HTC has delivered on its earlier promise. It’s delivered unlocked bootloaders, or at least a tool that will unlock the bootloaders on all HTC devices that were released after September of 2011. The company also continues to work on earlier devices.
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On its HTCDev site, the bootloader unlocking tool now works on devices (it was there, but didn’t previously), and HTC said the following devices / carriers / ROM versions were currently supported.
- Amaze 4G (Mobilicity) ALL
- Amaze 4G (T-Mobile) ALL
- Amaze 4G (WIND) ALL
- EVO 3D (EMEA) 1.20.401.2
- EVO 3D (Rogers) 1.20.631.2
- EVO 3D (Sprint) 2.08.651.2
- EVO 4G+ (Korea Telecom) 1.47.1010.4
- EVO Design (Sprint) ALL
- EVO View 4G (Sprint) 2.23.651.1
- Flyer (Brightstar) 2.27.1540.31_R
- Flyer (TUR Wi-Fi) 2.27.1127.31
- Flyer (TUR) 2.27.468.1
- Flyer (WWE Wi-Fi) 2.27.1114.31
- Flyer (WWE) 2.23.405.3_R
- myTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile US) 1.55.531.3
- S710d (China Telecom) 3.06.1401.0
- Sensation (Arabic) 1.45.415.4
- Sensation (Bouygues FRA) 1.45.483.1
- Sensation (EU) 1.45.401.2
- Sensation (SKT Korea) 1.45.911.2
- Sensation (TUR) 1.45.468.1
- Sensation (Vodafone) 1.45.16x.1
- Sensation 4G (T-Mobile US) 1.45.531.1
[It’s also said the Rezound can be bootloader unlocked, at least for now.]
Unlocking the bootloader enables the abiliy to flash custom ROMs on the device. Other than that sort of thing, there really isn’t a good reason to unlock your bootloader, esp. when your read the list of caveats. In other words, a “typical” user probably wouldn’t want to unlock their bootloader.
The list of caveats is quite daunting:
a) As it had said before, HTCDev listed a number of possible issues that users needed to remember, including the possibility that unlocking the bootloader could eliminate the ability of an owner to apply for a warranty claim.
b) HTC said that unlocking the bootloader will change the software load on the device, with possible unexpected side effects. HTC warned that in the worst case scenario, it is possible that the device may be physically damaged due to overheating. It is also possible that the behavior of the device may be altered including, but not limited to, hearing aid compatibility (HAC) and specific absorption rate (SAR) values.
c) Some content on your device may be invalidated and be inaccessible due to invalid DRM security keys. This includes content that an end user may have bought from a 3rd party vendor, as well as through HTC.
d) You will still be able to receive updates to your device OTA (“over the air”), but HTC will not guarantee that updating your device will not render your device unusable. Yep, you’re taking a big chance (or at least, HTC is executing a CYA maneuver).
e) Once unlocked, you won’t be able to return your device to its original, locked state. HTC said it bears no responsibility if your device is no longer usable afterwards.
Note that unlocking your bootloader is NOT the same as SIM unlocking the device. Frankly, if you didn’t already know that, you probably shouldn’t be trying this.
To be honest, it’s great that HTC is doing this (are you listening, Motorola), but it’s clear from all their T&Cs that the consumer is taking a chance by unlocking their bootloader. Once again, the typical consumer shouldn’t pursue this.
If you want a custom ROM, have at it.