Of the four major US carriers to receive the Galaxy S III, Verizon is the only one to lock down the bootloader. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Nevertheless, enterprising hackers over at XDA and RootzWiki have successfully managed to circumvent the lock, achieve root, and flash ClockworkMod recovery. If you're on Verizon and anticipating owning a Galaxy S III, congratulations: your phone is yours again.
After upgrading my Galaxy Nexus (GSM) to Jelly Bean last night (I know, I know, I'm a few days late), I unlocked its bootloader (the usual fastboot oem unlock) and commenced rooting, which I thought would only take a minute or two. However, after almost 2 hours of pushing, flashing, rebooting, and trying no less than 5 different root methods, I still didn't have root. Something must have changed under the hood, and no root method I was trying was working (even PaulOBrien's SuperBoot).
After HTC basically pointed the finger at AT&T for the bootloader situation on the American version of the One X (which is technically the One XL), many an enthusiast voiced their disapproval.
Ask and you shall receive (apparently) - ASUS has just published the bootloader unlock utility for the Transformer Pad 300. You can download it here.
Unlock Device App: Unlock boot loader.
1. Only suitable for Andriod4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS version.
2. Before you download, install, and use the Unlock Device App you acknowledge and assume complete risk to the quality and performance of this App, including but not limited to the following: once you activate the App you will not be able to recover your ASUS product (“Original Product”) back to original locked conditions;the Original Product with the activated App will not be deemed the Original Product; the Revised Product will no longer be covered under the warranty of the Original Product; the software of Revised Product will no longer be deemed the software of the Original Product and can no longer receive ASUS software updates; your purchased digital content may also be affected.
Even though the device hasn't even hit the street, noted Android developer Chainfire has obtained root on the Samsung Galaxy S III. Chainfire doesn't actually have the device in hand, so don't start berating him with questions on that matter. Rather, he got root on a firmware build that was leaked to him, and has a few juicy tidbits to share with everyone.
It appears that the Galaxy S III isn't going to be locked down in any significant way.
After MoDaCo's recent report that HTC's Bootloader Unlock tool didn't work for AT&T's One X variant, The Verge reached out to the Taiwanese manufacturer, and received a reply which suggested that the device has "restrictions" which prevent its bootloader from being unlockable:
Well, that didn't take long. Not hours after ASUS released a tool to unlock the Transformer Prime's bootloader, we get word that ClockworkMod Recovery is available for the quad-core tablet. According to the source link, the team has been working on CWM for the Prime for a while but without an unlocked bootloader, they couldn't test it. Now that the device is wide open, it's time to get your custom recovery on.
Early last month, it was revealed to much outcry that the Transformer Prime had a locked bootloader. Angry customers took to the forums to vent and started a petition to get Asus to change its stance. And just 24 hours later, that's what happened, with Asus promising an unlock tool down the road.
Today Asus delivered, with the unlock tool hitting the TP's support site:
TL;DR: Caveat emptor.
The company strongly suggests customers stay away from unlocking the bootloader, stating:
HTC has added added a handful of devices to the list of those supported by the Taiwanese manufacturer's bootloader unlock tool. The newly-added devices include the Hero, Legend, both the myTouch 3G and 4G, and the aged Droid Eris. The announcement came via Twitter earlier today:
Some of the newly added unlock bootloader supported devices are the HTC Hero, Legend, Droid Eris, myTouch 3G, and myTouch 4G!
— HTCdev (@htcdev) February 15, 2012
As always, HTC warns that unlocking a bootloader is not for the faint of heart, and may preclude users from warranty coverage.
Over the weekend, we found out about Moto's upcoming dev-friendly version of the RAZR, its first device with an unlockable bootloader. What we didn't have, however, were any details about how the unlock process would work, how it would affect the warranty, and so on. Moto has now posted the details answering many of those exactly questions, and there's one thing for sure - it doesn't look like it's going to be as good as it sounds.