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Should We be Worried About the Bootloader on Verizon’s Galaxy S3?

Oh boy, not the way we wanted to end a week. Not only that, but this is definitely not the conversation we wanted to have as thousands of Galaxy S3 pre-orders from Verizon are about to arrive. Unfortunately, we have to go there to make sure you all know what you are about to get yourselves into.

As you know, a handful of lucky pre-orderees received their Galaxy S3s early, and as you would expect, are putting them through the early development and rooting paces. So far though, they have had zero luck. Upon trying to use any of the previous GS3 root methods, none have been successful thus far. And when I say “previous,” I’m talking about the Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile versions, which have all been rooted. From what I have gathered, the device is unable to flash unsigned boot.img and recovery.img files.ย 

We could be talking about a locked bootloader here, but before we freak out, let the device get in the hands of more people. By early next week, or even the end of the weekend, we should know more on the status of rooting the Verizon Galaxy S3 and how nasty its bootloader is.

My gut tells me that everything will be fine in a short matter of time. Most devs have been down this road before with one device or another. Look how long it took the Rezound to get S-OFF? The fact is that it still got it. And also, this isn’t a Motorola phone, it’s a Samsung. Try to relax. We’ll keep you updated.

Update: ย Root has been obtained.

Via: ย XDA

Cheers Doron, Jason, andย 

  • Knlegend1

    yes touch-wiz must die!!! I didn’t understand what people were saying but Samsung really did screw Touch-Wiz up on ICS!!!

    • jpfrasier

      Try Nova Launcher, it is awesome!

      • Knlegend1

        That is about the best solution right now!!!

      • Bionic

        Go launcher is more stable and super supported

        • jpfrasier

          I disagree. I have used go launcher but when I downloaded ics for my skyrocket I switched to nova immediately. Can’t beat it. I tried apex too but nova was the right fit for me. I’ve long forgotten about go launcher.

  • Immolate

    If you can keep your head while all those about you are losing theirs…

    Might want to wait and find out for sure if Verizon went Dr. Evil on us before spazzing out.

  • fartbubbler

    so when does the RAZR Max HD come out?

  • Aaron

    This why there was a delay?


  • Matt

    That sucks, I really hope one of the devs figures out how to unlock it – I love the freedom of the gnex…on another note, your and you’re have separate meanings, as do their, they’re and there.

  • I got this phone ordered because it looked like the biggest upgrade from the Droid Razr that I could get with my last discounted upgrade. Verizon you better not screw me cause I know you have a strict no lube policy!

  • JazzoRenee

    They charged by card, so I should be receiving my S3 any day now.

  • Destroythanet

    I have a lot of faith in the devs to figure this out.

  • jpfrasier

    Anyone who sticks with Verizon is a sucker, so glad I left them back in November. Rooting any Samsung device should be a ridiculously easy process.

  • trixnkix637

    I’m not concerned. I’ll fight tooth & nail with Verizon to keep my unlimited data (since no else is offering it). Coming from a Droid-X I’m actually quite comfortable with locked bootloaders. I probably wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I could root & flash without any hiccups or troubles. lol.

    • I’m right there with ya!

  • Glad I went to t mobile. Got my siii, done with vzw

    • I did the same thing! Broke my VZW contract since my GNex couldn’t get good service and now I have a SGSIII on T-Mobile and loving it! Rooted too.

  • Maui

    Anyone else foresee Sprint becoming the new Verizon (assuming of course they can properly and quickly roll out their LTE network). I mean unlimited data, 4G LTE, full support for Android/Nexus phones…I may have to jump ship if Sprint’s LTE network is any good.

  • Jorge Hurtado

    That may explain why Verizon was the last one to release the phone to their customers…

  • Why must the best network be with the worst company? We can’t win these days…

    • Tony Allen

      It is an unfortunate situation.. I wish I had an option with carriers around here. ๐Ÿ™

      • WickedToby741


    • blood

      ask yourself this. how do u think they got to be the best network?

      • Liderc

        by building the most towers?

        • WickedToby741

          They got to be the best network by giving consumers the best value. Now that they are solidly the best network, they’re flipping the bird and saying “Screw you!” to all of the loyal customers who got them to where they are.

