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AT&T’s HTC One X the Latest to Star in a Bootloader-gate, HTC Blames “Restrictions” aka the Carrier

If you were considering the HTC One X that is headed to AT&T, not only for its power, but also because of HTC’s commitment to unlocking bootloaders, you may want to look elsewhere. Early adopters of the device noticed a constant error when trying to unlock it through HTCDev’s bootloader tool, prompting the media to ping HTC for a comment on the matter. What did they have to say? Here you go:

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.

“Restrictions” or better yet, a PR person’s way of saying, “the carrier” is the reason for this phone to remain locked. This is a sad turn of events in HTC’s journey to appease the developer community. Last May, HTC’s CEO Peter Chou announced via Facebook that after an overwhelming amount of customer feedback that they “will no longer be locking the bootloaders” on their devices. He didn’t say “where carriers permit it” or anything of that nature, so this move is a bit shocking. We watched HTC provide unlocking tools for all of their Verizon devices, leading us to believe that the stand they had taken was going to make it.

Only one way to tell if the dark days are on the verge of returning, and that’s to see the status of the Incredible 4G LTE when it gets released in the next couple of weeks.

Via:  Modaco

Cheers to everyone who sent this!

  • ocdtrekkie

    Maybe people will stop hating on Motorola now that they can realize it’s not their fault this crud happens?

  • Sporttster

    See the problem here is Moto has held strong against a TON of pressure about unlocking their BL’s and now other manufacturers are seeing this and going back to this too. When you ignore what one is doing that you don’t like, even if it’s not YOUR phone or YOUR provider, you allow others to follow suit because of your silence. If we ALL would voice our opins and vote with our wallets, they’d have to listen or go out of business.

  • Azn_Android

    This is a shame… I was seriously thinking of switching back to at&t after my contract is up with verizon and getting whatever HTC flagship is out.

  • Andrew

    Bootloader-gate? That’s the best you could do on a headline?

    You know Watergate wasn’t a scandal about water, right?

  • WickedToby741

    The manufacturers need to grow a spine and learn to cater to the customers. Enough with the carrier bloat and locked bootloaders. AT&T should be thankful it even gets to carry the One X, it shouldn’t be calling the shots.

    I don’t care if its written in their that your warranty is voided when the device is unlocked or they aren’t obligated to give you support for an unlocked device, but at least give us the option.
    And enough with the preloaded carrier garbage. If I want VZW Navigator, VZW Videos, and all those “exclusive” apps, allow me a way to download them, but don’t force them upon us. It takes up space and slows down the upgrade process for devices. Plus, its annoying having to look at all these icons of apps I don’t use and the only way to rid of them is to root, which is also frowned upon. It’s time for manufacturers to start bowing to our feet, not the carriers.

  • MKader17

    Yeah, I’m throwing in the obligatory “That’s while I’ll only have a Nexus!” comment, but isn’t it honestly getting more and more relevant?

  • DanWazz

    Pretty crapppy for HTC to do that. The perosn who runs their Google+ page was very proud that you’d be able to unlock the bootloader when I told them Sense sucks.

  • chris125

    Where is everyone now who said verizon was the only one who wouldn’t allow this????

    • Tim242

      Verizon allows this.

  • kixofmyg0t


    • LiterofCola

      lmao! Don’t worry, the bootloader queens will find some way to blame Motorola for this.

      • kixofmyg0t

        I know.

        Motorola said that it was the carriers all along….noone believed them. Motorola is by far the smallest of the “big 3” OEM’s and people expected them to just say “screw you Verizon we’re gonna unlock anyway! wait what? you’re not gonna sell our phones anymore? well that’s fine we still have AT&T! …what’s that you say? You’re not gonna sell out phones either! Ummm FINE here we go Sprint!”

        The truth is it’s THE CARRIER that controls updates and the bootloader situation.

        Actually nevermind. I don’t know why I even bother. They’re right. It’s ALL Motorola’s fault Verizon has been holding up the Samsung Galaxy Nexus update for over 5 months. It’s ALL Motorola’s fault that people are finding out the HTC One-X is locked down. Yep it’s all Motorola’s fault people. Yep.

        • Well, technically Motorola could pretty much quit the US market if they wanted, losing less than 20% of its profits. Their primary market was, and is, China.

        • Oh, and about the US mobile phone market in general:

          “What those analysts do not know, is that USA is a backwater tiny market in handsets, home of obscure standards, crippled phones, bloodthirsty carriers, and truly outdated handsets.”

          Here’s a fun fact: North America is the #2 smallest continent by population, with #1 being Australia.

