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Unlock your bootloaders

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Unlock your bootloaders

I know I speak for a great number of people in the Android development community when I say AT&T's software policies are terribly restrictive. We need the ability to unlock our Android phones' bootloaders to do many of the things we do, particularly using other variations of the Android operating system. In recent years, AT&T has chosen to use signed bootloaders, which cannot be unlocked. Unfortunately, that hurts and limits developers who want to access the full potential of their devices. Because of this, many users have moved to T-Mobile and other carriers who choose to make their bootloaders accessible. The T-Mobile variant of the LG G5, for example, was unlockable, but the AT&T variant was not. I have not purchased a phone since my Galaxy S4 because it has been so hard to find a phone that has the features I want as well as an unlocked bootloader. Samsung phones usually have all the features I want but they haven't been unlockable since the S5. I would have loved to buy a Galaxy S7 last year, but AT&T and Samsung are both partially responsible in choosing to lock the bootloader. (I will get on Samsung's case later.) Please reconsider your policies and be more welcoming to the Android development crowd.

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Message 1 of 44
Employee

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

It's just never going to happen. If people want free and open, do not purchase branded devices. That's about all that can be said on this issue. A branded phone contains proprietary software and it's subject to copyrights which include not modifying anything. 

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 2 of 44
ACE - Expert

Re: Unlock your bootloaders


mberemand wrote:

I know I speak for a great number of people in the Android development community when I say AT&T's software policies are terribly restrictive. We need the ability to unlock our Android phones' bootloaders to do many of the things we do, particularly using other variations of the Android operating system. In recent years, AT&T has chosen to use signed bootloaders, which cannot be unlocked. Unfortunately, that hurts and limits developers who want to access the full potential of their devices. Because of this, many users have moved to T-Mobile and other carriers who choose to make their bootloaders accessible. The T-Mobile variant of the LG G5, for example, was unlockable, but the AT&T variant was not. I have not purchased a phone since my Galaxy S4 because it has been so hard to find a phone that has the features I want as well as an unlocked bootloader. Samsung phones usually have all the features I want but they haven't been unlockable since the S5. I would have loved to buy a Galaxy S7 last year, but AT&T and Samsung are both partially responsible in choosing to lock the bootloader. (I will get on Samsung's case later.) Please reconsider your policies and be more welcoming to the Android development crowd.


@mberemand

 

FYI the bootloaders where never unlockable they were hacked...  It is a huge difference between the two.  typing in oem unlock in the command line for a nexus device is not going to work on other oem devices like the g5 or s7 series (actually qualcomm had a hand in this(https://www.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s7-bootloader-lock-explained-you-might-not-get-aosp-after-all/)).  Also remember samsung locked ALL s7 bootloaders sold in the usa including there own 930/935u series which have worse support than carrier versions.  Now the way around this was to get a 930/935F from Europe using the exynos chipset that samsung actually released the source code for.  The g5 on tmobile was locked to start with but tmobile sweet talked LG into a tool.  That may not happen with 2017 flagships.  

 

As a android dev I have not had a reason to want to flash custom roms since kitkat ok maybe lollipop.  Its not like google is making it easy anymore anyway.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 44
ACE - Expert

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

@mberemand

Hey!   Points given for not ranting about stuff that has nothing to do with unlocked boot loaders!

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) We are customers too, NOT employees. Our answers are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 4 of 44

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

If I paid a full price for the phone, in the store, upfront and they have no problem giving me the SIM unlock code for the phone to use it with another carrier. What sense does it make for them to still prevent me from unlocking the bootloader and replacing the firmware on the phone?  It's things like this that irritate me about AT&T. I've been an AT&T customer for almost a decade now, but I'm starting to think it's time to switch to a more open carrier.

Message 5 of 44
ACE - Expert

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

@bencheeves   

You cannot purchase a phone through any carrier that will not have a locked boot.   

If you want an unlocked boot, buy a phone that comes that way.  

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) We are customers too, NOT employees. Our answers are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 44
Tutor

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

What are you talking about? Up until the Galaxy S6, every carrier had unlockable bootloaders on Samsung devices. It's only recently changed.
Message 7 of 44

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

@lizdance40 - Some carriers choose to have the manufacturer leave the bootloader locked. But allow them to be unlocked through the manufacturer.  Please don't speak of things that you don't know a lot about, as if you do.  Take my particular phone for example, the Moto E Gen 2 model for example.  Other GSM carriers such as T-mobile and US Cellular allow the bootloader to be unlocked through Motorola's website found here: 

https://motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/standalone%2Fbootloader%2Funlock-your-device-b

Evidence is found here on Motorola's forum, where they clearly state which carriers allow the bootloader to be unlocked:

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/230/thread-id/2654/page/1

 

You can't buy a phone with a bootloader unlocked, you can buy a phone with a bootloader capable of being unlocked. Take  my OnePlus One or my Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe for example. With those phones, since they are bought directly from the manufacturer, you can contact them to have it unlocked.  


But if I paid $80, in the store, for a phone. I should own the phone.  I don't go to bestbuy and paid $350 for a laptop, just to have them tell me that I have to have Windows 10 and Kaspersky antivirus on there, and take measures to prevent me from removing them, and if I try to uninstall them I will void my warranty.  If they did, I would refuse to buy their products. 

