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Samsung to Offer a Galaxy S3 “Developer Edition” on Verizon for $599 With an Unlockable Bootloader

Since the version of the Galaxy S3 on Verizon that thousands of you pre-ordered has a locked bootloader, Samsung apparently wants to give you an option that’s a little more open. That option, if you truly value an unlockable bootloader, is a “developer edition” model that will run you $599. It can be purchased directly through Samsung’s site in the near future and that’s that. From what we can tell, this won’t be subsidized in any form, so again, if you want an unlockable bootloader, you get to pay $599 for one.

We ran a poll yesterday that asked if unlockable bootloaders matter to you – this is your chance to show the world how much they matter.

Props to Samsung for providing an option. We’ll save our choice words for the other involved party for another day. There is a Q&A provided by them after the break that should cover most questions.

Who is this for?

Samsung and Verizon Wireless recognize that there are many enthusiasts and professional developers that are interested in customizing their device with third-party ROM software.  Unlocking the bootloader can put the stability of the phone in jeopardy; therefore, only experienced developers should attempt to unlock the bootloader.

What about the other carriers?

Other versions of the Galaxy S III are sold with a user-unlockable bootloader as a standard feature. Those models are available directly from the respective carriers.

Where can I buy the Galaxy S III Developer Edition?

The Developer Edition will be sold online directly from Samsung. When the device is available for purchase, it will be sold through the Samsung developer portal at developer.samsung.com for $599.

Why is Verizon Wireless’ version locked?

Depending on the device, an open bootloader 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.  Unlocking the device also voids the warranty.

Has Samsung always unlocked the bootloader on its phones?

While not all previous Samsung Android devices have had an easily unlockable bootloader, all of our other current Galaxy S III flagship lineup, and all Nexus-branded devices, support the standard bootloader unlocking procedure.

What happens if I load custom software and damage (“brick”) my phone?

Problems caused by unlocking the bootloader and installing custom software will not be covered by the warranty. Problems with third-party and customized bootloader software can cause irreparable harm to the Galaxy S III. Users interested in performing these actions should proceed with caution and at their own risk. Out of warranty Galaxy S III Developer Edition devices will be serviced directly through Samsung, and service charges will apply.

Via:  Engadget

Cheers Jamie!

  • Mike

    It’s still $150 cheaper than the locked version, for those of us that kept their unlimited plan and didnt have an upgrade near.

  • HueThree

    Just go GSM and save yourself all the hassle

  • buckley101

    I am leaving Verizon because of this issue. They are the ONLY carrier in the world to lock the bootloader. This is absolutley ridiculous

  • Robert Jakiel


  • 1z2def

    Good job Samsung. I hope others follow your lead. Hello people. Verizon is still the way to go. With the new shared data plans all future phones that you want will be full price if you want to keep unlimited data. 599 is more than reasonable for a high end phone. For you folks saying you are going to sprint good luck with that. You are spitting yourself for no reason

    • Gareth Cove

      I love Verizon, but you sir, are a bit of a whore.

    • JoshGroff


    • Hopefully the other carriers can step up their network game to match Verizon’s.

  • wel

    Cancelled my preorder on the locked down version specifically to get this, not because I mod, but because I want unlocked bootloaders in the Wolfe and money is the only thing companies understand. If people buy this, others will folks.

  • JazzoRenee

    This is just dumb.

  • Michael

    I’ll just get a Verizon Galaxy Nexus just for custom roms or switch carriers and get GSM version from Google that would be heavenly. Verizon’s just way to greedy. How many of you use a unlocked Galaxy Nexus on T-mobile prepaid?

  • cancerous_it

    Sounds like win/win. If you want to keep your unlimited, you have to buy un-subsidized anyway. Samsung isn’t charging VZW $599 for the phone. VZW gets it at wholesale.
    Buying directly from Samsung means that no revenue is flowed to VZW for the purchase of the device. You get to keep your unlimited, have an unlocked phone and get to stick it to VZW even if it’s just a few bucks.

  • stush0104

    Someone correct my thinking, please, but wouldn’t Verizon want us to stay with the same phone forever or buy phones off contract? When we get a subsidized phone, VZW is essentially paying the difference up front. They make that money back through the life of the contract. Whether or not you buy a phone off contract or a subsidized one doesn’t matter to your monthly bill. It is the same either way. So wouldn’t it go that VZW makes more money off of you with a phone you bought on your own?

    • JoshGroff

      Yes, but then you have the freedom to switch.

    • cancerous_it

      Yes VZW wants you to use your current phone for as long as possible. They don’t want you getting a new subsidized phone every 20 months because that’s another $4-500 that they have to cover for the phone.

      It’s important to note who is selling this unlocked phone. It’s coming from Samsung directly. I don’t think VZW wants unlocked phones on their network; therefore, they won’t sell it. For this reason, I don’t think you’ll be seeing another Nexus device on VZW, but I hope I’m wrong. Samsung is selling the unlocked phones and probably taking any and all responsibility for warranty claims on the phone.

  • Poker_Vol

    What I take from this is that it is ok to “negatively impact” the Verizon network and potentially other customers’ experiences, as long as you pay $600 to do it. Tells me its not that big of a deal, otherwise, Verizon wouldn’t even allow the option for this phone.

  • ElixirBlack

    This smells like the beginning of the end: enthusiasts are going to have to pay a premium for unlocked devices. Unlike the semiconductor industry where AMD offers unlocked chips at every price point (and forced Intel to offer its “K” series of unlocked chips), carriers have no competition except for existing carriers. The barriers to entry for a new, user-friendly carrier are too high.

