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Galaxy S4 Bootloader Unlock Not Available Until Verizon’s Version is Released

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4

Dan Rosenberg (@djrbliss) posted a teaser photo this morning of his success at cracking the bootloader on the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. The initial reaction by most was, “When will the method be released to the public?!?” After a minimal wait, the answer has been given and is quite obvious if you think about it. Dan is waiting for Verizon to release their version of the Galaxy S4 at the end of May. Why would he do that, you ask? 

For one, there is no guarantee that his method will work on Big Red’s version of the Galaxy S4. But more importantly, if it does, he doesn’t want Verizon and their security personnel to have a chance to patch his exploit before release. If he were to release this phone now, Samsung and Verizon would have plenty of time to work on a patch, then making it even more difficult for users who buy the device to ever unlock it.

Here is the quick Q&A he went through over at XDA this afternoon:

Is that the AT&T-branded Galaxy S4?
Yes. It wouldn’t be very interesting otherwise. 

Does this allow you to run custom kernels and recoveries?

When will this be released?
I will not be publishing anything at least until the Verizon-branded Galaxy S4 begins shipping (late May).

Does that mean it will work on the Verizon model?
It is highly likely this will also work on the Verizon model, but since I don’t have one I’m unable to test at this time.

Will bothering me result in an early release?

Is this the result of a leak?
No. I would not associate myself with the publication of confidential materials that are proprietary to these companies, regardless of the fact that I disagree with their policies on device openness. Plus, where’s the fun in that?

What about the bounty?
Feel free to wait until I publish and decide for yourself if it meets your criteria. As always, I prefer any donations go to a reputable charity organization instead of me, but I won’t refuse if you insist on throwing money at my PayPal (http://goo.gl/zBGb0).

Is it safe to install OTA updates?
If you are interested in taking advantage of this release, it is recommended that you avoid installing OTA updates until it is published. Please be aware that refraining from installing updates may prevent you from receiving security and stability fixes for your device, and consider whether this is a risk you are willing to accept.

I can’t help but admit that this whole situation is extremely amusing. The thought of Verizon sitting around for the next month trying to figure out the bootloader unlock method of Dan’s is quite entertaining. Will they patch it before the device is in our hands? We’ll see.

Via:  XDA

  • I agree with you. I’m please can you help me as I can find the imformation I need. Thank you very much!http://usb3gvn.com

  • regbs

    Verizon’s network is great. Its disregard for consumers and common decency is a disgrace. It’s bad enough having to unlock your phone. The idea that VZW would go out of its way to stop that it pathetic. I am disgusted how VZW clamored for a Nexus, got it, then went back on its word – blocking Google Wallet to name only one app, and delaying updates. I’m rooted and unlocked but it shouldn’t be necessary. This will likely drive me to Apple. I’ll be sure to write Samsung and Google. It’s telling that Google can’t deal with Big Red any more as evidenced by its 2013 I/O announcement of its S4 standing in for a dedicated Nexus. FU VZW. I’m stuck w u for unlimited data. Like you’ll really go broke allowing customers to do what they want with the phones they’ve paid you over a thousand dollars for thru contracts.

  • I’m getting to tell you one issue which will cause you to urge a large head, but here goes.

  • Y8

    this text is sensible, informative and literate. I consider the validity of your content and have a good respect for your work.

  • I was going to buy one but I think I’ll wait for Verizon’s Version is Released

  • LaLaLa

    All this is totally Greek to me… a technology layperson trying to figure out if I can use the Galaxy S4 on my trip to Turkey once the unlock is available. Thank you so kindly if you can answer this for me. Have a good day!!!

  • I was waiting on buying a S4 until the bootloader was unlocked, This sort-of meets that requirement, I may pick one up this weekend. Still need to hold one in my hands to make sure that it’s not too big to use one handed.

  • Krishaun27

    Hes right, Verizon pushed an update to the Galaxy Note 2 exynos exploit root method pretty fast

  • Dude’s just on FIRE lately…

  • trwb

    You people always hating on Verizon, but you still use their service and buy their phones. Try something different for a change, Verizon will not change until they lose money. Even then they might not change, they are greedy dicks. BTW between att.mvno or tmo.mvno you can get service just about anywhere in the country.