          Another fun fact is that in Asia, the #1 largest continent by population and by smartphone penetration, people tend to buy phones at their full retail prices.

          • The problem with a direct population comparison is that you’re not taking into account that the US is the largest consumer market in the world. It’s falling in comparison to China certainly, but it’s still much, much larger than a simple population check would have you believe. And yes, the carrier dominated state of the US is embarassingly bad. But there is enough of a market here where OEMs will make deals with the carriers.

        • WickedToby741

          It IS the fault of the manufacturers, and not just Motorola, but all of them. The customer should come before the carrier. Manufacturers should not be bowing to carriers and selling customers inferior devices because of it. Enough with locked bootloaders, bloatware, and delayed updates. Yeah, manufacturers risk losing the business of the carriers, but they’ll come around. The truth is, customers want the best device and if they’re carrier doesn’t offer it, they may be tempted to leave.

          Exhibit A: the iPhone. Apple wanted control and Verizon laughed in their face when the initial proposal was made, so Apple went to AT&T and Verizon paid dearly. Now Verizon offers the iPhone and you don’t see any bloatware on that or any delayed updates there do you?

          The point is, if manufacturers make great devices AND stand up for the customer, customers are going to crave that device and carriers will eventually have to bend. They won’t go willingly, but until manufacturers learn that the customer and the customer experience should come before the carrier demands, people will continue to defect to the iPhone because that’s the sort of service Apple offers. They don’t take any BS from the carriers and the experience is better because of it. Carrier demands are a huge weakness of Android.

          • Christopher Riner

            yeah, but the manufacturer’s dont sell phones to customers, they sell them to the carriers. The carriers won’t buy them if they don’t meet their standards.

            I know you posted this forever ago, but look at what’s happened now with the sgs3– definitely the carrier’s fault, not the OEM.

        • Tim242

          Hmmm Verizon moto phones are locked. Verizon HTC phones are unlockable. So, it’s obvious that it isn’t Verizon’s fault.

  • RegKilla

    You all just got HTC’d!

    • Sobr0801

      You just got AT&T’d!!

      • RegKilla

        I don’t have AT&T and I hate them lol

  • And there went any goodwill that HTC had from me. Their bootloader unlock tool was already not nearly as powerful as it should have been, but hey, it was something at least.

  • I don’t promote fanboyism… but I wonder what all the One-X fanboys are saying now? because there used to be a lot of them on this site pushing it above Motorola and Samsung like it was the next coming of Jesus. While this sucks for that 1% that care and for android in general… I would love to see the response from the OX pushers.

    • kixofmyg0t

      I disagree. I havn’t seen nowhere near the amount of fanboyism for the One series, even I admit it’s a great phone. I even liked the Rezound for the most part.

  • John Murray

    I’m for unlockable bootloaders as much as the next person, but the one fact people fail to understand a lot of the time is paying $199, $299, whatever for your “upgrade” phone, is not the same as buying it. The carrier is subsidizing it, thus they can do what they want before selling it. It’s technically ‘their’ phone. If you want to buy the phone outright, and are willing to pay the double or triple price of the subsidized version, then you have every right to do what you want to your phone. If you aren’t willing to pay the extra money and the carrier locks it, you can’t say that you “have the right to do what you want to it”. Yes you bought it, but that doesn’t mean your purchase didn’t have caveats allowing for the significant discount through carrier subsidizing, namely the carrier being able to modify it to their wishes first. If carriers’ are scared of “the almighty unlocked bootloader” on their network, which is a joke, then the last thing they’d want to do is have the subsidized phone have an unlockable bootloader. Because, they are then forcing a potential, in their opinion, “hazardous” device to be on their network for two years (or whatever the contract length may be). If you want the possibility of unlocking your bootloader, don’t buy a subsidized phone, or buy a Nexus.

    Just my opinion.
    In the long run, carriers subsidizing the phone, keeping the bootloaders locked, may cost them a few, but VERY insignificant in the grand scheme of things, customers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything to them. Look at Verizon after the Droid 1; pretty much all of their major phones had locked bootloaders, but they still raked in the cash.
    And believe me, I would love to see them allow anyone to unlock the One X’s, as well as all phones’, but the main issue is subsidized vs non-subsidized phone. You’re buying AT&T’s HTC One X, not HTC’s One X.

    • Dezignstuff

      There is no benefit for paying for the phone outright. Whether you get a subsidized phone or pay full retail for it, you still pay the same monthly. Just with the full retail price, you’re paying your $350 early termination fee upfront (released from contract). So since there is no benefit to the alternative, your argument doesn’t hold water. If I saved on my monthly bills, I would certainly pay retail for a phone. They are the ones that benefit from the subsidy, since more people can make ridiculous monthly payments than can pay $700 upfront for a phone.