  • MikeCiggy

    In every blog post about share everything plans every single one of you said you were planning on buying an un subsidized phone. Here you go, an unlocked developer edition of the best phone out and you don’t lose your grandfather priledges.

  • Jimbo

    Step 1 – buy subsidized Galaxy S III from VZW.
    Step 2 – sell for profit on ebay
    Step 3 – Buy developer phone, kick in extra cash if needed (gotta pay to play kiddies)
    Step 4 – Don’t jack Verizon’s costs (which get passed on to the rest of us) by making a warranty claim if you muff your phone

    Seems like a perfect situation to me.

    Read more here:

    • JoshGroff

      I was just going to post that advice, the unsubsidized phone would run around $400 total out of pocket expense (assuming you sell the phone ~$500) at that point accounting for swappa sales fees and shipping as well. You should never sell a $500 phone on eBay, that’s a $50 hit from seller fees alone and that still leaves PayPal and shipping to rip you another $20-30 (which you can’t really avoid either way.) Anything $100+, it’s cheaper to list and sell on swappa since the sale fee is a flat $10 as opposed to 9.7% on eBay if I recall correctly, at $200+ you can feature the listing for an additional $10 and it’s still cheaper.

      I’ve bought 5 android devices through them and sold 3, haven’t had a single problem so far.

  • linli574

    welcome to the tinyurl.com/cozaa3k

  • Nick

    So who is actually getting this? I for one love my stock, unrooted GS3. It is the fastest phone I have ever used stock, even matching or exceeding some modded phones I had before when you throw Nova Launcher on it. It meets my expectations in every way (except the BL of course). I couldn’t imagine paying that much for a phone just because it has an unlocked bootloader! I could go out and buy a pretty nice laptop with an i5 processor and 6gb’s of ram for that price! I am just too happy with my GS3 to take it back for that. I will leave it up to the devs to unlock the bootloader. If they can’t, well that’s too bad. It will still have some great ROMS and other mods. I feel like the huge dev community can at least find a work around for the bootloader (I believe they have one in the works already), but we will just have to wait and see. Anyways, I am still interested in who is going to get this.

  • schoat333

    I will be buying one as soon as it is up for sale. I paid more for my Gnex off contract.

  • P.S. this phone is pretty bad ass even at stock.

  • i would love to spend 5 minutes speaking with the dopes at VZW who thought this locked bootloader was a good idea. The private dev community is a whole lot smarter than the rank and file VZW is outsourcing to India to develop for them, so it makes no sense that they would think they could permanently lock this device. If Samsung is willing to release a special edition of this phone that is unlocked, what makes anyone think they wouldn’t leak a way around the locked bootloader to the dev community?

    As ridiculous as this whole situation is, those who are rattling the swords about leaving VZW need to remember how much better their mobile network is than the other carriers….and that is what the most important at the end of all this.

  • Stewie

    No, this isn’t acceptable. We all know this is a line of BS from VZ, other carriers seem to have no issues here. Only VZ …
    Yes, to avoid the crap everything plans you go unsub, so you would be going unsub now to get it anyways.
    I believe VZ backtracked here because for you to get a locked phone for an unsubbed price would generate a few legal entanglements for them.
    Plain and simple IMO – VZ doesnt want anyone extending the life of their phone beyond what they consider acceptable, that’s what it comes down to, because you wouldn’t have to upgrade if you could flash a new OS, flash a new faster kernel, etc. Missed upgrades and the chance to rape you with fees and changing your plan ….

  • nightscout13

    Whoever buys this phone, please feel free to give us a copy of that unlocked bootloader.

  • This is actually good news…if Verizon lets an unlocked Galaxy III on the network it seems they most likely will let the next wave of Nexus devices on to. Same deal if you break it dont bring it to Verizon.

  • feztheforeigner

    Why wasn’t this available when I pre-ordered!!!

    I’m so filled with regrets…

  • Tony Allen

    Hopefully this device will help get the other version unlocked.

  • I’m actually totally okay with this. It angers me when carriers limit a device that you paid for…but much more so one they dont even subsidize. This option is a rare one with CDMA phones, and I welcome the choice to go around the carrier.

  • fanboy1974

    It’s better than nothing guys. Especially if we have to buy phones outright to keep unlimited data anyways. Only question is how popular would this model be for developers if a greater percentage has the locked version? I wonder if the resell will be greater on this unit compared to the locked one.
    Or how about this option. Instead of paying $200 for a locked version have the developer version for $250. I would pay a $50 premium for a developer edition with stock android on it.

  • Because of share everything plans I would have to pay full price in order to keep my unlimited data. The $599 price tag doesn’t seem that bad now. How sad…….

  • AnAngryJOE

    Also what was the point of samsung releasing the factory img for the s3 in the first place again? I mean after all this insanity someone enlighten me

  • what the fack

  • Knlegend1


  • This is an acceptable workaround, IMO. My only wishes is that from now on, all carrier locked Android smartphones — at least the flagships — will be sold in this way. Also, it will be EXTREMELY helpful if the manufacturer can announce the availability of the developer unlockable version BEFORE the carriers begin to take our orders!!!!

    Now, the chance of having a new Nexus for Verizon this year suddenly jump back from 0 to 50. Google, if Samsung can do it, you can too. Please don’t disappoint us. There are folks like me who are grandfathered into Verizon’s unlimited data plan and don’t want to leave!

  • Wow they allow thousands upon thousands who actually care about the boot loader preorder and receive their locked version, and THEN announce this… Douche move by both VZW and Samsung…

    • Timothy McGovern

      You can just cancel your order….

      • Oh yeah? Cancel an order for something you’ve already received? Interesting… (if you’re not aware, most have already received theirs)

        • There’s always selling the one you received to fund the purchase of this one. There’s even a good chance you’ll break even on the deal. Just a thought.

