As expected during the roll out of a new Galaxy flagship every year, Samsung has quietly listed a little-marketed and carrier-approved Developer Edition of its flagship.
While identical in terms of specifications to all of the carrier and unlocked versions of the device, the Developer Editions are notable for featuring unlocked bootloaders meant for use by enthusiasts and developers for testing and developing alternative builds of Android. Samsung began offering the Developer Editions with the release of the S IV last year and at that time offered versions compatible with both AT&T and Verizon, in response to enthusiast and developer demand for devices with unlocked bootloaders.
More recently starting within the last two years, manufacturers such as Samsung have decided to take it upon themselves to offer devices directly with unlocked bootloaders for developers and enthusiasts, typically at a premium above carrier retail price in order to address that demand that carriers could not fill due to concerns relating to customer support and security.
Previously, enthusiasts and developers had to hope that carriers would ship their devices with unlocked bootloaders, as carriers began to focus on device security for consumers, many carriers decided to ship their devices with locked bootloaders after it was determined that the demand for them wasn’t strong enough to ship consumer devices with them unlocked, a practice that continues to this day across all major US carriers.
While Samsung has not listed pricing and launch details for its Verizon-powered Developer Edition, pricing is usually set at $50 more than carrier pricing for an outright purchase, which would make this version $699, rather than the $649 that Samsung is pushing for carrier pricing of the standard S5 at full price.
More details on availability and pricing are expected within the next few weeks as Samsung begins its official rollout of the S5 this weekend in the US with all four US carriers preparing launches and other brands preparing their own launches, such as MetroPCS for later this month.