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Verizon Locks Bootloaders Because Unapproved Software on Devices Will Ruin the Earth

Verizon issued an official statement today to acknowledge that they are opposed to unlockable bootloaders. This essentially confirms that the Samsung Galaxy S3 bootloader locking was done on purpose, even though every other major U.S. carrier is fine with leaving it open, as is the rest of the entire world. It’s the exact same canned response that we saw in an FCC letter back in February. Basically, they think that “unapproved” software on your phone could potentially destroy the experience that another customer of theirs could have. They also claim that it will impact their ability to provide you with proper support, should you run into problems with your phone. 

Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open boot loader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.

So, every other Samsung device that Verizon released without an encrypted bootloader over the last couple of years was OK, but the Galaxy S3 is not? They were also fine with exclusively releasing the Galaxy Nexus last year with an unlockable bootloader, just not this one. The fact that every other carrier on the planet seems to be fine with an unlockable bootloader on the biggest phone of the year, doesn’t mean a thing either.

Yeah, sure seems to be all about the customer, doesn’t it?

Via:  The Verge

Cheers David!

  • http://twitter.com/jamenlang Jamen T. Lang

    They say the problem is supporting phones with unlocked bootloaders, but
    anyone that want’s an unlocked bootloader doesn’t need to call for
    support in the first place!

  • Ravi Rao

    Verizon can’t legitimately control all “unapproved software” on their network. They allow Mifi devices to use LTE, and allow you to pay for tethering (official tethering). They can’t legitimately restrict unapproved software on their network, so their reasoning does not stand.

  • bjn714

    They are just opening themselves up to more problems as it will be hacked but often times in a more dangerous (to the device) manner and potentially resulting in more “warranty” claims. By just leaving it open, the people that want to hack can do it safely while most consumers go on with no notice of anything different at all. In all honesty, those that want to modify their phone will. It is that simple.

    • C-Law

      I agree. It just makes more steps for people who want to unlock and/or root, and will cause more damaged devices imho

  • mikeym0p

    Does Verizon think anyone savvy enough to root their phone would go to THEM for help with their device? lols

  • wm snyder

    When verizon started taking pre-orders did they say the bootloader was locked? I think that is misrepresentation, don’t you think? Had they told you would you have bought it? Not telling is the same as lying! By The uncovered message that the developers found shows clearly verizon knew before hand before they took your money. Let me ask you this, if you flashed a Rom and the phone call did not work or caused drop calls or lowered your own reception would continue to use the rom? If it gave you better quality in these areas would you use the rom? Then rooting does not create havoc on there systems but improves!

  • WickedToby741

    Simple solution: Verizon becomes the only one with the “keys” to unlock the bootloader and customers can choose to have them unlocked. Then, you have to go into Verizon stores to get it unlocked and Verizon gets to log everyone who does and then they aren’t obligated to provide warranty service or tech support. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s an option.

  • wm snyder

    wasn’t there a clause in the broadband selling and buying about pro hibiting or am i wrong?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DaveCalzone Dave Calzone

    Verizon is missing the point, that’s why we buy these devices….so we can customize them! If we didn’t we’d all have iPhones.

  • amathophobia

    Verizon’s new moto is “shut the hell up and pay your bill.” This is being made astoundingly clear. Look at their stance on locked boot loaders. Look at their stance on net neutrality. Look at how long it takes them to approve updates to their phones. They even pissed all over Google by requiring there to be verizon bloat and branding on the galaxy nexus. The galaxy nexus was only released to try and get our community off of their back. My father called a couple weeks ago complaining that he had not received ICS on his RAZR yet. They told him that he should be happy that it is coming and that he needs to just wait. No kidding. What a bunch of assholes.

    • amathophobia

      Oh and throwing Samsung under the bus for the locked boot loader and then turning around and saying “oh, it was us.” Really? What kind of dick move is that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Wells/1150054760 John Wells

    TRANSLATION: We don’t like you using a free wireless tether.