          • exactly. common do people not have brains anymore? sell the phone you just got which is new and you can easily make 400-500 bucks then buy this one instead. stop being a whiney cry baby .. the phone already has been rooted and has cwm anyway so i dont see the issue anymore ..

          • That’s beside the point. Of course you could sell your locked version and get the unlocked one, but that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a dick move. It’s obvious that they did this in order to attempt to lessen the # of unlocked phones on their network. Instead of announcing this beforehand they allowed tons of people to purchase and receive the locked version before they announced it. Yeah, many WILL sell theirs and get the dev edition, but they also know that many won’t hassle with it.
            Where am I being a whiny cry baby? I was simply stating that it was a douche move… I really couldn’t care less, as I’m not even getting this phone. I’m just sick of the state of mobile phones and more specifically the role that Verizon is playing.
            Also, if you don’t see the issue due to the phone being rooted and don’t understand the benefits of the boot loader being unlocked as well.. I don’t know what to tell you…

        • Timothy McGovern

          You do know you get thirty days to try the phone out don’t you. Just send it back.

          • You’re living in the past, its been 14 days for a while now. And there’s a $35 restocking fee on any return or exchange. Again, that’s totally beside the point of it being a calculated dick move on their part. Just because there’s a solution doesn’t make it right.

  • Kenneth Hung

    I’m hoping this is Samsung’s way of secretly slipping us a key to the bootloader while verizon’s not looking. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but maybe devs can find a way to use the dev version to unlock the locked down subsidized versions.

  • Just an observation…how is it a 10″ tablet costs $300, but a less-than-5″ phone still costs $600?

    • One reason is that those $300 tablets don’t come with cellular radios. Once you include them, those tablet prices will shoot up at least $100 to $150.

    • Detonation

      Manufacturing costs as well possibly. I imagine it costs a lot more to put all that hardware in a 5″ space than it does a 10″ space, not to mention the extra radios, etc.

  • Who ever came up with locking it and then selling it for this hefty price should accidently fall off a bridge with concrete shoes.

    • CapnShiner

      It is the same price, if not less, than the regular version. The only difference is that it is not carrier-subsidized. The only reason it ends up costing more is because you don’t get a discount on the service by declining the discount on the phone.

  • wm snyder

    aaaahhmmm it may very well be just gsm version that there selling sound familiar and quadcore and lte

  • Is this a thing now? Motorola did that with the RAZR, too. Why can’t they announce these developer editions BEFORE selling the locked version? I can’t imagine how many people bought the non-developer version and now wish they had held out.

    • interstellarmind


  • so basically VZW is saying that “hey if you buy the subsidized one we don’t want unapproved software on our network”..buuuuut……if you give Sammy some extra $$ then we’ll let it slide. ….wait hold on. I’ll finish this comment in a bit…someone is calling me on my Galaxy Nexus.

    • fartbubbler

      was it Kanye?

    • Detonation

      Samsung gets the same amount of money either way.

      Off Contract: Consumer pays $600.
      On Contract: Consumer pays $200, Verizon pays $400, knowing they will make that back and more over a 2 year contract.

  • wm snyder

    $349.00 You got a deal! other wise ill keep the extra $250.00

  • I think a good question here is what happens if I buy this unlocked version and I need to replace the phone. Verizon damn well better supply an unlocked replacement. So on a side note, who is to say I buy the locked version and call in a replacement and tell them it “is” a developer phone and they would have to send you an unlocked version.

    Just sayin…

    • Call who and tell them its a Dev edition? You have to buy it through Samsung… Ain’t gonna work…

    • That’s the whole point. Verizon will not service your device. At all. Ever. Even for hardware issues, you must deal directly with Samsung. And these will likely have a unique id of some sort, and you’ll be charged with fraud if you try and trade this one in as a “standard” VZW GS3

    • same thing would happen if you buy any verizon phone and try to get it serviced with it unlocked, your phone will be returned with the claim that your warranty is voided.

      Verizon doesnt service anything but locked down phones. Anything else you are on your own for.

  • Maddingo

    16 or 32 gb? I had to pay full price for my Galaxy S III.So if the Developer edition is released within my return period and it’s 32gb then back to Best Buy mine goes.

  • J Dub

    Props to nobody. This is even more a slap in the face. Just offer an unlock tool for all models. Plain and simple. The HTC site does a great job of walking you through it. It also offers plenty of “you are on your own” disclaimers. Verizon can kiss my ass when it comes to support. Do I really want to wait until Key Lime Pie comes out to get Jelly Bean on my phone? Heck no!

  • Jason Walker

    I went through this with the Evo 3D on Sprint. Everyone unleashed a big sh1tstorm on HTC and HTC agreed to unlock the bootloader……but the devs hacked it long before HTC released their update to unlock it. I suspect the devs will tackle this one sooner than later.

    • The problem isn’t the lock, it is that the bootloader is encrypted as well. HTC only offers a “partial” unlock, known as S-ON, with their online tool, which is still somewhat restricted (though custom kernels are in at that point). Most Samsung phones are shipped with the bootloader locked, but its almost Nexus-easy to unlock/bypass it. The ecrypted bootloaders are what really muck things up, as they are hack-resistant, and there is a real possibility to hard brick your phone since its not as easy to get back to a stock system.

  • thedonxr

    Well I can renew my contract anymore, because then I’ll be stuck with share everything BS. So really this isn’t a bad option, and if they do the same thing with the Galaxy SIV or whatever they call it ill pay full price to keep my unlimited data.

  • Will the dev phone be 16gb or 32?

    • We don’t know yet.

