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HTC to stop locking smartphone bootloader code

OS tweaking to be made easier

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Smartphone maker HTC has pledged to stop locking down its handsets' bootloader code, a move that makes it easier to install complete custom operating system releases.

For 'custom operating system releases' read 'not carrier-specific version'.

HTC CEO Peter Chou made the promise on the company's Facebook page, stating: "Today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices."

The company made this decision, he said, because of "overwhelmingly customer feedback".

Early HTC smartphones did not sport locked bootloaders, but of late its handsets have, making the process of tinkering with the devcies' software rather harder - though not impossible.

At what point the re-appearance of unlocked bootloaders will appear isn't clear from Chou's statement. Most likely, as HTC ships new handset models, these will come with unlocked bootloaders. Current phones may get bootloader-unlocking updates.

In April this year, Sony Ericsson posted details about unlocking the bootloader code in its 2011 Android-based smartphones. However, the phones themselves will still ship with locked bootloaders. ®

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