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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!

Sincerely,
Levar
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!

  • http://twitter.com/nerdydesi Nerdy Desi

    Damn, got my hopes up! :(

  • luke
    • http://www.facebook.com/JohnAdamBenson Adam Benson

      lol what a horrible convo. hate these brain dead people. probably talking to 50 ppl at once

  • Killer4247

    They are confusing it with unlocking the radios for global use which they stated that they would do during preorders. They are not now or ever going to unlock the bootloader.

  • J Dub

    Read this already. Was deemed bogus. I really don’t see what the big deal is. Just release a tool to do the unlock. They talk a bunch of smack about how they don’t want blah blah blah. That would make sense if all VZW phones were locked. The Incredible 4G can be unlocked and was also just released. So VZW is OK with it having an unlocked/un-signed bootloader, but not the GS3? Flatulence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.dirte.334 Joe Dirte

    This is about unlocking the phone for global use, not anything to do with the bootloader. Original thread on XDA has been updated.

  • verizonkillspuppies

    Never going to happen…has the past and present not taught you anything about Verizon!? They tell half truths to keep you as a customer. Remember when moto said they would unlock. Plus they need to unencrypt not just unlock.

  • BAoxymoron

    You know it might be possible that when samsung announced the developer edition verizon wasn’t excited about losing the money/contracts and so they agreed to unlock instead… and it also may be how many people were planning on ditching the phone… who knows

  • http://twitter.com/clearnano ClearNano

    MOTO Y U NO UNLOCK RAZR

  • ABerry5

    my money is on that support agent thinking about samsung releasing the developer version and it came out as a software update I’ll believe it when I see it

  • reyalP

    Too late! I left Verizon on Friday. First they screwed up the Nexus and its updates and then they lock the bootloader on S3. They are like Apple, they want to control the end user even after they purchase the products.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000372600312 Joseph Pojunis

      “they want to control the end user even after they purchase the products.” Name one carrier that doesn’t do that?

      • verizonkillspuppies

        Pre paid unlocked no contract carriers like Straight Talk Sim

        • k_nivesout

          Isn’t that the carrier that will, or at least can, boot you from the network if you actually use your smartphone as a smartphone? Looked at their T&C and was disappointed.

          • verizonkillspuppies

            You can use 100mbs per day and 2gigs per month. No contract, no etfs, nexus for 350. People are even using more than 100mbs per day by leaving proxy blank in apn settings. 100mbs per day is a small price to pay to save $40-$50 per month. Tmobile’s prepaid plan let’s you use 5gigs per month for you $30 per month.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimmy.leang Jimmy Leang

    I love you for telling me this! I got two S3s and this is the best thing Ive heard since this phone came out.

  • interstellarmind

    i bet these reps are confusing it for the global “unlocking.”

    let’s not forget that vzw emploees are often totally ignorant when it comes to tech info about the phones (i blame vzw for their poor training, not the techs).

    HOWEVER, if this turns out to be an actual bootloader unlocking that VZW is contemplating, then, well, i’ll be the first in line to actually praise vzw for once listening to their customer (and I will reward them by continuing to pay my extremely high family plan bill every month).

  • kinfolk248

    Just get a damn Nexus!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tcali

      And pass up the s3?
      You are funny!

      • http://profiles.google.com/lwvyruz luke woodruff

        I just got a nexus for 250 on craigslist.

    • panzerapple

      I would but the gf is refuses to accept using the cloud and wants the sd card slot.

    • http://profiles.google.com/johnslangster John Lang

      Sure, get a nexus, get a phone that gets super hot to the point that you need to pop off the battery for it to cool, or even better, it wont last more than 16 hours with a 3800mah battery attached to it, sure, yeah, get a nexus.

      • http://profiles.google.com/johnslangster John Lang

        16 hours with the LTE disabled, wifi off and bluetooth off.

  • chris125

    I think it will just be the unlock to global capability. I would love if it is the bootloader but doubt it.

