If you’re one of the many who is currently upset at the whole bootloader situation with the Verizon Galaxy S III, Samsung has another option for you but it’s going to cost you a lot of money. Today, Samsung announced that it will be selling a special version of the Verizon Galaxy S III with an unlockable bootloader directly from its developer store. The phone will set you back $599, but for that price, you will be able to geeky stuff like flashing custom kernels and more.
As you probably know by now, the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy S III comes with a locked and encrypted bootloader. With the bootloader locked and encrypted, the custom roms that are built for the device by the development community are going to be somewhat limited since custom kernels won’t be flashable on the device.
All other variants of the Galaxy S III have unlockable bootloader. Of course, Verizon blames Samsung, and Samsung blames Verizon. Whatever the case, it’s nice that Samsung is offering this expensive option for those who truly care about the state of the bootloader on their devices.
Check out the small FAQ document below that Samsung released in regards to the special hacker-friendly version of the Galaxy S III for Verizon Wireless:
Samsung is pleased to announce the Galaxy S III Developer Edition for Verizon Wireless. The Developer Edition will be sold only through Samsung.com. This special edition device features a user-unlockable bootloader.
Who is this for?
Samsung and Verizon Wireless recognize that there are many enthusiasts and professional developers that are interested in customizing their device with third-party ROM software. Unlocking the bootloader can put the stability of the phone in jeopardy; therefore, only experienced developers should attempt to unlock the bootloader.
What about the other carriers?
Other versions of the Galaxy S III are sold with a user-unlockable bootloader as a standard feature. Those models are available directly from the respective carriers.
Where can I buy the Galaxy S III Developer Edition?
The Developer Edition will be sold online directly from Samsung. When the device is available for purchase, it will be sold through the Samsung developer portal at developer.samsung.com for $599.
Why is Verizon Wireless’ version locked?
Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. Unlocking the device also voids the warranty.
Has Samsung always unlocked the bootloader on its phones?
While not all previous Samsung Android devices have had an easily unlockable bootloader, all of our other current Galaxy S III flagship lineup, and all Nexus-branded devices, support the standard bootloader unlocking procedure.
What happens if I load custom software and damage (“brick”) my phone?
Problems caused by unlocking the bootloader and installing custom software will not be covered by the warranty.
Problems with third-party and customized bootloader software can cause irreparable harm to the Galaxy S III. Users interested in performing these actions should proceed with caution and at their own risk. Out of warranty Galaxy S III Developer Edition devices will be serviced directly through Samsung, and service charges will apply.