updated 11:35 pm EDT, Sun July 10, 2011
HTC Sensation phones first with unlocked boot
HTC late Sunday in a Facebook update more fully fleshed out its promise to unlock Android bootloaders. The Sensation will get an update to support unlocking in August and will be joined by phones based on its design, such as T-Mobile's Sensation 4G and Sprint's Evo 3D. Those phones should have the actual opportunity to unlock in early September.
More of the phones that have had locked bootloaders so far will get their updates "over time," either as part of a regular maintenance fix or out of the box if new. HTC explained that it couldn't just start unlocking bootloaders immediately as there was more than just a toggle involved.
"While we wish we could flip a simple switch and unlock all bootloaders across our device portfolio, this is actually a complex challenge that requires a new software build and extensive testing to deliver the best possible customer experience," the company said.
HTC had begun locking down devices under the guise of security but quickly drew criticism from enthusiasts and others who wanted to modify their phones. A locked bootloader doesn't completely shut down modification but makes it harder and in some cases impossible. Many have wanted to alter their devices just to run apps that even Android wouldn't allow or to strip out interface layers like Sense that they don't always want.