toxic waste. Just gadgets.

            Grow up. Really.

      • Nick DiLello

        Wow, very well thought out... And of course, you are correct!! I can save towards a phone that is all mine, but you know once we force the celco's to lose money THEY will get laws passed that force us to purchase the phone locked by a carrier similar to what they have done with car insurance and soon health insurance...small money always loses out! :(

    • AbolishTheNWO

      Since AT&T and Verizon are pioneers for and by the NSA, so much for any government regulation in the peoples' favor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

    Not so open now a days huh...

    • NemaCystX

      ok if your not on android, why exactly do you visit this site again? Oh I know, to troll

      • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

        LOL troll? but YOU are the only one consistantly following every response like you know what I use? Troll cause you don't like that I'm speaking something that is TRUE? Is the phone open or not? I'll wait. More phones are becoming bootlocked, true or not? Get a life.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.borup Nate Borup

        nema settle down. He has already said that he uses 3 android devices. Therefore he is not trolling. I think this whole situation can be solved by taking this up with the FCC. Once I pay for the device it is mine, and I should be able to do whatever the heck i want to do with it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

          But that's the problem with the US carriers as a whole. It's too many loops, regulations, and legislativie BS to hoop and hop over just so your phone is your phone. You buy a car. You make payments, you can change in and out engine parts, rims, radios, whatever you want. But you can't a phone. That's the point of my comment of Not so open now a days cause every time a major phone comes out it finds a way to get locked down harder to restrict customer to do what they want. But of course people love to read out of context and ASSUME one is trolling. Why I don't bother now day with comments.

          • crankerchick

            Now this is a comment a person can get on board with.

            The same thing you are saying about people reading out of context, take a look in the mirror. You assumed I was trolling you and I wasn't. Pot. Kettle. Just sayin'.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

            Never said you was trolling me did I? So who's assuming what?

          • crankerchick

            You didn't say it, but your comment about needing to take a Xanax certainly implies that you felt I was, at the least, making an incorrect assumption about your intentions, and at the worst, trolling you.

            I guess it's neither here nor there though, as what you meant, upon explanation in further detail, is actually something I mostly agree with.

    • crankerchick

      The comment is completely out of context though. What are you talking about that is "not so open now a days?"

      AT&T never claimed to be an open carrier and AT&T choosing to lock down a phone has nothing to do with Android being "open" or not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

        It sounds exactly what I said.

        • crankerchick

          It sounds like what it says, and doesn't refer to any one thing, as in your fragment has no subject. That's why I asked for clarification. Sounds like you need the Xanax because while I wasn't trolling you, you certainly didn't give a respectful answer back.

          Anytime you want to answer the question, so we can have a grown up discussion, let me know.

          What are you talking about that is "not so open now a days?"

          • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

            LOL that's the problem. People make a comment all the sudden it's android bashing. LMAO. People too sensative now a days huh...

          • crankerchick

            Agree to a tee. Thing is, I didn't assume you were bashing Android (someone else did that). I decided your comment either referred to AT&T _or_ Android, and I offered an opinion on both depending on what you meant, and asked for a clarification.

            LOL that's the problem, Some people want to be sarcastic and jackassish in response to some people who are just looking for a civil debate (or discussion as it may be).

      • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

        My comment has NOTHING to do with Android being open or not. It has everything to do with ATT and Samsung, which is what we are discussing. Are we not? SMH.

        • crankerchick

          Hostility much?

          I think it is obvious to everyone that AT&T isn't open, and when has anyone ever said it was? When has it claimed to be? This isn't new. It might be new for the Galaxy line of phones, but it's not new in general.

          I guess yeah, it's "not so open now a days" but I don't think it's all that surprising. I still don't get the angle the carriers are going at. "I can't see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this." Me either.

  • Jason Tschohl

    Vote with your wallet people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TylinBeDell Tylin BeDell

      yeah if we only had the money to do it

    • yankeesusa

      thats what I do. At least as much as I can. How do I do this? by choosing sprint which as of now doesn't lock down phones or at leas most of the phones. even with their slow data I'm sticking with them especially since they have seriously been improving in my area. Getting lte in more places every couple of weeks.