      • John Murray

        I never said it saved money…?

        • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

          You did say that buying a phone at retail means the bootloader is unlockable, which it ain’t.

          • John Murray

            “If you want the possibility of unlocking your bootloader, don’t buy a subsidized phone, or buy a Nexus.”
            I said possibility not certainty.

      • You completely missed the point of his post… -___-

      • drathos

        T-Mobile, I believe, will offer you a lower monthly fee if you pay for the phone outright (and you’ll save money doing it), but the other carriers won’t, like you said.

        If T-Mobile had decent coverage where I live, I’d jump from VZW to them in a heartbeat, but they don’t – I’d have to go 2 miles away just to get ANY signal from them, and I live in a major metropolitan area (a little outside Washington, DC).

    • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

      The problem is that carriers won’t allow unlocking of the bootloader even if I buy the pone at full retail. I could pay double the MSRP and they still wouldn’t unlock it.

      • John Murray

        You do realize you can buy phones (especially GSM ones) from places other than the carriers themselves….

    • WickedToby741

      The problem is that options are slim for getting the latest and greatest device and still being able to buy a phone for full price and get complete freedom. Even if you paid full retail for the AT&T One X, you still get the same policies as for the contract price phone. Your only true options are the GSM Nexus or importing an unlocked GSM phone from Europe, and both of those are stuck on 3G and forget about CDMA.

    • TheDude

      Wrong. It is always your phone. There is nothing stopping you from taking your new upgrade phone and selling it immediately after signing a new contract. The carriers are just trying to reduce risk by not allowing custom software to interact with their network, as well as prevent any simple person from installing a ‘ROM’ on their phone and proceed to demand support from the carrier if it acts up/drops signal, calls.

      The phone is always yours.

  • Jon

    Can’t HTC just make the bootloader unlock from other carriers in Europe work for the AT&T version and not blame the carriers?

  • Hmmm, I bet that GS3 is looking better and better now isn’t it?

  • There is in us a lyric germ or nucleus which
    deserves respect; it bids a man to ponder or create; and in this dim
    corner of himself he can take refuge and find consolations which the
    society of his fellow creatures does not provide.

  • Just Import It.

    We in Asia and Europe have these unlocked. But, yeah, you’ll lose your precious LTE.

    • sgtguthrie

      Believe me, the LTE sure IS PRECIOUS!!!

      • I’m fine with 14 to 20 Mbps on HSPA, honestly.

        Not in a hurry to move to 4G.

  • Havoc70

    Oh well just wait the Other Devs will get it unlocked, screws the carriers

  • sgtguthrie

    I’m not buying from HTC again until they TOTALLY UNLOCK…not this HALF ASSED “unlock tool” that doesn’t even truly unlock it!!!

  • Apostrafee

    Stupid Verizon!!

    • sgtguthrie

      You mean AT&T?

      • Apostrafee

        Nope…I meant Verizon

        • sgtguthrie

          Well that makes sense, seeing as how the One X or One anything isn’t coming to VZW :-/

          • Apostrafee

            Verizon is always to blame for bootloaders of any kind

          • sgtguthrie

            You make no sense…just like HTC 😉

          • Apostrafee


          • LiterofCola

            you missed the joke.

          • sgtguthrie

            No, I got it but it wasn’t funny and made no sense..

      • Apostrafee

        I figure somehow it’s their fault

    • LiterofCola


  • moelsen8
  • azndan4

    If HTC doesn’t want to lose customers they will have to fix this. Otherwise from now on I’ll be exclusively recommending Samsung to my friends and family.

    • sgtguthrie

      I’m buying Sammy next time…probably SGS3 🙂

      • sgtguthrie

        Why the down votes? S3 specs are bangin!!! I can’t buy HTC anymore because I don’t like their HALF ASS unlock solution, and I HATE SENSE! Not to mention HTC now has no removable storage (S3 Does), HTC now has non-removable battery (S3 does), Sammy bootlooders are not locked (HTC Half unlocks them in exchange for a voided warranty)! IT SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER!!!

        • Sobr0801

          Because you cant place the blame square on HTC shoulders, AT&T is more then likely at fault. I wouldn’t recommend anyone a Samsung phone due to the fact their build quality is average at best. The HTC Incredible 4G’s battery IS removeable, and DOES have a SDCard. HTC actually DOES fully unlock some of their phones now including the Rezound. The new HTC line of ONE phones are of Utmost build quality and, and anyone you have to recommend a phone to probably wont even notice the lack of SD card or lack of removable battery. TouchWiz in all reality no better or worse then Sense (I prefer Sense myself), so your recommendation of an i*hone look alike skin MAY be a good choice for your friends who are i*hone adapters, but should be left to their personal preference (after some hands on time).