  • David in ATL

    Smart if big red does unlock. I received an SIII email advert from them last week to which I promptly replied… “locked bootloader? NO THANKS!” Maybe every now and then the squeaky wheel does get the oil (or at least the unlock!)… fingers crossed.

  • cybik

    What about the razr?

    /justTrollin

  • Xeneize480

    FUNNY THESE IDIOTS COMPLAINING ABOUT BOOTLOADER LOCK HAVE APPLE COMPUTERS HAHAHAHAHA GET WITH THE FLOW IDIOTS GET SOME LINUX COMPUTERS =)

    • Tcali

      I have a linux & windows vista (dual-boot) & have the s3…

  • jaybar

    I’ll stay hopeful, but like many have said I’ll believe it when I see it

  • edwards311

    The email in the article is what I recieved from Samsung and then forwarded to Kellex. When I contacted Samsung I specifically mentioned the bootloader and that I wanted to install custom ROM’s and kernel’s. I would think that is hard to confuse with unlocking the phone for global roaming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Omar-Amer/100000249789319 Omar Amer

    I just want to say, Verizon Reps dont speak Dev.

  • jspangenberger

    so not convienced (until I see it) … they are going to pull a fast on us …. give us the
    global unlock then kill any custom recovery + kexec we have now … then laugh
    at our faces ..

    • http://twitter.com/DroidKl0wn Droid Kl0wn

      I could see that happening… Backlash would be nuts though

  • athensjohn

    It would be interesting if Verizon is confusing unlocking the bootloader on existing phones with releasing a developer phone. Verizon is saying the a bootloader unlock is coming, but Samsung is the one selling the developer phone. Unless I am mistaken, Verizon is not the one selling the developer phone – that phone comes straight from Samsung. I’m not sure why Verizon reps would inform someone of a solution from another company, but stranger things have happened.

  • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

    Samsung’s interesting wording.

  • ddevito

    Touchwiz gets a gas face

  • Robert

    Verizon is so stupid. Dont they know that people that unlock their phones generaly consume more data than the average user. They could be making so much more money off the people who dont have unlimited data.maybe this is why thier stance is changing now.

  • http://twitter.com/DroidKl0wn Droid Kl0wn

    I got a bridge for sale…

  • mustbepbs

    People are confusing reps and wording it incorrectly. You need to ask them about the ENCRYPTION on the bootloader, not unlocking it. By saying “unlock” they immediately think global capabilities, which is known to happen. I don’t get why people don’t understand this

    And now DL is making an article on this trash?

    • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

      Your request has been answered.

      • verizonkillspuppies

        Nowhere does it say they will unencrypt. Goodluck with your Verizon garbage phone.

        • nhizzat

          The SGS3 is far from garbage lol…A locked/encrypted bootloader doesn’t make a phone garbage. I see little reason to complain about not being able to flash a new kernel on the phone. I’d be happy with being able to flash AOSP which can be done

          • mitRoMoney

            Try flashing AOSP on a phone with an encrypted bootloader. Good luck with that. People with the Razr and Bionic are loving their AOSP right now. You think an encrypted BL won’t bother you, but it will….I was saying the same thing a year ago, until I experienced myself.

          • nhizzat

            I’ve use my sister’s SGS3 off and on since she received it. It doesn’t bother me at all, it didn’t bother me when I had the DX, and it wouldn’t bother me if I owned the Razr Maxx. I don’t care about kernels since I’ve found they give very little benefit in terms of battery life. I don’t care about overclocking because I’ve found that gives very little benefit when it comes to day to day performance.

  • fartbubbler

    the reps confused??? naaahhhhhh…….

  • Astronomik

    For what it’s worth, I sent an email to VZW asking this a few days ago. They replied today and said they had no info on an unlock and told me to contact Samsung. Screenshot:
    http://imgur.com/BDjkw

  • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

    My fingers are crossed X

  • rockstar323

    I’m assuming this will be an unlock tool like HTC has. It’s probably so they can see which phones have an unlocked bootloader so they can void the warranty.

    • cobjones

      lot of rezound owners claim they send back their phones anyways for replacement and no issues after unlocking.