    • flosserelli

      I am sooooo tempted to ditch VZW because of their draconian policies. But they DO provide the best service in my area, and my job demands that I have the most reliable service available. Yes it's sad that my job ultimately dictates which carrier I use, but I kinda enjoy having food to eat and being able to pay bills, etc. Maybe T-mo will eventually get their sh!t together here and offer a real option. Until then, I am stuck with the lesser of two evils (VZW vs at&t)

    • New_Guy

      One of the main reasons I left Verizon for T-Mobile.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        T-Moible is unusable for a lot of people because of poor coverage.

  • Reginald Spence II

    Unbelievable. Especially considering the fact that half of the storage is taken up by that god-awful Touchwiz Nature UX and half pointless gimmicks. Fail

  • Adam

    Another reason I don't use AT&T. Sprint's is unlocked.

    • crankerchick

      Yeah but then you have Sprint. Always a trade-off.

  • http://twitter.com/s99nj S. Ali

    Morons will still buy the phone.

    • UniBroW

      heh, not everyone cares nor everyone even is aware what an encrypted bootloader is. I would pass on this but then again, I would never have service with AT&T in the first place.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      So what? Morons shouldn't be trying to root their phones anyway.

      Those of us who are smart enough to be hacking our devices will stay away from it. And lots of people stay away from AT&T anyway.

    • McLean Riley

      I have used CM on all my phones since the Hero. I decided that the 4 was a great device after having the 3 and ATT let me upgrade. I figure at some point it will be unlocked and if it isn't I'll sell it and buy a Nexus 5 (if it has LTE, I hated my Nexus 4 not having LTE even though the phone was great). I might be a moron, but it is what it is.

    • Tim242

      Normal people will buy the phone. You are not a normal consumer.

  • http://twitter.com/KharyTheCEO Cam Newton

    US carriers are really getting out of control.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TromboneJuan Juan De La Rosa

      steer away from contracts- unless you like paying $100 a month for 2 years. nexus 4 + t mobile ftw

      • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

        T-Mobile is great in concept, too bad their coverage is abysmal.

        • Bazar6

          Exactly why I can't switch :/ ... VZW is pretty much the only carrier in my neck of the woods. I'll probably be ready for a contract renewal by the time TMo and Sprint have service near me.

      • NemaCystX

        Contracts have nothing to do with this, it has to do with carrier branding but again even some Nexus devices *cough* Galaxy Nexus *cough* aren't 100% Nexus devices.

        But you are partially right, Nexus devices are unlockable and can be used on mostly any GSM carrier but that doesn't really cost you any less than when your on a contract with some carriers.

        T-Mobile is the only carrier offering the pricing thats competitively lower than the others but the coverage is a far cry from the top 3 carriers VZ,AT,SP

  • http://www.facebook.com/TromboneJuan Juan De La Rosa

    nexus phones ftw.

    • NemaCystX

      so your not in the mob that wants a microSD slot then?

      • http://profiles.google.com/zemogzemog Edgar Gomez

        Or a replaceable battery.

        • TornZero

          Juan is probably in the mob of not having only 9GB out of 16GB available.

          There's all that stuff you can't transfer to an SD card that ends up taking space on the phone.

        • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

          All three people who haven't figured out yet that replaceable batteries are unnecessary and sd cards suck.

  • Terrell Washington

    I can see the htc one doing better in now. And I can see sprint having more customers than the rest of the carriers

    • Tim242

      Are you serious? I work in a Sprint store. I have only met 2 customers in the last year that unlock their bootloaders. People do not buy phones for the same reasons us nerds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.tortolano Alex Tortolano

    I have the GS1 GS2 and GS3. All with some variant of CM. Was looking forward to getting the GS4. Not gonna happen. Looks like I'm getting the Nexus 5 this fall.