 

It's okay though, since I've been using Tmobile prepaid, and their plans are cheaper and they have faster LTE and they don't lock their bootloaders on the phones and they allow me to chose which network provider I use when I'm roaming, unlike AT&T.

 

Sorry, but you are about to lose a long term customer and 2 other lines on that plan.

Message 8 of 44

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

In some cases yes, they have been hacked.  This doesn't mean that all phones from all carriers leave the bootloader unlockable.

Message 9 of 44
ACE - Expert

Re: Unlock your bootloaders


bencheeves wrote:

@lizdance40 - Some carriers choose to have the manufacturer leave the bootloader locked. But allow them to be unlocked through the manufacturer.  Please don't speak of things that you don't know a lot about, as if you do.  Take my particular phone for example, the Moto E Gen 2 model for example.  Other GSM carriers such as T-mobile and US Cellular allow the bootloader to be unlocked through Motorola's website found here: 

https://motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/standalone%2Fbootloader%2Funlock-your-device-b

Evidence is found here on Motorola's forum, where they clearly state which carriers allow the bootloader to be unlocked:

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/230/thread-id/2654/page/1

 

You can't buy a phone with a bootloader unlocked, you can buy a phone with a bootloader capable of being unlocked. Take  my OnePlus One or my Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe for example. With those phones, since they are bought directly from the manufacturer, you can contact them to have it unlocked.  


But if I paid $80, in the store, for a phone. I should own the phone.  I don't go to bestbuy and paid $350 for a laptop, just to have them tell me that I have to have Windows 10 and Kaspersky antivirus on there, and take measures to prevent me from removing them, and if I try to uninstall them I will void my warranty.  If they did, I would refuse to buy their products. 

 

It's okay though, since I've been using Tmobile prepaid, and their plans are cheaper and they have faster LTE and they don't lock their bootloaders on the phones and they allow me to chose which network provider I use when I'm roaming, unlike AT&T.

 

Sorry, but you are about to lose a long term customer and 2 other lines on that plan.


@bencheeves

 

Tmobile is just as bad at signing there bootloaders...  Look at the s7 series.  I still have yet to see why people need the bootloader unlocked these days.  2 years ago I would have said heck yes and flashed till my hearts content.  These days I have not seen a reason to dable in rom flashing.  Root is a whole different thing.

 

Also US cellular is not a GSM carrier just a little heads up on that....  Your using a 3 generation old phone I can see a need for hacking it.  Moto has made unlocking a bootloader as easy as HTC did with HTCdev.com.  But then again Moto is not selling there phones thru carriers anymore.  The Moto G5 is a fun phone to mess with for testing purposes but I would never ever use it as a daily driver.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 10 of 44
ACE - Expert

Re: Unlock your bootloaders


mberemand wrote:
What are you talking about? Up until the Galaxy S6, every carrier had unlockable bootloaders on Samsung devices. It's only recently changed.

And what did I write?   For accuracy sake.... carrier phones are sold with locked boots.  Many non carrier phones are also.   I made no sweeping statements about what is, or is not unlockable.  

The lollipop update locked and signed some boots, especially Samsung.   

 

The sweeping statement I make, is if you want an unlocked phone without carrier bloat, then buy one (that at least meets you half way.)

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) We are customers too, NOT employees. Our answers are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 11 of 44
Employee

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

Phones labeled as AT&T GoPhone devices are not sold at a price point that is anywhere close to full price.

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-galaxy-j3-2016-4g-lte-with-16gb-memory-cell-phone-unlocked-white...

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/at-t-gophone-samsung-galaxy-express-prime-4g-lte-with-16gb-memory-prepai...

 

Device #2 is not being sold as a phone that's free to use on any carrier with unlocked SIM or bootloaders or anything like that. If someone doesn't want carrier branded software, buy Device #1 because it's clearly marked as an unlocked phone that won't have carrier apps. Purchasing Device #2 and expecting it to work as an unlocked device is unrealistic expectations and not how it works.

 

Obviously this doesn't apply to carrier branded postpaid devices at full price. But saying you spend $80, $100 for a prepaid device at Best Buy or Walmart and are entitled to do what you want with it is not how it is. If you want to do what you truly want with a device and don't want carrier apps....purchase an unlocked, unbranded device.

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 12 of 44
Tutor

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

I understand that. I always buy my phones outright without any kind of contracts or payment plans, and yet there is still no bootloader unlock offered. My request obviously doesn't apply to phones that are not fully paid for or that are part of a service agreement. I understand what I'm doing voids the warranty, and I take full responsibility for what I do with the device I OWN.

I have ideal specifications in mind when I go to purchase a new phone and it always seems that all the phones that meet those requirements are locked down. It's annoying beyond belief.
Message 13 of 44
Employee

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

It's like this when you buy a branded device. You're on your own when it comes to messing with it. The carrier has zero obligation to assist with this.

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 14 of 44
ACE - Expert

Re: Unlock your bootloaders

@mberemand  Some of the best phones out there are unlocked and carrier free.  

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) We are customers too, NOT employees. Our answers are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 15 of 44
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