      • rockstar323

        I hadnt heard that. Its good to know. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisCorp ChristopherCorpening

    Jacob? …am I on the right site?

  • http://twitter.com/hoodieNation hoodieNation

    yes please :)

  • Guest

    So why lock it in the first place?

    • http://www.facebook.com/JohnAdamBenson Adam Benson

      So when you unlock it you agree to void your warranty

  • JustAnAngryJOE

    Im smelling some Bull Sugar Honey Iced Tea. Talk is cheap i’ll believe when i see it.

  • Kutter Ross

    Good for SIII users if true but due to how hardheaded Verizon has been about the Razr staying locked I would be surprised if they allowed the SIII to bee unlocked as well. Just my 2 cents. Though if they do unlock it, there will be quite a bit of fuss from other users using other phones.

  • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

    sounds like bs. why sell a developer edition then?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      DEV edition isn’t even really official…. I guess it was Sammys automatic back up plan…

      • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

        well lets hope. this will be a good win for unlocked bootloaders

    • Southrncomfortjm

      Sammy selling dev phone probably caused Verizon to do this. They didn’t want a bunch of people buying off contract phones from Sammy when those are contracts they would miss out on.

      • http://twitter.com/neyenlives james

        i’d disagree. How many people would buy one? Like 100? The dev phone isn’t a way to make money, and Verizon isn’t missing any sales to it. I think the dev phone is a way to get the unlock tool to the community, like a Trojan Horse, by staying in good legal graces with Verizon. Otherwise the next Samsung phone sold through Verizon will be a flop….now due to THAT both companies will miss out on sales.

        • http://TransientTangent.com/ Blake Mitchell

          Tell that to the Razr Maxx owners who had a developer edition.

      • violator702

        Verizon would not let a phone on their network without giving the ok first.

        • 700mhz rules

          in reality they are suppose to be running and open app and open device network, per the auction rules.

  • Cb3ck

    There is no way this is happening. Not with the “developer edition” announced… It is absolutely inconceivable that Samsung would tout their unlocked phone only for Verizon to release a tool that makes all the other phones the same.

    I just can’t see it.

  • ddevito

    JB Voice Search > S Voice

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Kellex Voice > Google Now > S Voice

      • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

        They need to make a thing where you read a bunch of lines of selected text and then it uses that persons voice for the phone.
        Kind of like in Mission Impossible III.

        • droidman101

          I would so use Morgan Freeman’s voice.

          • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

            right!? and i can see random people who happen to have great voices uploading theirs to the net.
            Also, Bastion Narrator voice ftw!

          • droidman101

            Jim Parsons

          • calculatorwatch

            Good choice. Personally I’d like to hear Samuel L. Jackson saying “Here’s your motherfuckin’ search results.”

          • nightscout13

            How about Obama?

          • calculatorwatch

            Haha well he would give the results an air of reassuredness. Honestly though I don’t wanna listen to any politician talk more than I have to.

          • michael arazan

            OMG it would pause when talking every 4th to 5 th word.

          • sc0rch3d

            nah, James Earl Jones…..

      • jspangenberger

        Kellex Voice?

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          Haven’t listened to those smooth reviews lately have you?

          • jspangenberger

            :grins: Nope but as I was looking around the site (which I read sometimes) … i realized I was missing something. =

      • John

        Brown noser =P

        • jspangenberger

          =

        • nightscout13

          Isn’t if funny how they brown nose even on the web? LOL

    • fartbubbler

      this is absolutely true! I want the S3, but I don’t want to give up my Google Voice on my JellyBean GNex. Svoice is not even close.

  • ddevito

    Stock Jelly Bean sure would be sweet. Kudos to Big Red for redeeming themselves (if true).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Williams/579249547 Jonathan Williams

    Tick tock tick tock…

  • WalCs

    Not sure if Verizon is serious, or just wants to trick me into buying a locked SGS3.