    • paleh0rse

      This. If this is how it's going to be with all of the carriers, I'll be jumping ship to T-Mobile next year along with my shiny new N5...

      F*ck AT&T.

  • fuck you at&t

    I'm really tempted to import the i9500, provided that I can find it for a reasonable price from somewhere.

    • NemaCystX

      I think it was available on eBay daily deals for $499, but its likely back to regular price again

    • droid711

      I got one on ebay a few days ago when it was $699, best deal I've seen

  • Cherokee4Life

    I'm holding onto my EVO LTE with dear hands. I will never let go of my unlocked, rooted, flashable, Dirty Rancun phone EVER. Unless a better phone comes out with all those same criterias

  • rshak2

    Another reason to buy HTC One. I used to buy Samsung but now I will buy anything but Samsung.

    • Tim242

      Meh. I'd rather have better features and a superior camera. S4!

  • http://twitter.com/darkmanozair Ozair

    I'd consider purchasing the T-Mobile variant but then no LTE

    • Adam Horowitz

      I believe the T-Mobile version does have LTE radios in it (just like their GN2), although they may need an OTA update to activate them. However, there's always the possibility that the T-Mobile LTE bands are not the same as the AT&T variant, making it only useful on T-Mobile (whenever T-Mobile gets LTE running).

  • CristianoAdiutori

    Unbelievable. Thanks for the advertisement!

  • Ray

    Yawn. It'll be unlocked within days, like the GS3 was. Sensationalism fail.

    • NemaCystX

      Not as many devs this time as there was with the GS3

    • Scott

      The point is that we shouldn't have to rely on something like this in the first place.

    • Andrew Dodd

      Don't be so sure. GS3 had massive security fuckups by Samsung, although its final unlock required a disgruntled employee. GN2 was significantly more secure, but fell to a bunch of exploits and a massive key management fuckup. GS3 was the alpha test, GN2 was the beta test - Samsung learned a LOT from their mistakes between the GS3 and GN2, and it would be stupid to assume they didn't learn from their mistakes with the GN2.

      Dan Rosenberg (same guy that published the most recent Moto unlock) has already picked apart the AT&T GS4's bootloader and says it looks solid. https://twitter.com/djrbliss/status/328657876904181761

  • ferchope

    just don't buy them

  • Steve p

    So disappointed

  • Christopher Robert

    Poor choice for att. I don't know why they decided to do this all of a sudden.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.moch.10 Chris Moch

    Some developer looking for their 15 minutes will get it done. Never fails, check out the moto devices. Pretty much everyone had given up there too and now look. The device has been out officially 3 days now. Perhaps giving it some time and having a little patience before everyone panics. Just because it wasn't unlockable in the first 3 days doesn't mean it never will be. For Kondik to come out this quickly and denounce it says more about his ending with Samsung than it does for the devices future. Feels like sour grapes to me... IMHO

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      To be fair, your speculation is no different than everyone else's speculation.

    • Asphyx

      This puts it into the same place most Motorola Customers have been in.
      The solution there was to use the 2nd Init trick which lets the bootloader load up normally then hijacks it to run your own.
      I'm sure it's much more complicated than that these days but I'm sure someone will hack the issue once they have some time on the unit.

    • Steve Green

      I wish they would not.
      Far better to spend that time and money on devices that do what you want. Vote with your dollars people.

  • Asphyx

    The answer is simple folks we have known the solution for years now....
    STOP buying phones from Carriers!
    Buy Unlocked phones, Pay full price and when you sign up tell them you don't want to pay the same price for a contract that you would pay if they subsidized the phone!
    If they refuse then lets all get together, File a Class Action suit claiming they are charging more to people who already have phones and penalizing you for having your own device.
    If you pay the same price as you would pay if you bought the phone from them your essentially paying for someone else's phone! Quite Illegal I'm sure!

    • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

      I believe ATT has a clause in their contract that doesn't allow you to file a class action lawsuit against them if you're on their network. I read something about this a while ago.

