HTC Says They Are Reviewing Their Bootloader Policy

We’re about to give HTC a pat on the back as they are listening to the complaints of HTC owners who are upset with their locked bootloader policy. HTC hears you and while that’s they aren’t promising a policy reversal at the very least HTC is acknowledging complaints. Samsung should take note of this next time they want to look back at the Vibrant Froyo debacle and rethink their decision to remain quiet.

For the unfamiliar, the terms “bootloader,” and “NAND memory” which are the key ingredients to those custom ROMs you enjoy so much. Tech blogs are all to familiar with the loud and resilient Android community who put so much faith into the modding of Android devices and claims of their openness.

HTC put forth their message on Facebook and Twitter. Their Facebook comment was a little longer than Twitter thanks to the lack of character limits:

Thanks so much for providing feedback, we hear your concerns. Your satisfaction is a top priority for us and we’re working hard to ensure you have great experiences with our phones. We’re reviewing the issue and our policy around bootloaders and will provide more information soon. Thank you for your interest, support and willingness to share your feedback.

And on Twitter:

Thanks for the feedback, we’re listening! We’re reviewing our bootloader policy. Stay tuned for more updates.

HTC Twitter


HTC Facebook

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  • Dennis2005

    Thats why im buying the htc sensation and putting my money behind htc again and not samsung like i did with the galaxy s thanx for considering a change and if you guys at htc decide to change the policy i will never but any other brand phone again ….  

    •  They haven’t changes the policy yet, and even if they do there’s definitely no guarantee that it would apply to already released devices (I would be surprised if it did).

      My last two phones have been HTC and there are currently 5 HTC Android phones in my immediate family (3 G2’s, 2 MT4G’s) but If I were buying a phone today I’d be getting the LG G2x

  • Quilvio9


  • Razgriz94

    Would love if this means HTC will remove the signed bootloader from the Sensation. I really like that phone, but I don’t like Sense. But if I could get stock Android on that baby, I’d buy it in an instant.

  • Anonymous

    Be nice to unlock the Sensation bootloader, they would turn that into a killer at the sales department. Do not understand how they can go from the nexus one to super locked down phones. What are they thinking?? The Sensation is a great device locked bootloader or not, sending that device to the public with a workable bootloader would just push it over the top. I always said HTC + GOOGLE = WINNER
    Make this phone a winner.

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to bootloading, there are 2 kinds of people…

    1) those who know how to bootload
    2) those who don’t know how to and brick their phone

    I know how much everyone loves to play with their phone. However, it is a big loss for the company when they get phones back that are warranted out because someone bricked it doing something that the manufacture didn’t intend to happen.

    I think the solution you will see is this. HTC will come out with a software that can detect if a phone has been bootloaded. That was when a customer comes into the store and shows the associate the screen with give a “Bricked by Bootloader” code that will allow the associate to know that it is not an warrentee issue.

    I think another solution is to have google pay HTC or another company to make a phone similar to the nexus product that is only sold through Google, or Best Buy at full price that includes no warrentee. Make it 100% stock with no bootloader blocking. That way you can do whatever you want to it and there is no warentee.

    Like I said before this is something that the company has to do to cut down on losses due to people messing up. The real problem is with Android in general. There is no uniform standard. I really think what will happen will all the phone makers will all decide to block bootloading all together. I think it will be a step for a uniform standard.

    • Moveonrp

      I agree there should be a Nexus Two, complete with unlocked bootloader… but full price + no warranty = guaranteed sales dud. The Nexus line does not sell well as is…let’s face it, maybe .00001% of the population are phone geeks like us. Even I don’t want to shell out $500 for a phone with no warranty…my grandfathered TMO plan includes subsidies and I want to use what I’m paying for. Rooting your phone should not void the warranty unless the defect is directly related to the root…for example, all hardware issues should be covered no matter what.

  • Now_onTMO

    They are locking the bootloader in order to avoid or decrease returns or exchanges of their devices when the end users damage the phones, it’s not profitable for the company.. maybe other companies have the money for exchanges/returns? Or maybe because they just want customers to use their roms?