    • Assuming 16GB since its $599. The 32GB is $649 through Verizon.

  • interstellarmind

    wait…. vzw doens’t want it unlocked because they fear unlocked SGSIII’s can cause harm to other customers on their network…

    …well what Fing network wil i use this version on? VZW! so where is there worry there?


  • jaybar

    does someone know verizon’s corporate phone and or email. I have some things I would like to talk to them about.

  • stang6790

    Well the way I see it isn’t too bad. I bought my phone subsidized for $250 and if I can sell it for about $550, which looks like what they are going for, then I would only have to pay another $50 for the developer edition. Granted it is a bunch of bull**** that it is locked to begin with. But by buying subsidized and then selling it won’t cost much more.

  • Emjay

    With a developer phone can they find a way to unlock other bootloader?

  • zepfloyd

    Hopefully ROMs will still be built for the ‘Standard’ edition…

    • moelsen8

      i think the opposite would be more accurate. i’d bet the development mostly revolves around the locked one.

  • I JUST got my unit today! Ugh. If I knew Verizon was going to lock the bootloader on their models and then Samsung would offer an unlocked model, I never would have pre-ordered with VZW.

    I’d rather not go through the hassle of returning my unit and waiting for this to come and also pay the $35 restocking fee. I am holding out hope before my 14 days are up to return the phone, that the XDA hackers can reverse engineer the unlocked bootloader onto our vanilla VZW GSIIIs. 🙁

    • well guess what. i am pretty sure you bought your phone at a subsidzed price right? well dont use it and sell the sucker on ebay and CL. You will get about 400-500 bucks.. then use that money to buy this phone…

  • Reasons to get this:
    1. Unlocked
    2. Less then retail
    3. Get a SquareTrade warranty (covers rooted and unlocked phones)
    4. Its a Galaxy S III
    5. Start at 1 and repeat

  • Guest__Comment

    > Since the version of the Galaxy S3 on Verizon that thousands of you pre-ordered has a

    Thousands of pre-orders? Thousands? Where has droid-life been?

    > Since the version of the Galaxy S3 on Verizon that thousands of you pre-ordered has a

    > locked bootloader, Samsung apparently wants to give you an option that’s a little more

    > open

    So if we have already pre-ordered… we now have an unlocked option?

    How is that possible?

  • wow, so its all about nothing but money.

  • this is the biggest “f**k you” to the verizon. sammy is screaming “who you going to blame now!?”

    • Hmm not really. If VZW really cared they wouldn’t authorize the phones to be used on their network…

      • Actually, since these are LTE devices, they can’t legally block their activation. According to the agreement made when leasing the spectrum used for their LTE bands, they cannot refuse to activate a device on their network, unless they can prove that doing so WILL pose a significant risk to their network, not simply that it has the potential to. And, since they allow the Galaxy Nexus to be activated, they have no legal way to refuse activating these devices.

        • Wha does the Nexus have to do with the S3? And, my understanding was that while that stands true for the LTE data connectivity they are not obligated to activate CDMA voice devices that they don’t wish to? ( there are no full lte voice & data phones for them yet)

      • If they picked out phones at random and loaded the unlockable bootloaders on it, then Verizon can’t really tell which is locked and unlocked unless they look at them. They either have to activate them all or none.

  • Bionic

    Can someone explain what happens when your contract runs out and you are using a non-subsidized phone? Do you just pay month to month?

    • MooleyBooleyTroll

      yes you pay month to month

      • also, they can change your plan so long as they give you notice, whether you want/ask them to or not. There is no contract, so by continuing to pay your bill for service you intrinsically agree to the new plan terms until your service is allowed to lapse.

  • MooleyBooleyTroll


  • Plu

    This is ridiculous. Verizon doesn’t have to pay anything (like they do when they subsidize) AND they will offer no support. With all other carriers offering these unlocked phones at a decent price, it makes me so, so angry that Verizon is getting away with this.

    • Bionic

      I personally have never seen an unlocked phone brand new in the box from any carrier under $500. Unless you are talking about the play store.

  • Bionic

    I simply cannot justify $600 for a phone that you are tempted to replace in a year or less.

    • Well, the reality of the situation is that consumers may need to extend the lives of their phones. Treat your phone like a computer. Instead of replacing your phone every 1-2 years, replace your phone every 3-5 years. That’ll be my mindset once I pay full price for a phone.

  • SpikedRed

    Any chance that we might actually get a quad core in this summa beotch?

    • Bionic

      I doubt it, the quad core does not play nice with LTE

      • EC8CH

        Unless you live in Korea

      • Except Samsung’s home market of South Korea is getting a quad-core, LTE model. 🙁

        • Bionic

          It’s a different spectrum which DOES work with exynos quad core.

  • majormudafuckinhun

    You kidding me? This is awesome! I’m fukn in!

  • Still waiting for another Nexus device in the fall. No interest in this phone whatsoever.

  • SomeDooD123


  • Makes me wonder if the Galaxy Nexus will be the only Nexus device sold at Verizon. The first and only, if thats the case…then im jumping ship..I will never buy a nexus device with an encrypted bootloader.

    • rockstar323

      I was thinking the same thing. Google will probably sell one through the play store in the future.

      • Not A Name

        Technically, can’t you use an LTE only phone. I know that voice and other things are over 3G, but can you counter that with Google Voice?

        • CapnShiner

          Calling is not done through 3G. Calling is done through the regular CDMA 1x connection. EVDO is data-only. LTE will eventually support voice through VOIP but it’s still in testing. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as an LTE-only phone anyway. Closest thing to that right now would be an LTE tablet. As for Google Voice, the only carrier that currently lets you use your Google Voice number as the primary number is Sprint.

