coming soon

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.


Reader comments

Hey Samsung, where the hell is that Verizon Galaxy S 3 developer phone?


My question to the real geeks in the crowd is:

If the developer phone is still a SCH-I535, will we just be able to flash the developer model image over a "non-developer" SCH-I535 via Odin? My understanding would say yes, thoughts?

People on XDA have discussed this and the consensus was 'highly unlikely'.

I have no douibt Verizon is blocking the release of the developer version.

No. I can guarantee you there is some sort of check-sum that will cause it to fail. I don't have to see a device to know this.

Great post Jerry, much needed and well timed. Samsung needs to get with the program and release the developer version NOW....or at least tell us straight up if Verizon is screwing us again.

But both you and Jerry seem to have forgotten its SAMSUNG you are dealing with.

They've never been on-time or forthcoming with new releases of SOFTWARE, and now you were expecting a promised new release of HARDWARE, of which they will sell a few thousand at best?

For real! I am ready and willing to hand them upwards of 700.00 for the Note 10.1 provided it is everything they've promised it would be! I haven't seen many devices that were promised months ago, and have so little info coming out about them as the Note 10.1.

Better yet, Samsung, why not just come up with a bootloader unlock method like how HTC does it. That way we don't have Verizon blocking the sales of a developer phone; and since the bootloader unlock program would be from Samsung, Verizon won't be able to stop people form using it. It would be a win-win for everybody, except Verizon.

I am sure that part of the agreement between Samsung and vzw was that they need to wait a certain amount of time before they sell the dev edition so vzw locks as many people into contracts as possible.

Once the initial push goes away and sales slow down then Samsung can sell the development version.

If they wait too long people will just say f--- it and go with the one that is already hacked. I'm sure it won't be cheap but I would jump on it just because I need to buy one full price just to save my unlimited data plan. I might as well buy the developer version.

I still don't get why anyone would buy the developer version... You're intentionally screwing yourself out of ever claiming a warranty. If you buy the locked model, hack it to your liking, and find a hardware issue, you can return it to stock, relock it and receive a warranty replacement.

You actually pretty much can though.. The recovery partition is not locked. You can flash a custom recovery like CWM. Then using the kexec workaround you can even install custom kernels into the recovery partition (vs boot partition like it usually is in). There fully working, touchwiz based roms, AOSP, and CM roms for the Verizon galaxy s iii , and custom kernels as well.

Keep telling yourself that this is ok and pretend that the dev community is even 1/100th that of the Galaxy Nexus or other versions of the GS3 and pretty soon you might believe it.

Its not ok, and i didnt say it was. I dont even have the Verizon GS3, i was just saying that thanks to developers, who have pretty much worked around the locked bootloader, you can still do almost anything you want to the verizon galaxy s iii. The bootloader should have never been locked in the first place. But it was..

These people on Verizon must be crazy. Samsung made the device that was meant for it's network live with it. It's not Samsung fault that the device is locked down on the rest of the released Galaxy S3 on all the other carriers are just fine. If I was Samsung I'd tell Verizon to '' F'' off. The sad part is what will Verizon do to screw up the Galaxy Note 2??? Samsung shouldn't waste their time making Verizon any other handsets for that battery draining LTE network.

"Samsung shouldn't waste their time making Verizon any other handsets for that battery draining LTE network" Don't you know T-Mobile will be starting pretty much the exact same "battery draining" LTE network that Verizon has in 2013? Live with it or shut up Dick.
"If I was Samsung I'd tell Verizon to '' F'' off." It's a good thing your not Samsung, let alone an employee of theirs, then since under your incredibly astute tutelage, Samsung would most surely be a dead company. If Samsung told every company it worked with or provided products for that they didn't agree with to "'f' off", Samsung would not be where it is today.
"The sad part is what will Verizon do to screw up the Galaxy Note 2?" Assuming Verizon even gets it. Amazing that you "know" the Note 2 will be coming to all carriers when there haven't even been rumors to back that up. What a joke.

Im 90% you are richard, does anyone else notice, that you (squiddy) never reply, unless Richard does. And you are usually the only one.. If your not richard, then you really need to stop feeding the trolls. Ive really never seen a comment from richard will out a squiddy20 comment soon after it.

"Hey Verizon, even though we make millions upon millions of dollars selling phones to you, and we are legally obligated to maximize our profits for our share holders, we aren't going to do business with you anymore because a tiny minority of Verizon customers are upset that they can't unlock the bootloader."

It's staggering that someone who appears from his picture to be an adult could get to this point in life with such a miniscule knowledge of the business world.

I couldn't care less if the phone was delayed until next year. The longer its delayed the more time people will focus on hacking the normal S3's bootloader.

This is why I just left Verizon, I have the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and I was a little frustraded with how it was handled by Verizon with the updates and them blocking Google Wallet and putting their bloatware on it, they stripped the Nexus experience out of the Galaxy Nexus, and the GSIII was announced and I had to have it, then Verizon was taking longer then the other carriers to announce the GSIII and I jokingly said that its gonna take a little more time because Verizon needs to gimp their version of the GSIII and sure as shit its announced that it has a locked Bootloader, I put my Verizon Galaxy on Craigslist and bought a T-Mobile GSIII.

Wow just wow you wait for carrier OTA's???? I have a VZN Gnex with Wallet, AOKP Jellybean and I can give a f about Verizon or any other carrier. Anyone with a Nexus that waits for OTA updates makes me sick

$10 says it's Verizon that's causing the delay...we'll see it in 3 months like the GNex on other carriers after Verizon got done screwing everyone including Google :-P