    • cartisdm

      I read this in Fry’s voice

  • http://twitter.com/neyenlives james

    this is not real. every time someone contacts a rep, and says “unlock my bootloader” the rep hears “i want my phone unlocked”, as in the traditional sense…..of carrier unlocking, which in this case they are referring to the coming global unlock “feature” which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH A BOOTLOADER even though the people are saying “bootloader”. The reps are just completely ignorant and want to get you off the line. NOW, if you asked them what a bootloader is, and they gave you an intelligent response, I could have a little more faith in it. But I bet you money none of these reps even know what a bootloader is, let alone the status of any unlocker.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Danny-Yang/100000650290495 Danny Yang

      I can see where you’re coming from but it’s somewhat obvious to see the difference between a “global device unlock” and a “bootloader unlock.” Or I can be wrong and Verizon reps are too stupid to understand the difference.
      These idiots called the Galaxy S 3, the “Galaxy Nexus 3″ Really Verizon?

      • http://twitter.com/neyenlives james

        they dont care….they dont know…they aren’t going to say “im sorry i dont know what a bootloader is”. they will type in the terms “unlock” & “bootloader” in a database and it will kick back information about how Verizon is going to push a global capability unlock soon……they don’t have a clue

      • Michael Quinlan

        Obvious to us, but all *they* hear is “blah blah blah unlock”.

        • nhizzat

          Seems to me that they’re reading bootloader and unlock. There’s a big difference between a SIM and bootloader unlock…

    • Anthony_Armando

      agree, i highly doubt verizon is going to do an 180 suddenly on a locked bootloader.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y28e4cFHVqE&context=C400d214ADvjVQa1PpcFOiLGlDqf2sJr2k4TNISoJzm8bFM7wgYKU= TheAndroid1

      That was my first thought.

    • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

      If you need more proof, there.

      • http://twitter.com/neyenlives james

        someone ask a rep what the bootloader is…..ask them what it means to unlock a bootloader…..then we’ll talk

        • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

          Why do they need to know what it is? They arn’t idiots, and can read internal documents. And I’m sure the documents make it pretty clear what a bootloader is.

          • John

            You high?

          • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

            They are sales reps. They are trained to sell, am I right? Any human can see a difference in unlocked for global and unlocking a bootloader. The internal documents probably mention nothing about global. If I am wrong, you can make fun of me later. Until then, nether of us are right.

          • NewAge

            Sorry Timmy but you give them far to much credit. They’re training is far less than most of the normal Android fanatics that frequent these blogs. I am also thinking they didn’t understand the type of unlock you are talking about. They’re response did not say they boot loader would be unlocked but that the phone would be unlocked. The ambiguity is thick and always assume worse case. You assume best

          • nhizzat

            I see no mention of a SIM unlock. Each sales rep has said the same thing, bootloader unlock. Why would Verizon allow one of their phones to run on any other network?

          • interstellarmind

            i am willing to bet a lot that they don’t

          • https://plus.google.com/110773438514346746273/ tjhrulz

            I have a feeling they dont…

        • jeesung

          i have a rooted phone and am not completely sure what a bootloader is. :)

          • Tyler Chappell

            Sometimes I just think of it as the BIOS on my phone lmao, even though I know better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/JohnAdamBenson Adam Benson

        dude screw the S3 get that hot HTC Rhyme as advertised

        • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

          If you were serious, I would slap you in the face. But since I know your joking, can we take our S3′s and laugh in it’s face? ;)

        • Allen Byrd

          Man, what’s with all of the negative votes?
          Is sarcasm really THIS hard to see on the internet?

          • http://www.facebook.com/JohnAdamBenson Adam Benson

            Yeah people with no sense of humor lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Mei/789119685 Bobby Mei

    Awesome if true.

  • jpfrasier

    Just guessing but it would appear that English is not Carlo’s native language.

  • Southrncomfortjm

    So, um, can we mount a similar rebellion against the share everything plans?

  • termiNader

    Value of the phone will surely increase now. Should I still sell it? hmmmmm

  • http://twitter.com/NotAnotherTW Jordan Friedman

    Well damn. You yell loud enough and eventually someone will hear you.

  • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

    good damage control, verizon.

  • Dlongb13

    Fingers crossed.