      • …IF VZW let’s them. CDMA isn’t the same as GSM, can’t just swap Sims… vzw would have to authorize the phones to work on their network.

        • Since its an LTE device, its activated purely through SIM, not OTA like 3G devices. So, yes, they really could sell them through the Play store if they wanted to.

          • My understanding was that while that stands true for the LTE data connectivity they are not obligated to activate CDMA voice devices that they don’t wish to? I think VZW would still have to authorize the devices…

  • Patrick Sullivan

    Just want to remind everyone that they have 14 days from the time they ACTIVATED their phone to return it, not 14 days from the order date.

  • Kizipotamus


  • NorCalGuy

    Nice hopefully moto will follow suit with the RAZR maxx HD super duper when ever it comes out… also hope it has onscreen keys plz… but any way still cool that there are companies out there listening to the consumers still and not just doing what ever Vz says

  • akazerotime

    So in VZW lingo “Developer Addition” means, Pay us $600 plus tax and we will give you a phone with no warrenty. You have a problem, bro? Talk to Samsung. By the way, enjoy your “share everything plan”

    • There you go.

    • Josh Nichols

      Verizon isn’t even selling this phone..

    • Chronon7364

      God, it’s tempting to return my GS3 and pay the extra 300 for an open device. I’m not one to go to extremes such as leaving Verizon, but it seems awfully appealing to have an unencrypted GS3.

      • cruzfl0w

        Or you can sell the gs3 with a locked bootloader and buy the unlocked one without having to spend an additional 300 dollars. Craigslist is your friend. I am seriously debating selling my 32 gig gs3 for 50 less retail price and either get the developer gs3 or wait until the next nexus.

    • CapnShiner

      First of all, it’s “Developer Edition” not “Developer Addition.” Second, it’s not sold by Verizon. You don’t pay Verizon for the device and because it’s off-contract you don’t have to get Share Everything.

      • Prime7

        Developer Addition: you pay an *additional* fee for *developer* options. Makes sense to me. 😉

    • angermeans

      I see what you mean, but Verizon isn’t making the money on this. This is all Samsung making something available as they can clearly see that some want the option. I really wish they would stop locking down phones, but you gotta give Sammy some credit as we dont see Moto providing any other options and this article tells me one thing that Verizon is still somewhat good with allowing it as long as they dont have to replace phones that irresponsible people brick (or think they bricked) and calling in whining that something happened to it. There is a reason that wireless providers make these decisions and if people would just do some damn research before rooting their device, or better yet take responsibility if they mess it up we might not be seeing this at all. I am sure that a bunch of money is lost every year because of this reason alone. Now I will agree that this is only part of the problem as they clearly also did it to keep people buying their hotspot too. I can see both sides, but you would really be surprised how many people make mistakes and then call and make up a story and wireless carriers just have to take their word on it.

      • Doesn’t Moto offer a devoper edition RAZR?

        • Only for the Motorola RAZR. Supposedly they were evaluating offering one for the DROID RAZR, but it never materialized.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Because it was universally SLAMMED by every blog or website that had anything to do with Android. Yet this site gave “props” to Samsung for offering a “developer edition” phone. That is complete bull sh it.

          • gSheep generally love Samsung and suck up to this manufacturer, no matter what they do.
            Motorola, being the only manufacturer who gets QWERTY right, always gets bashed.

          • Christopher Riner

            I mean come on, unless you’re super low on the economic scale, an additional couple of hundred bucks is totally worth it to a person who lives with their phone.

            Hell most people pay $300 just for something that they’re only going to use to talk, text, and look at porn.

            Yeah, a lot of people complained about the price, but at least its an option. Hell I’m a college student (translate: broke) who’s been worried about my nexus getting old and what I’m going to do when it’s time for the next badass phone to come out. I can’t leave Verizon bc they are literally the ONLY carrier that provides service where I live. Seeing this at least gives me hope that even if I do have to shell out an extra 300 bones, I’ll have a fun device that I know I can do whatever I want with, and that it’ll be for something that I can stand to use for two years.

            edit: btw, you aren’t the old angelface are you?

          • Mack

            New or old, he needs to go just like angelface.

          • kixofmyg0t

            I’m not saying anything about the price, I have to buy phones full retail now.

            What I’m saying is bullish it is why everyone thinks the “developer”, edition of the S3 is ok but a “developer” edition RAZR was met with such harsh criticism.

          • Hunter

            Motorola doesn’t exactly have as good of a dev friendly track record as Samsung does hence the criticism.

            No need to get all worked up about it, its just the internet.

          • vibbix

            Didn’t the international Droid RAZR have it’s bootloader locked, while the S3 has a unlockable one?

          • Mack

            Chill there MotoBoy

          • LiterofCola

            Eh-freakin’-xactly dude.

          • Motorola’s offering didn’t benefit anyone unless they want to buy an unlocked phone that works on AT&T. This version is specific to Verizon, something Motorola was unable or unwilling to do. Pretty big difference there.

          • kixofmyg0t

            I’m just angry because of the fact. This Site covers more than just Verizon devices and while you are right it wouldn’t have benefitted Verizon customers… It would have been better than nothing. Who knows if it would have gotten the green light it could have possibly led to a CDMA version. The dev S3 doesn’t help people who already bought an S3. I’m just mad that the first time that Moto shows signs of doing the right thing, it’s met with universal hate that’s all.

      • Stewie

        Where do you believe that Samsung could make an unlocked device available to go on VZ’s network without their permission? In this case permission = kickbacks.
        Personally I woudl have rather seen Samsung grow some balls and simply tell VZ it’s unlocked and staying that way. they would cave, plain and simple, otherwise to see what income they would be passing on.

