Um... yeah... Here's why your Phone has Locked Bootloaders...

Tig Bitties

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Sep 6, 2012
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I have always liked this tech reviewer, he's smart and funny. And runs a **** ton of Android rooting how to guides for all the popular phones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpVocvREboo&list=UURAxVOVt3sasdcxW343eg_A&app=desktop

https://www.facebook.com/howtoblog

Here's an inside look at why your smartphone such as Galaxy S5, Note 3, and LG G3 has locked bootloader on AT&T or Verizon.

Um... yeah... I think I will cancel my AT&T and Verizon service tomorrow.

Please Share this video with as many people as possible so AT&T and Verizon gets this message and unlock our bootloaders on phones that we've already paid full price for!
 

mustafu

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Feb 27, 2014
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I would hope that the effort goes somewhere, but I am most sure that at$t and Verizon both have no incentive to do so. Most users don't know and don't care about rooting and unlocked bootloaders, though I wish this was different.
 

Tig Bitties

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If you root and ROM, chances are unlocking the bootloader isn't going to be much of an issue. XDA has some really smart cookies. ;)
Unfortunately ATT puts a locked bootloader on the popular phones, like the Galaxy Note 3, S5, and new LG G3, you can't get past it. They have bounty threads on XDA, offering thousands of dollars $ to help crack these phones and help unlock them, and no one can.

Look at the XDA threads for the ATT S5, Note 3 and G3, it's a ghost town with ZERO development :(
 

Lloydbm41

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Unfortunately ATT puts a locked bootloader on the popular phones, like the Galaxy Note 3, S5, and new LG G3, you can't get past it. They have bounty threads on XDA, offering thousands of dollars $ to help crack these phones and help unlock them, and no one can.

Look at the XDA threads for the ATT S5, Note 3 and G3, it's a ghost town with ZERO development :(
Haven't really gone to XDA in a while; pretty much since I stopped bothering to root and customize. Another reason to stick with phones like the Nexus (or any other you can buy direct from the company like Lumia's and Moto X's) I guess. No carrier B.S.! I hate U.S. carriers (except for T-Mo) with a passion.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
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My phone has a locked boot loader because Verizon doesn't want to be held accountable for when I storm into their store screaming at them that my phone doesn't work after I deleted important system files.

That's also why Verizon offers me models that have unlocked bootloaders for people who know what they're doing.
 

mrex

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Jul 16, 2014
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My phone has a locked boot loader because Verizon doesn't want to be held accountable for when I storm into their store screaming at them that my phone doesn't work after I deleted important system files.

That's also why Verizon offers me models that have unlocked bootloaders for people who know what they're doing.
Ehm... What?? Could you explain how do you delete system files when the phones bootloader is unlocked? Are you mixing things like rooting?
 
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MRU

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Ehm... What?? Could you explain how do you delete system files when the phones bootloader is unlocked? Are you mixing things like rooting?
I suppose they mean if you did a bad flash of a rom or fecked up recovery etc....
 

Risco

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Jul 22, 2010
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Unfortunately ATT puts a locked bootloader on the popular phones, like the Galaxy Note 3, S5, and new LG G3, you can't get past it. They have bounty threads on XDA, offering thousands of dollars $ to help crack these phones and help unlock them, and no one can.

Look at the XDA threads for the ATT S5, Note 3 and G3, it's a ghost town with ZERO development :(
I don't see the issue with locked boot loaders if you buy subsidised from a mobile provider. You need to remember the carrier will essentially have to provide support for the life of the contract and dealing with custom firmwares is a nightmare for tech support.

If you want a choice, it is really simple. Buy a phone out of contract and don't moan about the cost. You can then take as many risks as you want. People seem to forget that when you are getting a subsided phone you are paying for it over the entire length of the contract. What I do think should be allowed is the option to unlock the boot loader once the contract has been fulfilled.
 

Tig Bitties

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An ATT phone has a locked bootloader no matter what. If you pay the full $649 for a Note 3, still the same exact locked phone as the $200 subsidized phone.

Actually ATT is the worst in the past two years. At least Verizon will sell a "developer" edition version that is unlocked, which is a full priced phone sold online only. But if you on ATT just buy the international version of your phone, which is unlocked and works on GSM networks.

Just sucks ATT does this. I had the Note 2 on ATT, and it was unlocked from the start, back then ATT didn't do this. And development on the ATT Note 2 was huge, with a thriving community, tons of cool developers, and AOSP ROM's, etc...then the Note 3 came out, and ATT went the opposite way and locked it down hard, and the ATT Note 3 development is a sad place. No custom recovery even 10 mmonths later :(
 

gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
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Yea I am on att and will never buy a att branded android device. Bring your own phone for sure. Sucks that it has to be this way..