          • michael arazan

            So if I get their 4g card for my laptop are they going to lock down my laptop too?

    • Alan Hayes

      Why must the best network be CDMA requiring bespoke phones? I sure do wish I could have a Galaxy Note with Verizon…

    • C-Law

      Don’t forget about their lte network that you can’t use! Their ongoing notification reminds you to turn on WiFi whenever possible. I hate you verizon

  • CHRIS42060

    So when the FCC steps on Verizon’s toes they cry and whine, but Verizon can possibly be the only US carrier to force Samsung to lock down the device consumers own and that is fine? That kind of hypocrisy only leaves one question…… when did Apple but Verizon?

  • Awe, that sucks.
    Good thing I’m switching to and getting the GSIII on AT&T in a few months.
    So long, Vzw.

    • jpfrasier

      I got the SGS2 Skyrocket back in November and it was ridiculously easy to root.

    • Diablo81588

      Bad decision. I hope you enjoy your service with ATT, or lack of.

      • Mike Smith

        I currently have Verizon but let me tell you this. I had AT&T for 6 yrs and never had problems with them. Being military I traveled all over the place and we all know that military bases are not always in the best places. REMOTE cough cough. Why do people complain about them. Their LTE network is as fast as Verizon and their HSPA+ is way faster than Verizon’s 3G network when LTE is not available. Not seeing why people complain so much.

        • Diablo81588

          HSPA+ is a joke. Yes, it’s faster than Verizon’s 3G, but thats only because 3G on Verizon is slow as hell. I have yet to see any of my friends with ATT get any more than 3mbps on HSPA+. Just to be clear, that’s the MAX speed that I’ve ever seen. Most of the time its less than 2mbps. At least Verizon 3G is reliable..

      • GalaxyNote!!

        I switch from verizon to AT&T and let me tell you that AT&T Lte is way more faster than verizon lte and far as service goes i get the same service that i was gettinf on verizon with my Galaxy Note now. Dont knock AT&T until you try them and to be honest AT&T have a way better selection of phones to choose from besides all the overhaul Droid brand that verizon has…

        • Diablo81588

          Trust me, I’ve tried ATT. I have much experience in the constant dropped calls and general unreliablility. I was stuck with them in a two year contract, and will NEVER go through that again. It’s not just me either. The majority of people in my area that have ATT have nothing but problems. I bought a Droid X two years ago, and now have a bionic. Care to guess how many dropped calls I’ve had with Verizon since that first day I bought the phone? ZERO. I don’t even know what the dropped call notification sounds like!
          On a side note, the only reason ATT has faster LTE than Verizon is because there they have 6 TIMES less coverage. Wait until LTE on ATT gets more widespread, they’ll slow down just like Verizon. Even then, do you consider an average download speed a 20mbits per second slow?

          • GalaxyNote!!

            Well it the other way around in my area verizon service is suck down here.. i never had a drop call yet on AT&T.. and far as speed go even AT&T

  • Akashi_Raikoh

    Lulz… Obviously Samsung is the champion of the user Droid Life has always made them out to be /S

  • azndan4

    The idiots at verizon strike again. When will they learn that they are alienating their customers?

  • Trevor

    So maybe everyone bashing Motorola for locked bootloaders on VZW should have been giving agro to Verizon the whole time.

    • dude

      moto phones on at&t like the atrix are locked too

      • Trevor

        Haha, then let the Moto bashing continue!!

  • CHRIS42060

    Double post.

  • jason

    i ordered my S3 so that i can keep my unlimited plan. does anyone know that since i already pre ordered it, can i return it for a GNEX and still keep my unlimited plan? i say ‘yes’ but not 100%? any help is appreciated…thanks!

    • do it up

      i don’t see why not. i would do it though, you’d be running JB by the end of the day!

      • jason

        Thanks for the quick reply. I was leaning towards the S3 in the beginning because of the hardware specs. But I do not want to wait a year for JB, when they’re going to have whatever ‘K’ flavor android by then.
        Guess I’ll see how the devs tackle this issue within the next week or so.
        Thanks again.

        • you will likely have to pay a “restocking” fee, but, sure, you should be able to keep unlimited data and swap out for the gnex.

