Well that was fast, Samsung and Verizon have quickly responded to the barrage of questions and concerns about the Galaxy S III launching on Verizon with a locked bootloader. Well Samsung and Verizon have introduced their solution, similar to what Motorola and Verizon did with the Droid Razr, Samsung and Verizon will be releasing a developer version of this new “flagship” device.
So Samsung and Verizon have heard the cries of the developer and “enthusiast” community, which will clearly go a long way to keeping the faithful Android masses happy with Verizon for a bit longer. But what does this really mean, and is it a good option for a normal person?
Well for starters, the developer edition will be sold directly through Samsung at an unsubsidized price of $599, which means that since you can’t keep your unlimited data on a new on-contract phone, this might be a good way to go. This also means that your phone will not be subject to Verizons strict update policy which means you can load software updates on it as you see fit. The downside to this is that your phone won’t be “supported” by Verizon so you can’t call them when anything goes wrong with your phone and you’ll have to go through Samsung for any repairs or claims.
So everyone is going to have to measure this option carefully but obviously for Android purists this is a great option and it’s good to see that Samsung and Verizon were able to come to an agreement on getting this option to the people.
Who is this for?
Samsung and Verizon Wireless recognize that there are many enthusiasts and professional developers that are interested in customizing their device with third-party ROM software. Unlocking the bootloader can put the stability of the phone in jeopardy; therefore, only experienced developers should attempt to unlock the bootloader.
What about the other carriers?
Other versions of the Galaxy S III are sold with a user-unlockable bootloader as a standard feature. Those models are available directly from the respective carriers.
Where can I buy the Galaxy S III Developer Edition?
The Developer Edition will be sold online directly from Samsung. When the device is available for purchase, it will be sold through the Samsung developer portal at developer.samsung.com for $599.
Why is Verizon Wireless’ version locked?
Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. Unlocking the device also voids the warranty.
Has Samsung always unlocked the bootloader on its phones?
While not all previous Samsung Android devices have had an easily unlockable bootloader, all of our other current Galaxy S III flagship lineup, and all Nexus-branded devices, support the standard bootloader unlocking procedure.
What happens if I load custom software and damage (“brick”) my phone?
Problems caused by unlocking the bootloader and installing custom software will not be covered by the warranty. Problems with third-party and customized bootloader software can cause irreparable harm to the Galaxy S III. Users interested in performing these actions should proceed with caution and at their own risk. Out of warranty Galaxy S III Developer Edition devices will be serviced directly through Samsung, and service charges will apply.