Buy unlocked from the OEM if that is available, or buy T-Mobile devices..
 

Tig Bitties

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Thankfully HTC has been developer friendly lately. The One M8 on any carrier can be rooted, and has a custom Recovery, and can flash a GPE ROM :D

HTC even has their own bootloader unlocking website, that openly and officially allows you to unlock the bootloader on the phone, legally :cool:

Why can't Samsung and LG offer the same thing ?

----------

Why doesn't Samsung officially sell unlocked phones on their own website ? If they do it's news to me, or just a very select few phones, for maybe one specific carrier ?

Like when the Note 4 comes out in September, and if on ATT stay far away from the ATT Note 4, it will be locked down hard, but let's say I want to spend the $700 on a full retail version of the Galaxy Note 4, what are my options ? Not ATT, that full retail version will be the exact same phone, locked down. And Samsung doesn't sell a GSM unlocked phone on their website, they maybe do for Verizon, but not for ATT or T-Mobile, so I need to go to third party and buy an international version :rolleyes:
 

gotluck

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For the note 4 you should be able to buy the tmobile version from tmobile, though it may be tricky getting them to sell it to you with no service. Secondhand would work if that fails. Don't think there are any other options for notes if you want LTE. Unless international model supports our bands, which I don't believe has been the case in the past

If I wanted a locked down device I would have stuck with Apple :(

Htc is wonderful in this regard. Moto sells unlocked on their website, or buy gpe / nexus
Believe tmobile lg and samsung are both unlocked
 
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Tig Bitties

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For the note 4 you should be able to buy the tmobile version from tmobile, though it may be tricky getting them to sell it to you with no service. Secondhand would work if that fails. Don't think there are any other options for notes if you want LTE. Unless international model supports our bands, which I don't believe has been the case in the past

If I wanted a locked down device I would have stuck with Apple :(

Htc is wonderful in this regard. Moto sells unlocked on their website, or buy gpe / nexus
I LOVE the GPE phones and Nexus phones too, I bought my HTC One M8 mainly on principle, that HTC is being developer friendly and open with unlocking it. I rooted it, and now run the GPE ROM, and this has been my most fav Android phone out of all 13 Android's I have owned in the past four years.

A weird thing is though, if your willing to shell out the $700 for the full retail version of a phone, why doesn't ATT sell that Galaxy Note totally unlocked, and bootloader unlocked too ? Your paying full price, it's your phone now, not subsidized, it should be unlocked.
 

gotluck

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Aye, don't have an answer for that. I suppose if only because it is easier for them. Like since I have gpe, they will not help me with issues with the actual phone. If they sold me the phone, there are some obligations.

I wish you could sign a waiver to get full access, apple included.

I hope regular computers never end up like this...
It's funny how the ability to muck with the system is only a cardinal sin in mobile devices..
 

556fmjoe

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Aye, don't have an answer for that. I suppose if only because it is easier for them. Like since I have gpe, they will not help me with issues with the actual phone. If they sold me the phone, there are some obligations.

I wish you could sign a waiver to get full access, apple included.

I hope regular computers never end up like this...
It's funny how the ability to muck with the system is only a cardinal sin in mobile devices..
I was reading an article the other day written in the early 90's after Unix became mostly free software. The author was ecstatic that computers were no longer tied to the OS they came with and that you could now view and modify the source code of the OS running on your machine, install a different OS if you want, etc. It's fascinating how since then we've wrapped right back around and the trend is going towards locking devices down again.

I wish I could find the link to it.
 

gotluck

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Dec 8, 2011
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I was reading an article the other day written in the early 90's after Unix became mostly free software. The author was ecstatic that computers were no longer tied to the OS they came with and that you could now view and modify the source code of the OS running on your machine, install a different OS if you want, etc. It's fascinating how since then we've wrapped right back around and the trend is going towards locking devices down again.

I wish I could find the link to it.
It's as if for some reason these devices aren't considered computers :)
 

jrswizzle

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Aug 23, 2012
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This is another huge plus for the iPhone - though I suppose you could look at it a few different ways.....

Ultimately though, Apple is large enough in the US to keep carriers for adding bloat and other nonsense to the devices. The iPhone may be "locked down" but at least its locked by the OEM (and, oh by the way - jailbreaking unlocks the device fully). Carriers are businesses trying to make money - and by its very nature, Android is open to modding by ANYONE. When you purchase a device from a carrier (especially subsidized), you do so knowing what you get.

That's why I stay away from carrier branded Android devices. Maybe there are some concessions with the Nexus line, or I'd have to pay a little more for the GPE GS4, but all of that is worth it over having a bunch of carrier stuff on my device and the inability to get rid of the things I don't want.
 