    • elmansdrone

      No. If you return it for a different device, your upgrade will be reset and you will be technically upgrading that day instead of pre-June 28th. You can, however, return it completely and buy a nexus off of craigslist and you’ll be fine.

      • I think he can. When I check my account it says my contract is for two more years even though I haven’t even gotten my phone yet. Don’t think they can shorten it.

      • Lavoisier1794

        Or couldn’t he sell the S3 on ebay and then buy a gnex on ebay?

    • sgtguthrie

      Nope… Already tried it! There’s about to be a bunch of pissed off people!



    -gnex owner & a troll

    p.s but seriously, that sucks big time

    • Tim Allen

      I should of got the Nexus instead…

      • It’s not too late. If the bootloader is actually, honestly “locked,” I will very seriously consider returning my GS3 for a Nexus.

        • Just make sure you tell them very specifically why you want to return it.


      galaxy s3 sucks

      not only does it have a locked bootloader, but physical buttons? Seriously? What is this 2010? Keep your “inspired by nature” crap, I’ll stick to my gnex.

      • +1

        Nature doesn’t have buttons.

        • jroc74

          And nature has on screen keys? I’m just trying to understand this comment….

          • Fair enough. I was thinking of the on-screen keys in the metaphorical sense of “you interact with nature (the screen) directly (the buttons being part of the screen), not through a physical proxy (the buttons)” but it’s not like nature has screens either, I s’pose.

            (I actually am currently deciding between the GS3, for me, main adv. being gpu) and the GNex, for me, main adv. being everything else)

  • realfoxm


  • fanboy1974

    I almost got this over my Nexus just to get one last upgrade in before losing unlimited data. I really hope you S3 owners do not get screwed. Every Android phone should be unlocked.

  • Gus

    I am going to buy an otter box and keep my Nexus forever. I am hunkering down against all future Verizon BS.

  • Damnit. Coming from a droid x, i went with sammy because i thought this phone would be a little more hackable. Eff you verizon.

    • jason

      Same here! Looks like im going to have to pay VERIZON $$$ stocking fee just to exchange for G-NEX, because they messing with my S3..sheesh!
      touche verizon.

  • I can wait for the community to work on it. It’s unlikely that Verizon chooses this samsung phone to be the first to lock up.

  • I’ll probably just mess around with my SGS3 for a few days and keep my Thunderbolt running in the mean time. I’m waiting on a SIM card adapter so I can swap easily.

    • Tyler Chappell

      I have a Thunderbolt with grandfathered unlimited, but won’t by eligible for an upgrade until december. I’m waiting for my Nexus 7 tablet to get here, and after unlocking and rooting my dad’s GNex, I will probably never go non-Nexus again!
      My next phone will most definitely be an HTC or the next Nexus, assuming Google feels verizon is even worthy of getting another Nexus device ever again.

  • Tim Swann

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  • MrSteve920

    Cough, cough, blow me Verizon, cough

  • Michael_NM

    VZW: Rule the Air, and bloatware, and notification bar, and bootloaders.
    They should shorten their motto: Rule the Despair. Regardless, I’m still looking forward to my GS III and my last subsidized unlimited data phone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    All right, good thing I didn’t preorder this. I was already planning on moving over to Sprint, and this gives me another reason to.

    EDIT: Btw, assuming the bootloader is locked, wouldn’t this be the first Samsung phone to have a locked bootloader?

    • bob martin

      I switched to virgin mobile 2 weeks ago. Sure the service sucks but at least there is no contract and no hidden fees at random times. And I pay when I feel like paying.

  • New_Guy

    Be afraid…be very afraid…


    This makes me extremely sad. ๐Ÿ™

  • Diablo81588


    • angermeans

      Why laugh at other people’s hard times. The Android community has turned into nothing more than whiny little babies that want nothing more than to call their subjective choice in a phone the “best.” I got words for ya no phone is the best just your best. Grow up man.

  • Why am I not surprised VZW would do this? ๐Ÿ™
    I’m thinking of canceling my pre-order. First they pull the Dropbox 50gb promotion and now this.

