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Verizon is Not Releasing a Software Update to Unlock the Galaxy S3 Bootloader

We just heard back from Verizon, and they said that there will not be an update to unlock the bootloader on the Samsung Galaxy S3. The confusion with customer service reps who were telling customers that there was an update on the way, has to do with a software update that will unlock GSM roaming, making the device globally ready. This was one of the scenarios we discussed 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. It’s clear now that your option, should a fully unlockable bootloader be a must, is the dev edition which now has a landing page.

Our focus returns to the developer community and the bootloader bounty which is up to $2315.

  • Gingerhead

    Verizon Wireless has a facebook page and wall. Regular comments there can advise potential customers of the Verizon actions.
    The Verizon version of the phone has been disabled.
    The Verison model is less capable than the phone purchased from other carriers.
    The Verison model is a downgraded version of Samsung is selling on other carriers.
    Version has made features unavailable on the phone compared to other carriers.
    Customers should be advised by Verizon that the phone they offer is defective compared to other carrier offerings.
    If there is enough calling them out on this it may have some effect.

  • TechGuy21

    again only Us nerds care about bootloaders.
    same for the ifans most of them dont give a flying ass about jailbreak,
    if you tell them to jailbreak their phone most answers will be “i dont wanna break my phone”

    so yeah average android users dont really give a crap. they will buy the phone no matter what.

  • Dude, that’s exactly what Verizon WANTS you to do. Verizon and several other US carriers have already stated they would like to move past the big subsidy model they now employ. They don’t think Unlimited Data will destroy their network, they want you to buy your own phone so they don’t have to subsidize it. They don’t care about the customer experience on an unlocked bootloader device, but they know you do and will buy the developer edition and they won’t have to subsidize it. The best part? They know since the phone you just bought with no contract for $600 can only be used on their network, thus you have effectively locked yourself into a new contract with Verizon’s network and they didn’t have to pay a dime on your new phone.

    • brando56894

      But there’s one hole in your theory: why lock down all other phones that don’t have a “Developer Edition”? If I bought my Rezound at full price it doesn’t magically make it S-Off.

      If that’s truly what they want, then why don’t they just come out and say it instead of giving us the run around with double-speak? If they just came out and said “Hey if you buy your phone at full price we’ll unlock the bootloader for you and won’t install any bloatware!” I’m sure they would get more people that actually care about modding to buy a phone at full price instead of threatening to leave and spreading bad stuff about them to other people. Word of month is one of the best marketing tools. I can’t tell you how many of my friends asked me all the time “What Android phone should I get?”

  • pewpew

    folks, we only have 14 days return policy..Lets go!

  • sporttster

    Think there needs to be a bounty to unlock the BL on the Razr as well. It’s a great device with a ton of potential.

  • In other news: DUUUUHHHHHHHH

  • Salam Zebian

    I’m surprised people actually bought that, why would they unlock the boot loader and sell the `developer` edition for $600

    • brando56894

      Verizon isn’t selling it, Samsung is.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    its stuff like this that drove me to ditch big red and go back to at&t…i get good signal and their LTE network so i aint missing VZWs coverage and i really dont miss all the BS they feed everyone…GSM is the only way to go IMO

  • MrEnglish

    Here’s a tip VZN, that whole “best cellular” service angle is only going to go so far before it’s outweighed by your BS. (yea I know, they’re shivering in their shoes)

    • brando56894

      That’s really the only thing they have going for them. My girlfriend just got the SGS3 on AT&T and just for the hell of it I did a speed test to compare with my Rezound using the same physical location (inside a TGI Friday’s) and the same server. Her ping time was 81ms while mine was 80ms; her speeds were 6Mbps up and .5 Mbps down where mine 20 Mbps up and 3 Mbps down!

  • MrEnglish

    This just in: Verizon says “FU” to customers, follows by saying “Meh, who need ’em?”. I’d have more respect for them if they’d come out and say hey folks, we’re totally full of sh** and all we care about is draining every penny we can from your tech addicted asses. Now pay up and go away with all your petty consumer wants.

  • Michael Quinlan

    I understand developers wanting to take on the challenge of the locked bootloader, but wouldn’t their effort be better spent working on devices from developer-friendly manufacturers and carriers? Buying locked devices from Verizon, only to turn to developers to have the device turned into what it should have been all along, and voiding the warranty in the process, only encourages Verizon to continue with their current practices. If developers publicly announce no support for such devices, some people would think twice before buying them, knowing there will be no root or custom ROMs.

    • k_nivesout

      Yes! This is basically the gist of what supercurio said, and I think he hit the nail right on the head. Refer to his tweets (@supercurio) regarding the Verizon SIII to see what I’m talking about.

  • hackthis02

    I wonder what the odds are that XDA will reverser engineer the developer edition and make the Verizon version unlockable?

  • >> The confusion with customer service reps who were telling customers that there was an update on the way, has to do with a software update that will unlock GSM roaming

    Exactly one of the two possible outcome I predicted in the original post. But it’s not difficult to predict — this kind of thing just won’t happen in Verizon.

  • They do not want to unlock the device to prevent people with unlimited data from free tethering.

    • You don’t have to unlock the device to perform free wifi tethering. You just need root access, which is already possible with this model.
      Heck, I can do it with now without even rooting the device, thanks to a free app on the Google Play store called FoxFi!

  • Looks like CM has a workaround for it, so it may not matter much… https://plus.google.com/117962666888533781522/posts/amkBtU8G9cr

  • Bruce Wayne

    0% of reps are trained on bootloaders, call any verizon and try to talk to them about a bootloader and there will definitely be confusion. On another note so mad my brothers have sprint and they keep rubbing thier unlocked GS3s in my face!