Samsung has always been friendly to the developer community. Their devices are easy to root and are unlocked. Samsung has even reached out to the community. Remember, they gave a free Galaxy S II to Team Hacksung for the development of CyanogenMod for the device. However, carriers have not been equally friendly.
The Verizon Galaxy S III was launched with a locked bootloader, and no unlock method was ever provided. The Galaxy Note II met the same fate, sharing a similar lock method. Not only was it upsetting to many fans of modifying devices, it was plain insulting to offer the only models that were locked down.
Unfortunately, with the Galaxy S 4, AT&T followed the same path. The two biggest carriers in the US locked their phones down tight. If you want a Galaxy S 4 with an unlocked bootloader but refuse to switch carriers, what do you do? You’ve got two options.
Samsung has just released the Galaxy S 4 Developer Edition for Verizon Wireless. This device will be identical to the model sold in Verizon stores, but will come with no bloatware and a fully unlocked bootloader for your modding pleasure. It’ll set you back $649.99, so you’ll have to pony up big money for it.
Strangely, the AT&T developer edition model is not currently out yet. We saw it at one point, but it’s not on the site anymore. Hopefully Samsung will release it soon.
There is another option available to the daring and those willing to void their warranty. After the release of the Verizon Galaxy S 4, a bootloader unlock method was unofficially released. It’s a hack, so it may very well be dangerous and will definitely void your warranty. It isn’t something you should do if you’re not comfortable with it, but the option is there.
The fact that the developer edition is necessary at all is sad, but that’s the kind of carrier-controlled world we live in. At least we have a means to get a bootloader unlocked device in the first place, right? But tell us, will you buy a developer edition device off contract? If you want to, hit the source link.