    Ya i don’t know what’s the point of locking it.. lol

    • Danishswag

      It is to reduce the returns and exchanges that they get from what I’ve seen of it, but HTC and everybody else claim they check the phones to see if they’ve been rooted because it voids the warranty.

      Then they don’t have to give you a phone back. HTC definitely doesn’t do this though because I sent a bricked mytouch 3g back to them and they replaced it immediately.

      They’re lazy? :P

  • im really glad they are doing this, i love HTC but i dont like it when the bootloader is locked down.  I really think they can come up with a way to make everyone happy.  Im so glad HTC listened to its fan base ( it to moto a while).  Thanks for listening HTC, it will help you in the long run, trust me.

  • Anonymous

    I won’t buy the Sensation until CM7 is running on it.

  • Ash

    Nice of HTC don’t bite the hand that feeds them.
    Unlike some other companies… are holding it wrong….ha.

  • I know how to root but I don’t see myself risking turning a 500 dollar investment into a paperweight. If it doesn’t work right out the box, I don’t really want it. Although its nice to root and have nice features, I’d rather not risk it.

    • jarjon76

      Especially with the phones nowadays. I can understand wanting to root, say, a G1 to Android 2.2, but I see no viable reason to root a G2x or the upcoming Sensation. You’re exactly right, if I’m spending $500 on a phone, I’m not risking it. 

      • I didn’t root my G2 when I had it because it performed well out the box. My MT4G remains stock as well because there are no problems. My Sensation will also remain stock.

  • Punk

    After they saw how this fhone is slow compared to G2x and Gs2 they desire to unlock this “powerful device”>>hahahahahah!!!!! For me is a shame call this a second generation smartphone, I forget they only target eye candy people who just care of image!!
    Fat Americans…and your junk fast food
    And you stupid image culture!

    • Datnig

      yeah! and your stupid jersey shore and stupid lady gaga, and stupid crosswalk signs that let you walk halfway before they turn orange and then you gotta run, making you look like a douche holding up traffic and stupid..wait

      • Rabelraz

        Clearly you don’t understand how a crosswalk signal works.  When it turns orange it does not mean run, it means don’t start walking across at this time because you don’t have time to get across.  It does not apply to people already walking.

        • Danishswag



        • Bxcutie4life2001


      • Hahaha! I love walking across when the sign is blinking. 

    • rizo66

      You sir… are a moron. Samsung wishes they were Apple, and LG wishes they were Samsung. HTC and T-Mobile took a chance on Android when everyone else was too chicken shit. Now all you can do is complain about American culture? Makes me feel good to be American.

    • Steve85

      the American governement is most corrupted in the world,just look whats going to happen with this company,but then people say:Oh this going to be good….and bla bla bla!! came on is all about profits !! you think they care abou you??? i give you a think? 10 years of war in cost of $1 trillion 964.000 people die 88%inocent civilians…to catch 1 guy?? hahahahahahaha !!!!!!! i dont belive in anything !!! im going back to the motolla light 2…the uncle sam just wanna you soul !!!

  • Danz8502

    Its one thing to listen its another thing to change listening is just saying wow there is a lot of complaints we should say something and thats what HTC did change is actually doing something about it which they won’t after the failed brick of HTC hd2 with buggy sense I’m glad to have my g2x!

  • Not dropping a dime on an HTC Sensation until it is confirmed that the booloader is unlocked.

    My new Asus Transformer tablet will have to do for now ;) Time to hack the new toy.

  • Anonymous

    Run through an HTC translator:
    “We know you guys are complaining about it, but stop bugging us because we really don’t care.”

    • Anonymous

      Well, I’m glad I was apparently wrong about this.

  • Oce

    The fact that they are even considering this gives me great respect and confidence that they are really committed to their customers.  I personally like HTC products for their great innovation and excellent build quality.  Haven’t seen too many HTC devices that aren’t top quality.