    • Only complaint I have for vzw is their crap attempts to rein us in and raise their prices. My unlimited data plan is great and the speed and coverage can’t be matched in this area. They even have good customer service imo. My wish is to know who makes the terrible decisions like cutting upgrades and limiting data while expanding high speed service (not to mention ordering sub-par phones such as only 16gb S4s). That mother has earned a kick to balls from every customer in the country.

  • Geoff Johnson

    Just be glad you guys can use the GS4 for the 29 days you have to wait.

  • tfast500

    I cannot fathom why networks choose to lock the boot-loader wouldn’t having an unlocked boot-loader and root generate a larger community which would = higher profits for both the manufacture and the network?

    • They believe the returns from idiots bricking phones and stolen tethering would outweigh any sales bump from being unlocked. We just need dev editions available

      • tfast500

        Well even so the data 2gb restriction would keep the wireless tether inbound… and there are non root tether programs like foxfi that are availab.. and as far as bricked phones go… they could void any kind of warenty for bricked phones from the use of cfw and I’d be fine with that

  • Jimneezy

    If it were me I would release it and if Verizon patches it and people don’t buy then good for them, let them loose money

  • brian

    i think i know his method of always pulling off these hacks. It’s a bag full off sarcasm he has permanently attached to his hip. Never the less the dude is awesome

  • VicVicVic

    Based on experience and history, if Verizon tries to patch it, they won’t be able to release the S4 until the Christmas holiday season.

  • Ibrick

    Almost makes you wonder why these companies even try to make it so difficult to unlock their devices.. They have to know the bootloader will be cracked sooner than later.. More often than not before the device is even released..

    Make it so the average consumer can’t unlock anything they shouldn’t be messing with by accident and let the rest of us do what we please.. Just seems like such a small percentage of consumers are going to unlock their device for one, and two, have the unlocked device actually cost the company money, that it’s a waste.

    Put your resources into making a better product instead of attempting to stifle devs.

    • Tyler

      Agreed. Plus it can also make it riskier i believe. There is less risk unlocking a nexus phone then one that has been all locked down.

    • Not quite, anyone who’s owned a Motorola device knows that getting the bootloader unlocked is not a given. The Droid X came out in the summer of 2010 and it’s still locked up.

      • Ibrick

        I assumed people were smart enough not to include the encrypted Moto bootloaders into my comment..

      • Greenzone560

        There are methods to unlocking the Droid X…like rolling back on updates and firmwares.

  • Dan is the man. We are not worthy

  • RaptorOO7

    Ask any GN2 owner how quickly Verizon can patch something, once bootloader and root was achieved they had a patch out pretty friggin fast. In fact Verizon pulled ALL of their inventory to reflash and pushed out an update, so yeah Verizon can do it.

    Glad to see the Dev is waiting.

  • schoat333

    I can see it now, VZW press release, they have pushed the GS4 release back indefinitely.

  • Nate

    Smart decision. Actually a big middle finger to VZ. Love it. 😛

  • Bigwavedave25

    Hahaa! I love it… Esp when the “consumer” devs are smarter (or just as smart) than the ones trying to keep us from truly owning our devices and a sort of chess game ensues.
    “Go ahead, give it to us, I got something for you..!”

  • T4rd
  • MichaelFranz

    this is the smart and right thing to do. If people can not wait 29 days until release then shame on them. Poor moto qcomm owners waited many months…

    • Droid 2 and Droid 4, still no unlock for either.

  • ddevito

    S4 Owners: you bought the wrong phone


    • Brandon Golway

      Having an unlocked S3 or S4 is pretty damn similar to having a Nexus. I have the Gnex and my girlfriend at the time has a S3, I was bragging about how I had 4.2.2 and she didn’t…then about two days later she had a ROM of it. So yea, the s3 and s3 don’t get it the same time as the Nexus devices do but they do get it a hell of a lot quicker than most other phones.

      • brkshr

        I’ll disagree with that. I sold my S3 for the N4. You may get a custom ROM on the S3 soon after the N4, but it is NEVER as stable as the N4. The international S3 still has bugs on CM a year later. Every time I venture away from the Nexus line I am always disappointed with bugs in AOSP/CM. There is no way to beat a Nexus with it’s published sources. I think there has been one hardware bug in CM nightlies for the N4 in 5 months now, and it was fixed the next day.
        Edit:Also, on the S3, a lot of things won’t work right until the kernel is updated with an official update.