556fmjoe

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Apr 19, 2014
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It's as if for some reason these devices aren't considered computers :)
Agreed, and I think there's a cultural difference that makes it somehow expected that mobile devices will be locked down. Personal computers were adopted initially by tech oriented people. All you got in the beginning was a command line, so it was not something the average person would just pick up and use. These adopters were interested in hacking stuff to get it to work their way and wanted to tinker with their system. That mindset exists today with desktops. Laptops came out en masse much later, but the mindset was still largely the same. They were always more locked down than desktops, but were close enough to desktops that people still expected to be able to control and modify them.

Mobile devices are very recent and are aimed directly at the mass market consumer who doesn't care about the OS and just wants to use it. They have no expectation of or interest in the ability to tinker with their device. The OEM can get away with locking this down entirely because the userbase doesn't protest it and the attitude toward them is much different.
 

Tig Bitties

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This is another huge plus for the iPhone - though I suppose you could look at it a few different ways.....

Ultimately though, Apple is large enough in the US to keep carriers for adding bloat and other nonsense to the devices. The iPhone may be "locked down" but at least its locked by the OEM (and, oh by the way - jailbreaking unlocks the device fully). Carriers are businesses trying to make money - and by its very nature, Android is open to modding by ANYONE. When you purchase a device from a carrier (especially subsidized), you do so knowing what you get.

That's why I stay away from carrier branded Android devices. Maybe there are some concessions with the Nexus line, or I'd have to pay a little more for the GPE GS4, but all of that is worth it over having a bunch of carrier stuff on my device and the inability to get rid of the things I don't want.
My last iPhone was the 3G, been on Android and happy ever since. My point is, only iPhone I'd buy again is if the Jailbreak is available for it, but from what I read, the JB releases come out less frequently lately, and harder for these iPhone's to be Jailbroken ?

I like to have full custom control of my smartphone, and rooting and unlocking is a must for me on an Android phone, and Jailbreaking is a must for me if I buy an iPhone.

So when the iPhone 6 comes out in September, it won't be jailbroken until next year, and when ? At least an HTC One M8 can be rooted and unlocked immediately when it came out.
 

jrswizzle

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Aug 23, 2012
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My last iPhone was the 3G, been on Android and happy ever since. My point is, only iPhone I'd buy again is if the Jailbreak is available for it, but from what I read, the JB releases come out less frequently lately, and harder for these iPhone's to be Jailbroken ?

I like to have full custom control of my smartphone, and rooting and unlocking is a must for me on an Android phone, and Jailbreaking is a must for me if I buy an iPhone.

So when the iPhone 6 comes out in September, it won't be jailbroken until next year, and when ? At least an HTC One M8 can be rooted and unlocked immediately when it came out.
True enough - so you make your choice based on the options. My point was, you know that certain carrier devices have an unlockable bootloader - that is an option one considers when purchasing a device.

The idea that any of these companies OWES you or I anything is ludicrous. You don't like the feature set, don't buy it. In my opinion there isn't a perfect device out there yet so you're always making concessions. Might as well make concessions you can live with.

And it is getting harder and harder to jailbreak. But its also getting less and less necessary. Unless you simply want to have an unlocked device because of principle, many of the "jailbreak" features have come to iOS over the last few updates and iOS 8 will add even more.
 

Tig Bitties

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True enough - so you make your choice based on the options. My point was, you know that certain carrier devices have an unlockable bootloader - that is an option one considers when purchasing a device.

The idea that any of these companies OWES you or I anything is ludicrous. You don't like the feature set, don't buy it. In my opinion there isn't a perfect device out there yet so you're always making concessions. Might as well make concessions you can live with.

And it is getting harder and harder to jailbreak. But its also getting less and less necessary. Unless you simply want to have an unlocked device because of principle, many of the "jailbreak" features have come to iOS over the last few updates and iOS 8 will add even more.
Good points. I chose the HTC One M8, for the specific reason that is was easily rootable, and could be officially unlocked on HTC's own website, and the GPE ROM could be flashed to it :) And I have the ATT carrier version too.

I am open minded to going back to an iPhone, my biggest complaints were the small screen size, and no widgets on the home screen. Now if true and the iPhone 6 is 4.7", that is the bare minimums size I like for a screen, I might be tempted to go back. We'll see
 

0000757

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Dec 16, 2011
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Ehm... What?? Could you explain how do you delete system files when the phones bootloader is unlocked? Are you mixing things like rooting?
When you mess up when you try to flash a ROM, you can corrupt internal data easily, turning your Galaxy St into a Galaxy P(aperweight)
 

mrex

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Jul 16, 2014
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When you mess up when you try to flash a ROM, you can corrupt internal data easily, turning your Galaxy St into a Galaxy P(aperweight)
That is another story than having a phone with or without a locked bootloader. You cant access system files without rooting.