  • Anonymous

    At least they are willing to appear open to the idea of adjusting current policy. It doesn’t mean they will make a change but it is at least not out of the question.

  • Steve

    I think it’s bullshi* these companies are allowed to keep us from doing what we want with our property. We aren’t renting these products. We are buying them and should be allowed to do what we want to them.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, you are incorrect.  While you own the physical phone, the ROM and software is licensed to you. Read the license, on all your software, not just the phone, you gave the seller the right to do anything it wants and you also limited their liability for screw-ups to the price of the software, at most.

      It’s actually amusing to see postings in here where people use terms like: “rights” “grandfather” “promise” “updates” “own” etc. where none of those terms apply to the end user.

      Don’t believe me?  Read the inserts that came with your phone, read T-Mobile’s Terms of Service, read the software licenses for the software installed on the phone, read the licenses on the software developers’ website and elsewhere.

      • Yes while we only own the physical device and then only have a licence for software that runs the phone, they should not be able to force us to use there software.  I read though Terms of Service nothing says I have to use there software but encrypted bootloaders hinder the process.   I mean look at the HTC HD2 very open platform phone that seems to have a port to most of the major mobile os platforms.  My HTC Hero (cdma) was also great in the face that long after sprint drop providing updates that I had an up to date phone running Gingerbread  which really did make the phone shine.     I ended up with a cliq2 which is not a bad phone  just forgot about motorola encrypting the boot loader, which can be gotten around it just means i have a higher chance of bricking the phone.  But there no cliq2 development anyway so no point doing anything.

        • Anonymous

          Then my solution to “they should not be able to force us to use their software” is really quite simple. You can always spend the millions of dollars to develop your own operating system and phone.

          Then you can lose millions when morons who have no clue what they are doing brick it and tell you it has a malfunction and  turn it in on a warentee exchange.

          Like it was stated above you agree to the terms of the license agreement. So your choices here are really simple. Live with the fact that Apple, Blackberry, Windows 7 and android are going to lock their bootloader and you won’t be able to hack it. Or you can always buy a soon to be outdated device (G1, Vibrant,, G2…etc) that allows for you to brick it. Of course you can always go back to using a basic flip phone as well. 

        • jarjon76

          This. It amuses me how people play the “it’s my right” to hack into a manufacturer’s software because they own the phone. I get why people want to root, but it’s not their “right” to do so. 

      • But that’s the point, and I suspect the main reason why they are introducing the new security methods.  I want to replace the software on the device (the one that I bought) with different software.  Their security methods only serve to force me to use their software.

      • None

        I rarely agree with IMNM but I find the same thing amusing (especially “grandfather” claims).

        • jarjon76

          Yeah, Mikey actually made a good point for once. And he kept it less than 10,000 words. Maybe there’s hope for the guy.

  • Stoplocking

    Make your voices heard. Email the executives of HTC. Chairman Chief Marketing Officer, HTC Corporation Senior Public Relations Manager at HTC 425-679-5328 COO of HTC Board Member of HTC CEO Chief Innovation Officer

    Brent Groome, Chief Executive-Customer Operations, at 843-369-8393 or 

  • Anonymous

    HTC is not going to change its policy.  Fact is, there’s very few people who even know what the term “boot loader” means, much less wanting to tinker with the phone.  Attaching significance to these HTC messages is misguided.

    The problem is that idiots go on to YouTube, see a five minute video on how to root a phone, don’t follow directions, then end up bricking their phones.

    Of course they then call T-Mobile and lie, saying “my phone just stopped working” so to make a warranty claim.

    And the problem is significant, I suspect as indicated by my G1 hard reset tutorial on YouTube has over 250,000 views.  And lots of people send me messages asking for help because they bricked their phones.

    I would think that most people would appreciate locked phones.  This may result in prices staying reasonable for phones because HTC and T-Mobile don’t have to deal with the expense of bogus warranty claims.

