Sensation, EVO 3D up first; future devices will still ship locked


It's been nearly a month since HTC's last updated us on how it intends to start unlocking bootloaders, and it the Taiwanese manufacturer just dropped a doozy of an update on Facebook. Here's the deal:

  • New devices will continue to ship with locked bootloaders.
  • HTC will allow bootloaders to be unlocked using a web-based tool.
  • This month, you'll see an update to the the non-U.S. version of the HTC Sensation, with the T-Mobile U.S. to follow shortly thereafter. The EVO 3D will follow the HTC Sensation. This update won't actually unlock the bootloader -- it'll lay the groundwork for doing so.
  • The actual bootloader unlocking will take place via a web tool. You'll have to give HTC an e-mail address and acknowledge that you know what you're doing and promise not to complain when you brick your phone.
  • You'll plug your phone into a computer with the Android SDK loaded, then type in a device ID token, which you'll receive by e-mail, into the web tool.
  • Then the unlocking process will begin.

This is the perfect scenario. Shipping unlocked phones likely was never in the cards -- even Nexus phones and the Motorola Xoom don't actually ship unlocked. It's a win-win for everybody.

If you want to read HTC's update word for word, hit the Facebook link below, or ease on past the break.

Source: HTC's Facebook page
More: Everything you wanted to know about bootloaders

**UPDATE 8/3/2011**

Since our last update, many of you have asked how the bootloader unlocking process will actually work, and in particular why HTC's most recently released devices still have a locked bootloader. Rest assured we're making progress toward our goal to roll out the first software updates in August to support unlocking for the global HTC Sensation, followed soon by the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile and the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint. Because unlocking the bootloader provides extensive control over the device and modifications may cause operation, security and experience issues, new devices will continue to ship locked but will support user-initiated unlocking using a new Web-based tool.

So how will this work? The Web tool, which will launch this month, requires that you register an account with a valid e-mail address and accept legal disclaimers that unlocking may void all or parts of your warranty. Then plug in your phone to a computer with the Android SDK loaded to retrieve a device identifier token, which you can then enter into the Web tool to receive a unique unlock key via e-mail. Finally, apply the key to your device and unlocking will be initiated on your phone.

We're excited to bring bootloader unlocking to developers and enthusiasts, and we feel this new Web tool will meet your needs and continue to provide customers with the best experience. Thanks to the community for supporting these efforts!


Reader comments

HTC will unlock bootloaders through a web-based tool


Wow it never ceases to amaze me how stupid "first" posts are and why they aren't deleted..

To the topic on hand... I wish Motorola would follow suit and do this with all their locked bootloaders.


Both are trumped by the stupidity of people posting to defend the sensibilities of the unfairly persecuted first-posters.

unlocking the bootloader will allow custom roms, rooting, and total control of your device. If you don't know, then it may not concern you. But don't be discouraged by what you don't know. You'll learn, if you really want to.

So in essence I'd be able to get rid of the bloatware that comes pre-installed? Also the other features that are already locked I'd have access to control?

You can do that when your phone is rooted. Having an unlocked bootloader has nothing to do with the ability to root.

Phones with locked bootloaders can still be rooted.

Rooting is trivial with an unlocked bootloader and yet it has so far proven impossible to permanently root the Sensation or Evo 3D while the bootloader is locked. Any changes you make to the system partition are automatically reverted/discarded by the eMMC when the bootloader is locked. So in reality, it's not true to say that having an unlocked bootloader has nothing to do with the ability to root.

and yet both are fully rooted now....permanent it's not impossible and the changes are not wiped after might wish to research some before posting as locked bootloaders have been evaded on pretty much every phone issued.

Not true. All an unlocked bootloader allows is custom kernels. Phones with locked bootloaders (Motorola Droid X) for example can still be rooted (same as total control of your device), overclocked/undervolted, & still has custom ROMs (even CM7 & MIUI), but they are built on the VZW/Motorola approved kernel.

I'm curious, what additional control do you gain from the custom kernel that you don't have otherwise?

Really, WTF is the point of people posting "First"?

Are their lives really so pathetic and empty that doing so gives them some kind of immature joy?

Jesus! ...