        • angermeans

          I don’t believe that they could, but I also believe that Verizon isn’t making money on these unlocked phones. It isn’t some ploy to make more money. It is simply Samsung making an unlocked device for those that want it. No where in my post did I say that could make an unlocked device to run on Verizons network without their blessing.

          I also would have liked to see Samsung make an unlocked device, but for Samsung to demand Verizon is very unlikely. The only company that can do that is Apple.

    • Christopher Riner

      developer “addition”. I see what you did there (if it was on purpose, heh)

    • NAM37

      And don’t forget that with the shared data accounts you’d basically still be paying the per-phone subsidy.

    • mike

      I wont be getting any more subsidized devices, as I’d like to keep my unlimited plan. This is actually a godsend for those in the same boat that want an S3.

    • akazerotime

      Just for the humans that didn’t see what I did there, I did intend to put it as “Addition” not Edition since this is being allowed to be added to the VZW network. I did mistype when i said Pay Us, meaning VZW. I should have went with Pay Sammy for a phone but there is no warrenty with VZW. I am sure people are going to think they can get Asurion protection to circumvent having to go direct to Sammy for out of pocket support which is an additional cost to the end user. Unless I missed a VZW change, yes you are going to be in a SEP unless you go prepaid. How long do you think someone will stay on their old unlimited plan? To me, it’s just a matter of time where we get a letter in the mail that says “thank you for choosing VZW but we regret to inform you that the unlimited data option is being discontinuted and we have chosen for you the 4gb plan”. Didn’t they try that with people that pre-ordered to use their upgrade before SEP was launched? I mean what good is this phone going to be for Joe WholikestotryRoms can hit 2gb of data in a 2 1/2 week span going from ROM to ROM? I just think this is another cop out by VZW. Just my 2 cents.

  • KennyVeltre

    But why not just unlock the boot loader on the normal one?

    • Josh Nichols

      Because they do not like when people tether LTE using their old unlimited plans and as far as I know, this is the last phone people could buy and keep unlimited data.

      • Bionic

        exactly, they know apps like foxfi exist as well.

        • Allen Byrd

          I was just about to say this. FoxFi RULES.

      • I am using FoxFi right now on my GSIII, it doesn’t even require root, much less an unlocked bootloader! Too bad it doesn’t work on HTC phones.

      • Timothy McGovern

        You can still tether with a locked boot loader. You just have to root.

      • You don’t even need to root in order to tether anymore. They don’t want to support people who brick their phones and then want Verizon to fix it. Its a purely CYA move, and since its their network, they are fully entitled to do so.

  • Well, since they won’t take my unlimited data without prying it from my cold dead hands, this is the price I’d be paying anyway. Hrm.

    • CapnShiner

      I hope you realize they can take away unlimited data as soon as your contract expires. Even if you don’t renew and sign up for a different data plan, they can change whatever they want when are not contractually obligated to anything. All they have to do is notify you of the changes.

      • I wish more people would realize this fact. Unlimited data is already dead. It may continue on in zombie form for another 2 years, but really…its dead.

      • ostensibly

        I thought VZW specifically said they’d honor an unlimited data plan until a subsidized phone purchase forces a transition to a shared data plan. Looking for a link but that’s what I remember.

  • Dlongb13

    I feel for who ever pre-ordered one.

    • Why? I had a $100 upgrade before 6/28 coupon. So I pay $150 for a 32gb model. Sell it on ebay. Use money for unlocked version and keep my unlimited data. I feel for whoever was on unlimited data and didn’t pre-order.

  • at least samsung gets it. nice job sammy.

  • chris125

    Hopefully the devs will be able to port this to regular sgs3 devices.

    • Josh Nichols

      Replied to wrong comment. Oops.

    • UKFan4Life

      hopefully that is correct. debating on taking the S3 back and getting the Galaxy Nexus. Holding off another 13 days to see how far the developers get. Anybody have any thoughts?

  • John Murray

    If it really isn’t subsidized, and you wouldn’t have to renew your contract, why not? Better than paying full price for the secured bootloader version to keep unlimited data at this point since it’s all shared data now..

    • Droosh

      Very good point… for my next purchase. The pre-ordered GSIII was my last subsidized purchase.

    • So true, it’s easy to forget that contract phones are actually still owned by the carrier (hence they ding you for leaving before your contract expires). They are trying to protect their technical training teams by not having to support everyone and their dog’s favorite ROM.

      • No, the carrier does not own the phone if you sign a contract. You own it 100% from the day of purchase, all the contract does is guarantee to them the loss on the sale of the hardware is worth it in the long run. If you break your contract, you pay the ETF. If you don’t pay the ETF, they don’t come repossess the phone, nor do they even want the phone back. They just blacklist it, send you to collections (I would assume, I’ve never had an ETF before) and go on.

    • AlexKCMO

      Completely agree, I don’t see what the outrage is.

      Since I’m stuck with VZW and the only way for me to upgrade my Rezound will be to purchase one unsubsidized. The Galaxy Nexus is $649 and this is $600.

      I think the important thing is at least there is an option. There important thing is 1) Will developers still work with this phone (VZW CDMA Version) or have they already run away and 2) Will this phone be slightly different and force ROMs to be different.

      • Given the restricted binaries associated with CDMA and Verizon’s LTE, ROMs will need to be a little different. However, it should be as simple as porting around the current Motorola VZW line-up (D3/D4/Bionic/Razr/Maxx)

        • AlexKCMO

          I’m sure there will be ROMs for it. I don’t see developers not being able to get a CM9 or AOKP on this now that there is an unlocked version. It may actually help development. If they use something similar to 2nd Init, they can give the “non-DE” devices the same ROMs with a different method.

