Why Do Companies Like HTC Lock Down Their Bootloader?
You might wonder why certain phone manufacturers decide to prohibit customization of their custom software platform. After all, Android was meant to be the one smartphone platform that was completely open and accessible to everyone. The answer lies in the fact that producers do not always translate this principle to the end product. As most of these producers provide a custom version of Android, they want to protect their creation. On top of that, the only method of guaranteeing a solid user experience is to keep the original software. Obviously, the quickest and most practical way of ensuring this is to lock down the bootloader.
More recently, HTC announced a change to the policy regarding bootloaders and strong rumors suggest that the Sensation will indeed be ‘opened up’ through a software update. Although most regular users might not be bothered with rooting their devices there is a large group of potential clients who will avoid handsets with locked bootloaders. Apparently this group is so significant that HTC decided to let go of its policy altogether.
The effective result will obviously be that HTC devices will, from now on, be a lot more hack-friendly, easy to root and customize. People who buy one of these devices can go ahead and choose from the custom ROMs that are available without worrying too much about breaking the phone or doing something with it that it was not intended for. Although unlocking the bootloader will still effectively void the warranty, resetting it to the original state will reinstate the lock, making it virtually impossible for the producer to trace a breach in that field.
Although ‘playing’ with your Android installation is not for the faint-hearted, open bootloaders is essentially what the platform stands for. When Android devices stop being customizable, the platform will lose some of its appeal, which could put off a lot of potential buyers. Luckily, companies like HTC realized this and decided to restore their devices to be true Android phones!