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Verizon Support is Telling Customers the Galaxy S3 Bootloader Will Soon be Unlocked Via Software Update? (Updated)

Update:  We just heard back from Verizon, and they said that there will not be an update to unlock the bootloader on the device. The confusion with customer service reps has to do with a software update that will unlock GSM roaming, one of the scenarios we talked about last night. To be honest, it wouldn’t have made much sense for them to release a software update to unlock this device knowing that Samsung is selling a developer edition.

By now, you all know that the bootloader on Verizon’s Galaxy S3 is locked (signed), right? And you also probably know that Samsung has plans to release a developer edition that can be unlocked, only you have to fork out $599 to get it. Well, what if Big Red’s stance has changed, all of a sudden?

On Friday afternoon, we received an email from a reader who had received a response from Verizon’s support, concerning the bootloader situation. The email is below, but it essentially says that Samsung will be releasing a software update that will allow the device to be unlocked. There isn’t a date for the release, but it could be “soon.”

Being the skeptics that we are, we emailed Verizon’s PR to see if this was true. While we have yet to receive official word back, we are seeing other signs that point to a software update as a possibility. 

Here is one of the original emails that started this whole thing:

My name is Levar and thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless about the boot loader for the Galaxy S3. I know this may be frustrating but there will be a solution soon coming. Samsung will be releasing a software update to unlock your device. Right now, we do not have a date for the release but it shall be soon.

Verizon Wireless appreciates you as a customer and your patience in this matter.

Have a great weekend!

Verizon Wireless
Customer Service

After seeing that email, we started hearing from other readers who were receiving similar responses. To make sure this wasn’t some giant conspiracy, I too jumped onto Verizon’s site and chatted with a sales rep. I asked as plain as day if the bootloader situation was ever going to change. The rep said “it’s going to be unlocked via Verizon soon.” It appears as if he checked into some sort of support system that mentioned an unlock update.

Here is a screenshot of the chat I had moments ago:

To add to that, another reader went directly to Samsung to see if they could get a response. Below is a screenshot of that response, however, it’s a tad confusing. The important part reads “There will be unlock tool that will be released for the Galaxy S III version from Verizon as of this moment.” It seems like he forgot the word “not” since he ended with “as of this moment,” or there actually is an unlock tool coming. Tough to tell, you guys decide.

Here is an email response directly from Samsung that talks about a tool:

As of now, we are under the impression that there may be a solution on the way. We aren’t sure if it’s simply poor communication about this “developer edition” of the phone, which technically hasn’t even been announced yet or if Verizon has approved a software update. Something is definitely going on, but until we hear back from Verizon with an official response, let’s try not to get too excited.

Others are also under the impression that this has to do with a global unlock, so that you can take your phone overseas, and that reps are simply confused. Again, let’s wait until we hear something official.

Cheers Peter and Chris!

  • you know its funny, my contract is up and im still undecided what to get either the GNX or the SG3, i like the SG3 but knowing samsung which there not to great on updateing there devices like lets say Asus or Acer this update push for the SG3 is not going to happen in the next 6 months or even the next year. just look at there tablets, to this date my SGT 10.1 has not been update to ics and thats been more than a year same goes for verizon. at this point im locked in my mind not know what to get or if to get any phone at all…not to mention giving up my unlimited data plan…i think at this point i need a miracle, if not bye bye verizon

  • tomn1ce

    It’s not going to happen, VZW is not going to unlock the bootloader…its a nice thought but it isn’t happening…

  • Buckoman

    Just asking, but when this supposed update is released, what would be the point of having the developer edition?

  • PC_Tool


    The way their first two statements read, they won’t be simply offering a way to manually unlock the devices, but that the update will, in fact, unlock every VZW SIII. Proof they have no idea what they are talking about and that all of this should be taken with a titanic grain of salt.

  • James_Kernicky

    “But don’t take my word for it” – Levar Burton…I didn’t know he was at Verizon now!

  • It sounds like fear of people taking their complaints to the FCC since they are in the market to buy more spectrum.

  • Stewie

    In related news, all moto users woke up this morning to find their bootloaders were unlocked via live software update that went out at midnight the 16th… In addition this update removed BLUR, overclocked their processors and cut voltages automatically, causing a 2-3x increase in overall speed and responsiveness. Furthermore, the software update changed the DPI causing all screens to now be rendered in Pentile HD.
    Lastly, the updates caused the data sharing plans to dissappear from Verizons systems for affected phones.
    Shall we continue ?

  • Pretending to be a manager, putting down our website, and just being plain rude. I can’t deal with these people anymore.

  • That’s great news for the galaxy s 3 fans. i hope Verizon unlock it for you.

  • nightscout13

    I will not sleep as of now.

  • Sorry but it will never happen
    Verizon unlocking a boot loader?
    I would bet my house against it

    • Doan

      I accept your wager.

  • a) The support rep simply confused the unlock of the GSM version with the unlock of the bootloader, or

    b) Samsung would indeed provide a software patch, but anyone paying the subsidized price will have to pay the difference to get that

    I just don’t think Verizon would be so nice to us.

  • JDub429

    If they do it I hope it’s in less than two weeks because I just ordered a Nexus from them.

  • angermeans

    I assume I’ll find out tomorrow.

  • Sith77

    I know I’m beating a dead horse buta holy hell , there more people waiting and aggravated over ICS for rezound than the unlocked boot loader on new galaxy !!!!!!!! Come on already wtf

  • Maybe the only reason Verizon locked the bootloader was to make sure everyone stayed OTA-able and once they unlock international capability, they won’t care.

    • Sky_Guy

      Hey! That makes some sense….

  • dylan84

    Gotta say I actually laughed when I read the title of this article. There’s no way Verizon is going to unlock the bootloader on this phone. The support people are definitely just talking about a global radio unlock.

  • This should be 100% proof right here…disregard ie

    • thats the best convo yet good job

    • nightscout13

      Playing the dumb customer card? LOL it worked….

      • evltwn

        I spoke to 2 customer service agents, and they were the dumb ones. 1st had no clue what a bootloader was, and the 2nd claimed there was no software update scheduled to be coming out for the S3.

    • You sir, are awesome. But seriously, get chrome.

    • michael arazan

      Remember that Verizon’s definition of “soon” is 6 months