With the Galaxy S 3, Samsung has built a phone that everyone and their brother seems to want. It's big, it's beautiful, it's fast, and it's hacker-friendly everywhere except Verizon Wireless. We all remember the outrage when it was discovered that the bootloader on the Verizon model was protected, and Samsung was quick to tell us they would be releasing a "developer" edition with an unlocked bootloader "soon". That's more sets of quote marks than I care to see or use when talking about unfettered hardware.
A couple weeks back the dev model showed up on Samsung's website with the same "coming soon" tag (look, more of those pesky quote marks), but since then nobody has said a word. This is pretty important to hardcore Android fans, so I would hope it's equally important to someone at Samsung HQ. For us, Android on our phones is like Linux on our desktop -- something we can tweak to our liking and break any old way we want to break it. That's probably why Verizon wanted a locked model (make no mistake, I'm sure Verizon was behind it) to begin with.
That plan has pretty much backfired, as even with the locked and encrypted bootloader folks have managed to hack the living crap out of the Verizon Galaxy S 3. You can't defeat a determined Android nerd, let alone hundreds of them. But that doesn't matter. We want freedom to tinker as promised. We never forget a promise. Let's hope Samsung hasn't forgotten either.
Of course, it's possible that Big Red has changed their mind about allowing a wild and free Galaxy S 3 all over their LTE network. We're poking around to see if that's the case. But it's more likely that the "coming soon" tag has a different meaning to the folks in suits than it does to the rest of us. Samsung, don't wait to do the right thing until it's so late nobody cares about it any longer. As mentioned, we never forget. We want to love you. We want to praise the way you remember the development community that you
used to love back. Don't forget us.