May 06 AT 11:33 AM Taylor Wimberly 37 Comments

HTC says “restrictions” prevent AT&T One X from joining in their bootloader unlocking program


After a huge backlash in 2011, HTC changed their strategy and said they would start allowing customers to unlock the bootloaders on their devices. Over the past six months HTC has unlocked over 45 devices, but it looks like the AT&T One X might not be participating in that program quite yet.

Android hacker Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo noticed that his AT&T One X kept getting an error when he tried to unlock the bootloader, but he assumed this was an issue with pre-release software. Now it’s been confirmed that others are seeing the same issue, after the AT&T One X went on sale today.

Paul reached out to HTC who quickly responded with a message that doesn’t look good for AT&T customers.

HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. Since announcing our commitment to unlockable bootloaders, HTC has worked to enable our customers to unlock the bootloader on more than 45 devices over the past six months. In some cases, however, restrictions prevent certain devices from participating in our bootloader unlocking program. Rest assured, HTC is committed to assisting developers in unlocking bootloaders for HTC devices and we'll continue to unlock additional devices in the future.HTC Representative

Last year Peter Chou, HTC CEO, said, “There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones [and] we’ve listened. I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices.”

Unfortunately in this case it looks like AT&T has overturned the will of its customers. This doesn’t mean that the One X will never see its bootloader officially unlocked, but it might take a little outcry to convince the carrier to change their mind.

AT&T has a history of crippling the Android experience, but they have gotten better over the years by allowing users to install non-Market apps and improving the speed of software updates.

If you planned on buying the HTC One X from AT&T (or already picked one up), let AT&T know what you think of their decision to keep the bootloader locked.

Source: MoDaCo

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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