          All I’ve been reading is a bunch of kids who think they’re entitled to have everything their way.

      • People just want to have their cake and eat it too. “Give us unlockable bootloaders!!” “Okay, here’s a phone with an unlockable bootloader, but you’re going to have to pay extra because it’s not subsidized.” “THAT’S RIDICULOUS! We made you do something and now you’re making us pay extra?”

      • LiterofCola

        Completely agree, let the bitchers bitch.

  • I can feel the flames errupting from so many current S3 owners .

    • KleenDroid

      Only the ones that preordered to protect their current phone plan. There wouldn’t be anyone who would get the locked version otherwise that care about such things.

      • Nick

        Verizon gives 15 days to return phones, so they can do that.

        • 14 days.

        • CapnShiner

          And it’ll cost a $35 restocking fee. I’m also not sure if they will refund that new upgrade fee they started charging.

      • Nicholas Sparks

        The pre-ordered one can be sold on ebay, use that money to buy the developer phone. Problem solved.

      • So you think that nobody who cares preordered theirs? Pretty much everybody I see/know did… Nobody knew it.would be locked.

  • kashtrey

    This is total garbage. If Verizon is truly concerned about unlocked devices damaging the performance of their network they wouldn’t allow these phones to be activated. It’s all about getting an extra buck here. They could easily have both a developer edition and consumer edition in stores and subsidize both. Have someone come in and have to explicitly ask for the Developer edition and make it a pain to get i.e. half an hour of “are you sure you want this” and “you could void your warranty.” It’s VZW’s prerogative but it doesn’t make it any less infuriating that they feel they can do whatever the hell the want as America’s “best” and “largest” carrier.

    • kashtrey

      Also, when this doesn’t sell, I’m sure Verizon and Samsung will use it as “evidence” that no one really wants unlocked bootloaders and never even offer the option again.

      • chris125

        I’m sure they wont announce this anywhere so it won’t sell except for those who are into this kind of stuff.

        • Diablo81588

          That’s what they’re trying to achieve. They don’t want random Joe who stumbled across a forum post about flashing custom kernels to screw up their phone. They only want people who know what they’re doing to buy this version of the S3.

      • If only they said things were the way they are before they had people pre order.

    • Josh Nichols

      “all about getting an extra buck”?

      If the phone isn’t subsidized and you’re buying it direct from Samsung.. how does that mean Verizon is trying to make money off of this?

      • Bigsike

        I would say because Verizon refuses to sell this and Samsung is just stepping in with an option. But the money will eventually go back to Verizon when you activate the phone. They will be getting paid no matter what.

        • AlexKCMO

          What does this have to do with “getting an extra buck”? They’re making the same buck one way or another, but with this they don’t need to support the phone you potentially broke because they’re not selling it to you.

      • Cgmartin33

        Verizon wouldn’t make as much selling a non subsidized Samsung as Samsung… they don’t want the VZW bloat removed for the obvious reasons…so why back a developer device like this one? F’ing Nazis

    • AlexKCMO

      Can you please explain how it’s about getting an extra buck? They get nothing from the sale of this phone since it’s being purchased through Samsung directly and they don’t get a guaranteed ~$2400+ on a new 2 year contract.

      They could easily have both a developer edition and consumer edition in stores and subsidize both.
      Verizon isn’t entitled to subsidize your phone. When AT&T didn’t subsidize the iPhone, people spoke with their wallets and purchased it. AT&T had to cave and started subsidizing the phone because they saw how large demand was and how much more money they could make by forcing contracts onto people.

      If you want to make a difference, show Verizon with your wallet how important an unlocked boot-loader is and purchase this phone. Supply & Demand 101.

      • Stewie

        simple, how do you think VZ is going to allow those phones onto the network hmm? Kickbacks from Sammy.
        If that is not the case, the Sammy could have just released all of them unlocked and VZ would not be able to do anything about it.

        • AlexKCMO

          Is this you in the picture?

  • What is the GS3 without its software that Samsung has provided compared to the GNex.

    slightly larger screen,faster processor,better camera and more pixels.
    Is it worth $600.00 for that ?

    • Same pixels FYI.

    • Allen Byrd

      You forgot the extremely slim body and 2 GB of RAM for extremely fluid operation. I tried it out at the T-Mo store, and I really love it. You can feel the 2 GB of RAM in the phone.

      • Kodros

        “You can feel the 2 GB of RAM in the phone.”

        I don’t think you know what RAM is used for.

      • CapnShiner

        How did you feel the RAM? I doubt the T-Mobile employees would let you take it apart to see the components inside. lol

      • Yeah, my Nexus operates so un-fluidly… especially on 4.1…..

  • Bob

    This is some horseshit…

    • Hocky

      Why? This phone is made for people like us. They are going to put in the Share Everything plan regardless… So why buy a full priced SGS3 to keep your unlimited plan when you can buy this and have an unlocked boot loader?
      And yes I’m thinking the same thing (They shouldn’t have put the Share Everything out in the first place and they should have just unlocked the boot-loaders to begin with) but this is better than what Verizon usually does which is leave us COMPLETELY dead in the water.

      • Because many of “us” have already pre-ordered and received the locked version…

  • moelsen8

    verizon’s a big piece of sh*t, aren’t they?

    • t3chi3

      As soon as Sprints 4G towers go up…. Bye bye big red.

      • Sorry, but LOL.

        • Allen Byrd

          They’re planning on rolling out soon. Once they get support in my region, I might think about not hating Sprint so much as my current carrier.

          • AT&T is still about 270 some markets behind Verizon. Sprint will be nowhere to be seen soon.