        • TheDrunkenClam

          Well said friend. And so true. There are always issues with Non Nexus phones. Also a lack of choices. My brother can’t seem to find any other AOSP ROM choices other than Cyanogen for his GS3(and de-touchwizzed ROMs don’t count because they still contain the framework that causes issues).

          • MicroNix

            What issues?

        • My note 2 is stable and perfectly fine. Id say it’s a small chance that anything is wrong.

        • Brandon Golway

          I’ve always had problems with most of the roms that I run on my Galaxy Nexus, so have a lot of other people also using a Galaxy Nexus. But there are some oddities like you’re talking about: my roommate has the S3 on T-Mobile and his camera doesn’t work on Carbon, my ex has has the S3 on AT&T and her camera works fine in Carbon. Like WTF?

    • of course there is a war of who bought the right phone and such, but really – get over yourselves. Every person looks at all the available phones and picks the best one that meets their needs. Not everyone cares about having an SD card – i do so a nexus is crap to me. Not everyone wants the most up to date google OS – I don’t, they are buggy and usually available in a custom rom. Each person makes their own mind up so we really shouldn’t bash each other. Now as for the icrap people, it’s on like Dony Kong!

      • Tim242

        Preach it bro!

    • Tim242

      The Nexus 4 display has issues. The S4 screen is great…and that camera is amazing.

      • KleenDroid

        I would choose the Nexus 4 in a heartbeat if it were a Verizon phone with 4g.

        • Tim242

          Have you actually used one? The display sensitivity is way off. When you pinch to zoom, nothing happens until your fingers are 2 inches apart. Scrolling is a bit off as well. I’m dropping Verizon and my unlimited plan tomorrow. I’m going with at&t. It will cost less than buying phones full price on Verizon.

          • KleenDroid

            I have not tried it so I could be wrong. I am curious how you like at&t, let us know.

          • Tim242

            I tested them out a few months ago, with the Nexus 4. Their service is on par with Verizon here. Their LTE is spreading fast here as well. I cancelled mainly because I was scared to let go of my unlimited. But, I realize that I don’t need it anymore.

          • AndroidUser00110001

            I have not had that problem on my Nexus 4.

    • I’ll buy a Nexus when there’s one with a keyboard.

  • Greg Morgan


  • brkshr

    Smart man!

  • ranlil

    Seems like big red has better things to do

  • gregmr

    Verizon won’t patch it before it’s released. They couldn’t even push out timely updates to a Nexus phone!

    • anon

      Dude they are pretty quick when its in their own interest.
      So as hell if its in the customers interest.

      • anon


        • Hightop


    • brkshr

      No, but they have delayed phones weeks & even months.

      • gregmr

        Again, like the Nexus

        • michael arazan

          And after the release it will take verizon 6 months to update the phone or longer so by then people will have unlocked the device and there won’t be anything for verizon to do about it.

          • Greenzone560

            It won’t “relock” it unless you flash an OEM booloader.

          • svartalf

            Which Verizon MIGHT just do to you as a “security” update.

        • TheBigNoob

          I’m not saying their notorious, as I’ve been a Verizon Customer since 2009 their technical team has been very bad about getting android updates out to phones. However over the past 6 to 8 months they’re starting to change my opinion on the matter.

          Regarding the Samsung Galaxy S3:

          Verizon pushed out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update in March this year, a few days after it was reported that Samsung was ready with Android 4.1.2 for its devices and would be releasing it shortly. Verizon is also the only U.S. carrier to have a confirmed Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update leak. The impending Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update leaked a while ago, hinting that Verizon is hard at work getting the software ready for release.

          I’m not saying they don’t have a tarnished track record, but I think they are aware that they need to get their act together, and the whole Nexus debacle was the catalyst to speed updates to consumers.

          Didn’t the Galaxy Note 2 for Verizon start to get 4.1.2 today as well?

    • DanSan

      lol who you kidding…. when it actually comes to real needed updates, like OS upgrades you’ll lucky if you will ever see it.

      when it comes to making sure you cant root or unlock the bootloader, the update pushes before u even make the walk from the verizon store to your car

      • Jay

        LOL @dansan382:disqus I have to agree! stupid carrier and their monopolized company!