    That brings to mind, does anyone know if it is T-Mobile who ordered the phone locked down?  Seems to me HTC would be telling T-Mobile it has to be more proactive in stopping morons from submitting fraudulent warranty claims.  So maybe T-Mobile has gotten fed up with HTC saying it won’t cover the phones submitted as defective by T-Mobile (because HTC discovered the phones were not defective, but instead bricked).

    Seems a no-brainer that the way for T-Mobile to halt fraudulent warranty claims is to simply order the phones locked down.  If T-Mobile orders phones without an LED flash or front facing camera, it can just as well order phones locked down.

    • I think this is a fallacy, bricks and semi bricks are becoming more common as manufacturers are making it harder and requiring more risky methods to root devices.

      Nobody’s ever bricked a Nexus device while rooting it because it’s a lot less risky typing “fastboot oem unlock” than it is to find exploits and flash hacked HBOOT images.

      If there were a simple, safe, consistent method for getting root there would be FAR less of these bricked or semi-bricked devices.

      As for whether the policy might change I don’t know for sure, but I do know that the type of people who root their phones has influence beyond what they purchase for themselves.  They are generally known as Android “experts” among their circle of friends.  I know several people I know have come to me seeking advice before buying their first Android phone, I also know that in the past I have steered them away from Motorola phones and more recently I’ve been telling them to avoid HTC as well (I guess LG is usually the beneficiary there) because of the restrictive security measures.

      Also HTC doesn’t need 90% of it’s Twitter mentions to be people criticizing it’s bootloader polcies and people saying they won’t buy their products.

      • Anonymous

        All you guys definitely made some good points. Idk easy to root phones would be a simple answer. But people should be more honest when messing around with their phones. Maybe HTC can come up with some type of diy unbricking software. Idk…

    • Roboit

      I think that a simple, easy to root method available on all phones would decrease the amount of bricked phones out there, and less fraudulent insurance claims.  People want to see what kind of custom ROMs are out there and what people keep talking about – root this, and root that.  As more people provide instructions or guides on how-to root a device, more people will attempt to root their phones.  If there were no measures to restrict rooting of phones, then easy methods – almost idiot-proof methods perhaps, would be developed and available and less people would mess up their phones due to missing a step here or there. 

  • Nvious

    Did anybody else read the logo as “iFap”?

  • Anonymous

    lets face it the primary root our phones is to be able to update to the newest firmware since manufacturers don’t supply the newest updates fast enough. and why do people want the most updated roms? for the latest features and options restricted in manufacturer builds to be unlocked.  i believe the biggest culprit of them all is the carriers.  compare features unlocked on a tmobile phone to an att phone.  the motorola atrix was a bitch to root and even without root you can’t install apps from unknown sources vs galaxy s 4g the option is right there in the clear.  so i think we need to attack the phone companies first before the actual manufacturer, because the manufacturer is the little bitch. they make an awesome product then have to restrict it as the phone company demands.  

  • Appleater

    I am thinking about getting an HTC Evo 3d but I probably will not if the bootloader is locked down. As far as a company such as Motorola or HTC locking down the bootloader it is understandable considering that like anything else in life there is always a few knuckleheads that screw it up for the masses. If a person is either incapable of learning the proper procedure to modify there device or just to lazy to put forth the effort it takes to learn the procedures they should not attempt to do it. I currently have 4 Android devices a Samsung Epic 4g, Samsung Moment,Huawei S7 and the Nook Color. On the Nook Color I am running Cyanogen 7 and it is far superior to the stock OS. It gives me access to the full Android market and enables bluetooth on my Nook. Every device I have is rooted with custom Roms and themes and in addition there are some Apps available for only rooted phones that make your device much more pleasurable to use. The ability to overclock and use Titanium backup to remove unwanted applications is enough of a reason to do it alone. After all who does not want to have total control of there device. I will probably end up getting the Galaxy s2 next and the 8.9 inch galaxy Tablet. You can get around the bootloader issue but I have noticed there is development for devices that have locked bootloaders. Probably because most developers intentionally avoid those particular devices.

  • JamalamerDingerDong

    Thank you HTC for listening to your customers. We appreciate it!