          • Allen Byrd

            Meh, I guess you’re right. I’m still trying to figure out which one I hate less (AT&T or VZW) in case I leave Sprint.

          • JoshGroff

            AT&T prepaid plan + GSM unlocked Nexus devices (or any GSM unlocked devices in general to get those nice timely updates.) As much as I hate AT&T, that is a pretty solid plan.

          • MotoBlurrWich

            Sorry, Sprint’s 3G network blows pretty bad, everywhere I’ve ever lived (up and down the Pacific Coast, in fairly well-populated cities). You’re telling me you expect their 4G service to be much better? Maybe if they lease bandwidth from Verizon’s towers that actually fully cover areas. I hate Verizon, but I at least I have service everywhere 😛

          • Man, I am with you. A smartphone without signal, or a 4G phones with only 3G service, is a piece of junk. In NYC, you just can’t beat Verizon’s 4G service.

          • michael arazan

            I’d like to see every one return their VZW S3 and go get the unlocked one from samsung on vzw, that would be hilarious. Too bad no one knew about this before the phone went on sale or before preorders began, verizon and samsung really kept a lid on that one.

          • solomonshv

            95% of the people buying the Galaxy S3 on verizon don’t give a flying fish about an unlocked bootloader. only the people with too much time on their hands do.

            walk into a verizon store and check the demographic. mostly technically challenged wealthy people and soccer moms. as far as they know, any form of unlocking constitutes roaming fees, even if they are home.

      • AlexKCMO

        Replace “OP” with “Sprint”:

        • You have a problem, bro? Talk to Samsung. By the way, enjoy your “share everything plan...MayorMoney.blogspot.com

        • But OP always delivers, unless OP is a fagot.

          • AJA0

            OP never delivars. OP is always homosex.

    • Yes they are, but this article isn’t really why.

  • This is the perfect solution for Android geeks with unlim data. New phone, unlocked, no contract extension. This is the perfect solution. Now, if only Google/Samsung/ZVW could make the same type deal on the GNex via the Play Store….

    • Yes, I know that those who pre-ordered before the l;ock-in date (June 28th) are screwed, but this is good for the rest of us.

    • chris125

      except the gnex in play store is a hell of a deal. This isn’t really a deal unless you are into roms and that, even then its not really a deal.

      • True, it is a great deal (the non-LTE GNex in Play Store) which is why I’d love to see the same deal on an LTE GNex in there. The SGS3 “Dev Ed” is a fair price, not a great deal, true, but for people who do care about ROMs, it is a near-perfect answer. People who don’t care about ROMs shouldn’t care about locked bootloaders anyway.

  • I paid full price so it would only cost me a restocking fee. But I am curious with thing like, all roms for the locked ones work on my dev unit? Also, still won’t help most devs being that the main users will be “locked”

    • CapnShiner

      locked bootloaders only prevent ROMs and kernels from loading. Developers make apps too. Some developers need full access to the device to test their apps.

  • Murphy

    $599…sure, let me get right on that.

  • F…… finally! Now who would keep the verizon version after hearing this? Time to send it back and order this biatch when it’s available!

    • chris125

      who knows when it will be available though.

      • that phone was released, but it was the Motorola RAZR, not the DROID RAZR by Motorola, which are two separate devices.

  • LOL

  • Tyler Chappell

    LOL It all makes so much sense now! “Hey there folks, we were just trollin, we had the bootloader unlocked the whole time, we just wanted more of your $$$. That concludes this announcement!”

    • It’s not wanting more money, same price…. Just bullied by Verizon… Don’t know why Samsung caves, they have plenty of power to tell Verizon how it will be for this phone.

      • Tyler Chappell

        I of course meant more money up front, which for some people, isn’t always an option.

      • rockstar323

        I could see Samsung agreeing to lock the bootloader as a compromise for not having to make a Verizon specific device with different hardware.

    • CapnShiner

      You are way off. Verizon is not selling the unlocked version. It is sold directly by Samsung. Verizon does not make money from selling phones anyway. They make money on the ridiculously expensive service plans. Part of the reason why they require a contract to get the subsidized price for a phone is so they can recoup the cost of the device. That being said, Verizon does make more money by charging the same for the service without having to subsidize a phone. You were just misunderstanding the reason why.

      • Tyler Chappell

        Turn on your sarcasm detector next time pl0x

  • Greg Morgan

    I hope Moto is paying attention…

    • Mapekz

      They did this, or tried to, with the RAZR Developer Edition. This is the result of it: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1419815

      In short, developer edition phones are stupid. The original phone should be the developer edition. Preventing people from unlocking a phone ‘to ensure maximum user experience’ is like preventing someone from using a computer at all ‘to prevent heating up the components to ensure maximum performance and user experience.’ VZW needs to let the people do what they want and only provide customer support for non-modified devices. Everyone is happy, OEMs included.

      • chris125

        Agree 100%. How about you just offer an unlock tool like htc. None of this BS. This is almost as bad as moto announcing the razr then a month later the maxx without telling anyone they had the maxx coming soon.

        • Josh Nichols

          Except HTC’s unlock tool is far from perfect and does not do as much as a bootloader unlock on a normal phone.

          • Mapekz

            Josh Nichols, I like the reference, haha. Unless that’s really your name…that would be awesome.

            Personally I think HTC is done for unless they come out with another Nexus. They screwed up bad last year with multiple terrible devices and the only real good one (Rezound) was outclassed so quickly.

  • Stupid Verizon


  • rodney11ride

    And theres the foot in the a$$

  • Shweet!

  • Immolate

    Enough to buy a phone for $599? Not me. I can see selling the Verizon phone and buying this one though.