Samsung To Sell Developer Edition Verizon Galaxy S III with Unlockable Bootloader
Late last week, Samsung and Verizon drew considerable ire from Android enthusiasts after customers who had preordered their SGS3s and received them early noticed that the device included a locked bootloader. While an exploit was later discovered that worked around this protection for rooting the device and booting unsigned ROMs, the move to a locked bootloader for the Verizon variant alarmed many, as Samsung has previously shipped devices with unlocked bootloaders on all US carriers.
Today, Samsung announced that it will begin selling an unlocked "developer edition" Galaxy S III for use on Verizon Wireless direct through its own developer portal. The device will run $599, which is essentially standard fare for purchasing a high end smartphone out of contract these days. This is essentially the same route that Motorola was forced to take with the RAZR for Verizon some months ago, and is an obvious parallel. Locked bootloaders are almost always done at the bequest of the carrier, putting handset vendors in a challenging position inbetween the carrier and end users who want full control over devices they've purchased.
As an aside, we'll have our Verizon SGS3 variant in the next couple of days and a piece with battery life testing and any other relevant deltas from the other USA SGS3s we've already reviewed.
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