      • Paul

        Is that even legal? Sorry for the question, but here in germany that clause would be laughed at.
        The sheer irony of such a clause... you're breaking the law if you sue the company which is breaking a law? What the........................

      • Divki

        Yes, you have to go thorough arbitration or small claims court.

  • porter86

    One more reason to get the HTC One I suppose!


  • IrishSid

    Locked boot loader is fine but, non unlockable? U drunk m8?

  • Owen Finn

    Score one for HTC?

  • Kaboom

    So... is he confirming that CyanogenMod is coming to other versions of the S4?

    • Bazar6

      He's neither confirming nor denying CM for other variants/carriers at this time... we'll have to wait til he gets his hands on those devices to see if he can root them too.

  • njinstantkarma

    Curious as to why buying a phone outright costs more money than a laptop, tablet, or computer yet half the specs, the only difference is a radio to make calls with? Can anyone explain this to me....

    • Tim242

      I've always wondered the same thing

  • haragog

    People still get cells from their carriers? Happy to be able to buy sim unlocked phones...

  • RH

    No problem....I wasn't going to buy one anyway, because I buy off contract from Amazon, and use an MVNO provider (straight talk). My device (If I bought it), I'll do with it as I d*mn well please. If I buy one on contract, then, I'll stick with the contract terms til it's over, but, locked bootloaders are a no brainer to stay away from.
    I doubt at&t will "lose" a lot of business....most people wouldn't know a bootloader, rom, root, from a hole in the ground.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Guitarboarder.28 Dave Smart

    its one thing if it has a locked bootloader but an non-unlockable one???? is that possible?

    • Steve Green

      They burn a tiny fuse. If that fuse is blown cryptochecking is always on. That means the only way to flash an image is to get the signing key or find a bug.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Guitarboarder.28 Dave Smart

        are you being serious??? so it will be extremely difficult to flash custom ROMS on this? if so im holding onto my S2 Skyrocket

        • Steve Green

          Yes, I am. I am not sure that is exactly how this one works but it is one method that has been used. If they did this right, and all accounts are they did this phone will be very hard to run custom Roms on. You might be able to hold out hope to chainload, but that sucks anway. Just buy a non-carrier branded one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Guitarboarder.28 Dave Smart

            thats ridiculous

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave141163 David Carr

    Welcome to a glimpse of how things will be after 2015 when Rooting/Jail breaking an cellphone in the US (and possibly the rest of the world) will become outlawed...

  • Paul

    I wonder about the S4 on T-Mobile. Their new 'open' attitude should mean their S4 isn't bootloader locked. Are phones bought on T-Mobile even carrier locked now? I mean you're buying the phone flat out, or financing it, but not in a contract. So T-Mobile's S4 should be friendly, I'd hope all their new Android phones are bootloader-unlocked/hacker-friendly.

  • matt

    Htc One ftw!

    • Tim242

      It has a locked bootloader as well. The loophole to unlock via htcdev is in the process of being closed. Samsung Galaxy S4 with a real camera FTW!

      • Bryce Mrozinski

        How come the only thing you can ever say is the camera is better? Every. Single. Comment. There's other things besides the camera on the phone. Other people may care more about something else..

        • Tim242

          How come the fanboys only say HTC ONE FTW or aluminum blah bkah blah? At least I give a compelling reason. 99% of the people jizzing over the aluminum will cover it in a plastic case

  • Mickey3390

    Ok here's a stupid knob question but I'm going to ask anyway.. If I buy the AT&T version of this phone will I be able to root it so I can store my apps on my SD card or not? Or is there a way to do that without it being rooted? Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

    Samsung should sell a developer version and stop rolling over for the carriers in general. The solution is to buy a developer version HTC One.

  • CeluGeek

    AT&T aka "verizon me-too"

  • http://www.facebook.com/alterthending Nathan Handy

    Its Shake N' Bake and I helped!

  • Patrick

    Is it possible to unlock Polish version with Snapdragon??

  • A H


  • Pham Thanh

    it's great to be manual máy chiếu