HTC has confirmed on its Facebook page via message from CEO Peter Chou that the manufacturerâ€™s recent trend to lock the bootloaders on its most recent devices (Thunderbolt, Incredible S, Sensation and EVO 3D) will be no more.
â€œThere has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.â€
The intention behind locking the bootloader on all Android devices was to ensure that devices could remain secure enough for average users while avoiding support issues due to inexperienced users attempting to load custom ROMs. In practice however, locking bootloaders served as a way to maintain control of hardware due to carrier demands and requirements, such as preloaded applications and support for protected content as evidenced by the recent blockades of Android Market movie rentals, Netflix and Blockbuster from rooted devices.
As an unlocked bootloader made it easier to bypass such restrictions by allowing custom Android builds, more and more carriers and manufacturers decided to start locking said bootloaders on devices to exercise control of hardware. With HTC releasing its next wave of devices, it has embraced the Android hacking community by eliminating its recent policy and ensures that the spirit of Android as an open platform is preserved, even down to hardware access.