    • wickets

      I cancelled mine this week,,,,,,,,,would take a bootloader locked and sealed forever over a home button, plus jelly bean is so sweet on a galaxy nexus who needs these headaches right out the box

    • Jack Coleman

      Who cares about dropbox anymore? google drive forever.

  • Well, mine arrives Tuesday. If its not rooted by then, well, Craigslist or eBay it goes…

    • bazazzle

      You won’t get much for it. It is a Verizon device.

      • I don’t see why so many people are thumbs downing this comment. Most unlocked phones that sell on eBay or Craigslist are sold for more.

  • Wasn’t planning on rooting for a while anyway, I can wait.

    • thatsdapper

      I think you will plan to root as soon as you notice that there is an always on Wi-Fi notification tell you to turn on Wi-Fi that you can’t turn off.

  • nightscout13

    Uh oh….

  • Sobr0801

    Its Motorola’s fault.

    • Yeah, I like how no one in the comments says anything about Samsung, when any thread about Motorola’s bootloaders has hundreds of truly unbiased and properly informed hamsters bashing Motorola for locking the bootloader while making Verizon look like a big fluffy bunny that tells โ€œwe asked Motorola to stop, but they just wouldn’t listenโ€.

  • Kenneth Hung

    Although an unlocked bootloader is a requirement for me when picking a phone, I’m not too worried. I wanted to give the stock ROM on the GS3 a shot for a little while anyways. I’m confident the developer community can crack this thing by the time I’m bored of it.

    • I’d prefer unlocked bootloader. Might take 6 months or more to get JB on VZW S3.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      my thoughts exactly… literally… almost like your in my head.. are you?

    • jpfrasier

      Install Nova Launcher and it’ll be all good.

    • bjdechant

      I agree. I’m sticking with my Nexus, but on my first android phone the Droid X it was maybe a month before the bootloader was cracked enough to install froyo. I think. basically, the android community was very vigilant in hacking that phone and I expect they will do the same with the GS3. It sucks that its locked, but I’m not too woried about it.

      • The bootloader on the X was never broken, they just used the Moto kernels too boot and altered the /system directory.

  • Ken

    Eeerrrrrrr…..Verizon!!! No worries though, got my rooted GN right here running JellyBean, so all is good!!!

  • teng247

    Verizon doing it for the lulz

    • Maui


    • Jack


  • Bakani

    Verizon, not only do you make people pay more to play.. you limit the amount of play we can have. Why do we choose your network again…

    • AlexKCMO

      Because unfortunately, it’s the most reliable.

      • Knlegend1

        Damn I really heard you now!!!

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Preparing for the obligatory – “OMG, if they can’t root this SOB in 3 days I am returning this mofo and quitting VZW those rat f*** bastards with their GD locked bootloaders”


    • Michael_NM

      Here ya go:
      OMG, if they can’t root this SOB in 3 days I am returning this mofo and quitting VZW those rat f*** bastards with their GD locked bootloaders. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • mustbepbs

      People are just so damn impatient. Relax, people. So many developers have gotten/are getting this phone. I mean, only a handful of people have it, and I bet they’re mostly just users who whine and complain anyway.

      Give it a week (or..*GASP*..two!) and it’ll be dealt with.

  • Liderc

    No, but you should be worried about that hideous home button.

  • William

    Eat [email protected] Verizon.

    • whoa whoa whoa… everyone attacking Verizon with no reason at all here, nobody knows what is up yet. haha, sad internet kids

    • kixofmyg0t

      No its Motorola’s fault remember? Everyone says its only Motorola that locks and encrypts bootloaders.

      • jroc74

        E X A C T L Y…..

        But whats happening now wont stand in the way of haters. I see the Rezound needs a wire trick for S-Off…..and ppl still wanna hate on Moto….


  • OhAaron

    Oo Hmm… Verizon? Or worse… VERIZON!

  • kc

    yay more fun to have

  • ddevito

    Either you’re Nexus..or you’re not. So therefore, it’s irrelevant on any other phone.

    • Diablo81588


      • thatsdapper

        I think he meant to say “Either you’re Nexus… or you’re not.”

        • Bob Martin

          your either nexus or your against us.

    • TheMan876

      Or you’re on an S3 on a different carrier and you’re golden.