They do it because it gets people like you going about how dumb it is. Just ignore it & they will stop.

Really, WTF is the point of b.itching over such things? Are their lives really so pathetic and empty that little things such as these ruin their existence?


Why would anyone in their right mind TELL HTC that they voided their warranty? The Devs beat them to the punch and you can always go back to stock. Even the "revolution" above s-off goes away when you flash the right RUU. Official method = FAIL

I disagree. It's not impossible to hard-brick an android phone and the manufacturers want to make sure their backsides are covered. This is all they are doing with the registration requirement.

I would do it if I were them. Keep in mind that rooting isn't for everyone and they didn't *have* to unlock the bootloader.

Because maybe they wanted to be honest and accept responsibility for their choices? I know quite a few people who had issues with their devices and had manufacturers fix them, after they already told the manufacturer that it was rooted. Hardware defects SHOULD still be covered by this method.

Sure, a reasonable person would think that hardware defects should still be covered. But a voided warranty is still a voided warranty. If they can avoid giving you a free phone, they often will. I'll stick to doing it the old fashion way and unrooting when I have a problem.

why are people still surprised by those who comment first? Just mark it as spam & move on. Any other type of mass hysteria just encourages them more.

btw, good job HTC. Now your back on top as the best manufacturer for Android. I hope all the other companies are taking notes.

This is a great way for them to do it. It was one of the methods the community had suggested when the Moto Milestone paved the way for MotoLock and again when HTC started locking down.

Hell, wouldn't it be great if HTC lawyers can use this as a differentiating factor for future crApple patent lawsuits?

This is great news. HTC made the statement a good while after Moto and their plans seem to be coming to consumers first. Looks like we know who REALLY listening to their customers.

HTC is too damn slow so did it already now its making HTC feel slow n dumb once i went there open sesamie on my sensation 4G and its rooted =0P

Awsome! kind of sucks though, i just rooted my EVO 3D last night and this would have cut quite a few steps out and made it even easier than it already is. Hats off to you HTC, I'm glad to see you are gonna hold to your word. Kinda blows that it will void warranties though, thank god for other unlocking, and rooting methods. ;-)

I laugh at this cause again Hackers lead the way. Thanks to Alpharez and Unrevoked we had the bootloader unlock and root before HTC could even get there's out. To the mass and even then it probably will take another month or 2 to cover the Sensation US, and European models and then the EVO 3D.

i dont understand the negativity towards this move claiming that the hacker community did it first. fact of the matter is, name another OEM that's offering this service. HTC's providing a way when they didn't HAVE to.

i dont understand the negativity towards this move claiming that the hacker community did it first. fact of the matter is, name another OEM that's offering this service. HTC's providing a way when they didn't HAVE to.

I'd rather root and rom and all using hacker methods so that I can switch back to normal if needed and not get dinged for it if something else goes wrong with the phone. Don't wanna tell them.

HTC has agreed to unlock bootloaders. Why do people even complain about this? Yeah, we did rooting the old fashioned way, and yeah, some of us used some type of tool that somebody else invested time to invent it. And yes, some fubarred their phones, usually because they didn't follow procedures. But that's life.

When a global company agrees to listen to the small minority of users, now..... That's Something!! And,,, it has to start somewhere!!!

Quit yer whining,,,,

Ain't a one of you, have a clue how much work goes into things. You download an app, run it, get root, s-off, or install a custom ROM, and you say you're victorious... you're a master of hacking phones...


The Dev's who spent countless hours hacking into the system, are the heros of this. Not the users.

HTC did not make this decision easily, but they listened. And if they choose to divy things out on a slow basis, rest assured, it's because they wish to make sure things are done right. If your phone doesn't get listed soon enough, nut it up.

Never seen a bunch of crybabies in all my life.

I successfully followed the steps at the HTCDEV site for unlocking the boot loader on my HTC VIVID.

After the final step, their site said an email was sent to me with a code and final instructions so I could perma root my phone.


I repeated the steps, same message - NO EMAIL and no way to contact the MORONS at the site. Is there another way to get this done without having to contact those MORONS that do not provide a way to contact them?

Yea, I am a novice but f..... tired of wasting time.