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!