  • jag28co

    I am getting sgs3 thinking that the bootloader would be open. My previous phone was the droidx. Shouldn’t vz have to unlock my droidx now since I will not be using on their network. It is my device now and is already paid off. As long as I don’t use it on their network I should be allowed to do whatever I want to it.

  • ender1776

    I’m telling you, their response is BS. They are breaking the law. “Open applications: Consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;” The fact they think they can put “security risk” in place of anything they don’t approve of is not acceptable. Just spam the FCC with complaints. No where in there do I see the words “we have the right to block applications to protect users from themselves”

  • The Wraith

    “the requests of a few who may want to change their device experience” Really? A FEW? Just because they are a wireless company doesn’t mean they should be this disconnected from their customers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Buck/100003482949493 Joe Buck

    just dont buy the s3, or if you got one,send it back

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    This is the best soap opera EVER! {{^_^}}

  • fanboy1974

    Call me crazy but this is a good thing for Nexus owners. Development will continue to be as strong as ever. I hate locked bootloaders like everyone else but maybe the Nexus should stand apart away from carrier influence. I would love the Nexus line to be sold directly by Google with no contracts on all the carriers at a affordable cost.

    • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      Let’s see if Big Red will allow that @ all. {{-_-}}

  • DroidBricker
  • Bert336

    where do we sign the petition??? lol

  • Knlegend1

    I personally don’t care about bootloaders because I never really take my phone that far. On the other hand it is my phone and I should have the option to do so if I damn well please. The average consumer would still get full support from you because they wouldn’t know how to muck it up anyhow. The people that actually appreciates unlocked bootloaders know the consequences of what they are trying to do. Hell most of them don’t even use Verizon for support unless it has something to do with “service provider” not device provider. Truth is they probably know more about the phone than Verizon does anyways. Verizon just unlock the damn thing already. Android is about choice, user choice.

  • James Dorsey

    Clearly, if we can unlock bootloaders…we don’t need support. I’m just saying.

  • MrEnglish

    Guess the Gnex is the last Verizon phone I’m going to own if the current policies remain intact.

  • anon

    Vote with your wallets leave the provider, instead of whining about it on some blog. THis has nothing to do with end user or satisfaction or experience of the end user. It is as with everything to do with Verizon, eeking out every last penny they can in profit. Your freedom on the service is not worth as much as the minute losses in profit from a presumed return rate on rooted devices.
    Reality is if it takes more to root it means it will likely result in more n00bs bricking phones.

  • Paradisimo

    Why can’t they just do what Asus did on the Transformer Prime and basically make you register your device if you wish to unlock it? That way the warranty becomes voided and if you f*ck it up it’s your own damn fault. They could take one look at your account and see that the device was unlocked and is no longer covered. Done, problem solved.

  • Big_EZ

    Verizon has some of the worst customer service known to man.

  • Colonoscopy

    I don’t get why everyone here is complaining and hyperventilating as if venting on Droid-Life is going to change anything. Vote with your wallets people! You think Verizon is sh*t for locking the bootloaders on all their phones, well, then stop buying Verizon’s phones and service. They will change only when they feel pain where it hurts, in profits. Until then, shut up, suck it up and bend over so Verizon can rape you in peace.

  • kierra

    Did anyone blame Moto yet?

  • http://www.facebook.com/oldblueeyes182 Joshua Bailey

    I know I can easily look this up, but comparing speeds of their 4G service to Verizon, how is Sprint’s 4G network?

    My wife and I both have our Nexus’ on Verizon’s network, but would like to possibly switch at the culmination of said contracts. No no to At&t and T-Mobile, so that leaves Sprint.

  • Jack Coleman

    Its not their fault, its all yours. Verizon doesn’t care if you go cry in your basement, they only way they are ever going to realize what they’re doing is wrong is if people do something about it, ie. Leave.