          • WickedToby741

            We sure can blame HTC. Do you think Apple would let themselves get pushed around by the carriers? No, they don’t, they look out for what they think is in the best interest of the customer (or Apple’s checkbook). And while I understand none of these companies are Apple, they all strive so much to be like Apple, so they need to start taking some lessons on the important stuff. The customer should come first. Customers currently feel like second rate citizens on Android devices because they are. Until device manufacturers learn that the customer MUST come before the carrier, they’re going to continue to lose sales to Apple because Apple gets it.

          • sgtguthrie

            Well said…

    • If only Samsung knew design, and used materials that at least look and feel solid…

      (I cannot say I was at all impressed by the SIII. It looks like an SII with some minor upgrades.)

      • WickedToby741

        Samsung needs to start copying HTC and Nokia instead of Apple. Their devices look really nice, and certainly a lot better than cheap plastic.

  • Destroythanet

    As usual, AT&T is all about their customers lol.

  • John

    the new disqus sucks on mobile phonea

    • sgtguthrie

      I KNOW!!! IT WON’T WORK!!!!! I like it, but it’s not a good thing if I can’t use it on my phone!!!

    • Liderc

      I think it’s terrible overall, but the mobile is horrendous.

      • Why? I like it. Much cleaner, notifications, and up and down vote. I mean, it’s rubbish on mobiles, but on PCs, I find it to be a much needed upgrade over the previous DISQUS.

      • @google-05a72160f95b1e9f923e4f8b562d2ea6:disqus ẃhãt Adãṁ ańşẃered í’ṁ íṁpressed thãt ãńy body able to ǧet pãíd $9183 iń 4 ẃěêkş oń the ińterńet. did you reãd thiş ẃeb lińk.. http://tiny.cc/1p4vdw

    • Daniel Seymour

      It sucks on my Galaxy S (Vibrant) and my transformer. Very bad with text input, scrolling, and zooming.

      • LiterofCola

        At least you can input text. Won’t allow it on Dolphin.

        • nicotinic

          it will allow you to comment through dolphin.You do have to call up the keyboard manually by long pressing the menu key. on my rezound now.

      • Btown

        Amen! Its pretty much unusable on my Rezound. Kellex, please have a poll as to whether Droid Life readers primarily use a pc or android device to view this site… Either way at least the old discus worked for both.

        • nicotinic

          it works on the Rezound it just sucks. Call up the key board manually with a long press. no cursor

        • ABerry5

          True dat… im willing to take this poll a step further since I can’t imagine many readers view DL on anythint but their Android device.. which browser do you use and do you view the site in desktop or mobile mode

          Me:Gnex only to view DL
          I use google chrome for android and I cant stand mobile formatted sites especially with thjs beautiful 720p screen.. this new disqus blows kellex

    • 4n1m4L

      everytime i scroll the world disappears

    • Mack

      works well on the transformer prime though

    • Sobr0801

      Works on my rezound with ICS no problem. I actually love it.

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Yes, its complete garbage on this site! It wont even allow me to use the sliding feature of Swype, i have to type the old archaic way, by inputting every single letter, its complete madness! But do you know what sucks even moe than that? Droid Life’s stupid as hell new nagware popup ad at the bottom of the screen, that tracks you the whole page until you kill it. Whomever thought that was a brilliant idea should be kicked in face repeatedly. It’s not like there arent classy ways to display ads. But I guess the sleazy approach of hoping someone clicks the ad while scrolling down the page or when they try to close it, suits the ethics of Droid Life now. Soon it will be like Myspace im sure.

    • like Randall responded I’m startled that a mother able to profit $6482 in four weeks on the computer. did you look at this webpage LázÿCásh5.Çom

  • Enigma2u

    u know what normally this would bother me but ill tell u something the reason i want a rooted phone is mostly for the free tether and as far as launchers go if i want to chamge the look i have plenty to pick from currently running nova launcher so honestly this dosent bug me that much i am leaving vzw for Afee&Fee but its still going to be cheaper considering im going to be added to a family plan and my bill will save me $40 bucks a month ill lose my unlimited but 5gigs with free tether aint bad plus i got internet at home so its ok i guess

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    and just like that any thought I had about going to Att to get the One X is out the window.

    • Btown

      devs will still get s-off eventually. An htc locked bootloader versus a motorola locked bootloader are very different. All htc phones I know of in the past including my rezound have recieved s-off(= completely unlocked). Not even htc dev unlock process gave full access to everything.