Feeds

Sony Ericsson sanctions smartphone boot loader unlocking

Pledges to provide the tools

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Sony Ericsson is to allow "advanced" Android coders to unlock the boot loader built into its latest smartphones.

Gaining access to a handset's boot loader is a key stage in installing alternative firmware on a phone, a process a fair few Android fans like to undertake in order to rid themselves of network operator-installed add-ons and to gain access to more up-to-date versions of the Google OS.

SE, like most handset makers, has frowned on this in the past, largely, it now says, because it couldn't devise a scheme to make this possible without treading on the toes of "business partners" - read 'carriers' - and developers keen to maintain the secure environment which makes it that bit harder to nick their apps.

SE now reckons it has a solution to the problem: a way to make the boot loader accessible without offending carriers' and commercial coders' interests.

Today, it pledged to make this solution available to all.

There are catches, of course. Unlocking the boot loader will zap your smartphone's warranty, SE warned. If you screw up, it implied, don't come running to us. Ditto if the firmware you install messes with the power sub-system causing your phone to overheat and explode, etc, etc.

And only certain phones will be supported: the Xperias Arc, Neo, Pro and Play - and then only "certain releases of the phones". That means a network operator Sim lock.

SE's tip: if the Android SDK's Fastboot facility can't connect to your phone, your phone can't have its boot loader unlocked using the official method.

SE didn't say when the boot loader unlock tool will be made available, but it promised it would provide more details "later this spring". ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.