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Asus Taiwan Says Bootloader Unlock Tool is Coming, Ice Cream Sandwich Available January 12 (Updated: US Asus Confirms)

While we sit here tapping our fingers in anticipation of an official Transformer Prime bootloader statement from Asus U.S.A., we may have an idea as to what they plan to say thanks to their Taiwan Facebook page. Thanks to a translation by Bing (hah!), we come away with the understanding that Asus will create and release some sort of bootloader unlocking tool or “procedure” to give “professional-grade players more freedom and openness” on their device. Basically what they are saying, is that users who wish to take full advantage of their quad-core tablet, will be able to do just that. 

Here is the statement:

Cause you inconvenience, sorry! And bootloader function of blockade, main due to is many media service publishers requirements security protection of mechanism to protection digital content (DRM digital copyright management); also, has in view of past first generation deformation flat experience, user itself cracked (Root) machine Hou, may led machine damaged even cannot using, therefore ASUS in extreme deformation offset above plus has bootloader of encryption protection, to support digital content of audio leased function and while protection machine stability. But at the same time, ASUS also heard from many users still want to be able to increase permissions, unlocked bootloader demand therefore Asus is also being actively developed as soon as possible-only unlock procedure, subject to the procedures developed will release to provide professional-grade players more freedom and openness of the platform, enjoy the ultimate experience of lithography extreme deformation. (Use unlocking program unlock bootloader after protection, part of the digital audio/visual rental service will be unable to use, the machines are no longer protected by bootloader, users consent to give up the original warranty, asking the user to pay special attention to this effect) thank user support, and happy happy new year

I just find it so silly that it takes a social media mob and a dozen blog posts to get this to happen in the first place. Asus is making this sound like they had no idea that advanced users wanted to have more freedom with their device, yet, this was one of the driving forces behind the success of their original Transformer. And do they not read the news? We have only covered the fact that “advanced” users want more control during episodes of Bootloader-gate with HTC and Motorola for a couple of years now.

And in even better news, here is their statement on the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. The update could be available as early as January 12:

And the public expect Android 4 ice cream sandwich (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system, is scheduled for January 12 onwards also offer upgrade services worldwide.

Feeling slightly better about this device now? Hopefully the U.S. statement includes some sort of time frame that we can look forward to on the bootloader front.

Update:  The U.S. Asus Facebook page confirmed this statement from their Taiwan counterpart. Here is their statement on the bootloader:

Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers’ requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.

And on Android 4.0 becoming available on January 12:

ASUS has been working hard to make the highly anticipated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available on the Transformer Prime, and today, we have good news for you. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich FOTA worldwide update for the Transformer Prime will start from Jan 12th, 2012. Thank you for your patience and support through this process.

They also did not make the Prime to be a professional grade navigation device, hence the reason it has some pretty serious GPS issues:

The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites. Please note that this product is not a professional GPS device, and signal performance can be easily influenced by factors including, but not limited to: weather, buildings, and surrounding environments. Please understand there are limitations when using the GPS function. To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, we made the decision to remove it from our specification sheet and marketing communications. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Considered this settled.

Via:  Asus Taiwan

Cheers Chris and Remington Bob!

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