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HTC Announces SIM and Bootloader Unlocked One for $649

htc one developer edition

HTC, for the most part over the years, has been mostly hacker and tinkerer friendly. In fact, at one point in 2011, their CEO came out and said that they would never lock another bootloader after hearing a wave of backlash from customers. We know now that his word didn’t exactly stick as their sales dwindled, they lost negotiating power, and carriers put pressure on them, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried their hardest to keep their phones open. 

Tonight, they announced that there will be an HTC One Developer Edition. It’ll come SIM and bootloader unlocked with 64GB of internal storage, the same 4.7″ 1080p display as the regular version, Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB RAM, front-facing BoomSound speakers, support for HSPA+ (850/1900/2100MHz), and LTE (700/850/AWS/1900MHz).

The phone will retail for $649 in the U.S. once it launches in the U.S. There will be “limited quantities.”

I hate to say it, but isn’t this essentially HTC admitting that they are locking the hell out of the carrier-tied versions? If so, that’s extremely unfortunate. We know from history that most tech enthusiasts could care less about paying full retail for a device just because it has an unlocked bootloader. Samsung and Motorola have both tried this move with little success. Sure, it gives manufacturers and carriers an excuse to say, “We gave you an option,” but that doesn’t mean it was the right option.

Via:  HTC Blog

  • Who cares? Device is still stuck in 2 years ago. On. Screen. Keys. and ditch sense for AOSP with a few tweaks. They will fly off the shelves.

  • flosserelli

    It’s good they are making “limited quantities” to match the “limited sales” this phone will muster.

  • chris125

    Hope when this comes to verizon they offer this, i mean since I have to buy outright to keep unlimited data anyway

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Why does this have to mean HTC is Locking Down US devices? Doesn’t Samsung have a DEV edition of the S3?…. I don’t think much of it. But if you’re going full price…why not get this?

    • JoshGroff


  • I love my Note II but I got to mess with one of these at work the other day and if it had a bigger screen, I would def be getting it. Just feels like a way better build and the speakers are amazing.

  • Why would I pay $650 for an unlocked phone when I can buy two Nexus 4 for the same price?

    • JoshGroff

      Storage, LTE, higher end specs, better build quality?

      • I agree with those reasons, but it still wouldn’t be worth the extra cost to me.

        • JoshGroff

          I wouldn’t buy it over the Nexus either, just playing the devil’s advocate.

          • And a good advocate you are. I love the Nexus4 which replaced my Thunderbolt. Never been happier.

      • tomn1ce

        and for some of us….to keep unlimited data…

    • DoubtfulOne

      I can’t fathom why anyone would buy a non-LTE phone? I just don’t get the N4 at all. I was struck the same way by the iP4 for the same reason.

  • Finire

    Not sure I’d pay that much for an unlocked bootloader, but give me a clear and durable back like that…..

  • David Dudovitz

    I hate Samsung for their crappy TouchWiz UI which IMHO makes the iPhone’s skeuomorphic design look good by comparison. Samsung products never give off that premium feel that HTC’s do. I just hope they’re around in two years when it comes time to replace the DNA.

    • Tim242

      And sense is so fun to deal with and look at…give me a break.

      • michael arazan

        I hate all skins, every manufacturer should release one stock android device a year lika a nexus, and just watch how much they sell. They should take all the skinned add-ons and just make them apps for that device, and if the apps become popular then sell them in the market for more profit for all other phones to use.

        • shooter50

          Hey, great idea!! Those Nexus phones sell so well and the general public can’t stop talking about pure Android. I bet if they make all phones 3G like the Nexus 4 they’ll sell even better.

      • JoshGroff

        Either throw on a different launcher or change the ROM… Really not that big of a deal.

      • cortesjues

        personally sense is the best looking of the skins IMHO, the only problem was that in the past the skin was so software intensive that the phone lagged, but with the new phones this lag is completely gone. I will always prefer stock android though

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    I guess HTC lovers won’t fervently hate the Galaxy S4 anymore, because at least we know that Samsung won’t lock their bootloaders on any carrier that doesn’t rhyme with “Horizon.”

    • Ibrick

      You’re implying Samsung doesn’t lock the bootloader?

      • Correct. Only the Verizon variants of the Samsung phones, starting with the Galaxy Nexus, have shipped locked from the factory. However, the Galaxy Nexus is the only one that is unlockable officially, so the S3 and Note 2 (haven’t confirmed the Strat 2, but I would assume as well) are officially locked down and meant to stay that way.

        All Samsung phones before that – the Continuum, Fascinate, Charge, and Stratosphere have come fully unlocked straight from the factory.

        • All phones are shipped with locked bootloaders. That prevents people from accidentally messing up their phones without warning. Unlockable phones (truly unlockable like a Nexus) only take an ADB command to unlock the bootloader, but the user must subsequently accept that their action has voided their warranty (officially, at least). Most “unlockable” devices have either gained their unlocked bootloader through hacking (using exploits, engineering software, etc.) or are not fully unlocked (HTC Dev unlocks, which are still S-On).

          TL;DR: No phone is ever shipped from the factory unlocked, but some are easier to flash non-factory software on than others.

          • On the Samsung handsets I listed, there is no “fastboot oem unlock”, no accepting warranty voiding terms, just fire up Odin/Heimdall, put it in Download Mode, and flash your unsigned tar of whatever you want.

            Thus, they came unlocked.

    • cortesjues

      I could be wrong, but didn’t i take forever for the s3 to be unlocked and rooted?

      • KleenDroid

        The SIII was lucky enough to get a leaked unlocked bootloader.

        If every manufacturer would “accidentally” leak an unlocked bootloader we would be able to choose which phone we really want.

      • flosserelli

        It took a few weeks, although it seemed like forever.

        • cortesjues

          i seems all phones take a few weeks ato get unlocked and rooted nowadays lol except moto… took forever for all my moto phones

  • I hope that HTC regains something. Competition is great for consumers and right now it looks to be just Samsung and Apple.

  • snowblind64

    Hmmm, only $300-350 more than a SIM unlocked Nexus 4. So worth it. /s

    Though I am envious of the Snapdragon 600.

    • JoshGroff

      Not to mention the inclusion of LTE, higher end specs, better build quality, and more internal storage.

      • This^

        For some reason the Nexus 4 just doesn’t do it for me… I wanted to like it so bad but after holding one and playing around I had to go for the DNA.

        • JoshGroff

          Went with the Note 2 here, but mainly just because I had enough in Best Buy gift cards to buy it using my friend’s upgrade. Traded him my TF Prime for the upgrade though. The battery life on this beast is quite surprising though.

        • Jon

          By far the best device that I have ever owned. And that is saying something. Other than my first mobile device, iPod 2g, it is the coolest and the one that I am always most excited to take out of my pocket 🙂

          Not sure why others aren’t fond of it?

        • Droidzilla

          I was a bit underwhelmed when I saw the initial release of the Nexus 4, but after owning one for months I can confidently say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Best Android I’ve used to date by far.

  • this wouldnt be a bad buy if youre looking to keep unlimited data

  • HTC is on a roll for pissing off the rooting Android community.

    • Butters619

      The AT&T One X was a nightmare for a while and lost a lot of Dev support because of it 🙁

      • S2556

        I know when I got my gs3 a lot of the devs had jumped from the HOX over to the gs3

      • Mike Reid

        Thankfully talented devs hacked S-Off into the OneXL. Sad the International version is still S-On.

        I wonder if HTC dev device will be S-On ?

        This move really does little for encouraging ROM development, since most of the people with these phones will have locked versions.

  • aNYthing6

    Boo, no penta-band for HSPA+ … oh well.