Verizon offers an unlocked Galaxy S3... For a price

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the best phones on the market, and has been receiving a lot of praise in online reviews (remember to read our review and also the review from forum member mrk). In the United States, the phone is available on all of the major carriers with minimal differences between them. However one big difference is that on Verizon, the bootloader comes locked, preventing users from installing custom ROMs.

Many people view an unlocked bootloader as a key feature of Android devices, so it’s curious that Verizon would cut this off when other providers have left it open. However, accoreding to CNET, Verizon is giving customers a choice: They can purchase an unsubsidized “Developer’s Edition” of the phone that allows users to tinker with the bootloader. The phone will cost $600, the same price as a regular S3 off of contract, and will be available from Samsung’s website.

While the question still remains as to why Verizon decided to lock the bootloader when AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile left it open, this at least gives everyone the ability to use Verizon and tinker on the phone as long as they’re willing to pay full price for the device.

Source: CNet

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12 Comments

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@Tsupersonic - you have no clue what you're talking about. Bypassing a bootloader is not that easy. People are working on it.
@SharpGreen - same. You can root to get tethering. That's not the problem.

The issue is that Samsung said the device would be unlocked. Verizon said nothing. They sold the device at rates competitive to those that other carriers were charging for an unlocked phone. They got people to do it to extend their contracts in order to screw them just a little bit more.

ArmedMonkey said,
@Tsupersonic - you have no clue what you're talking about. Bypassing a bootloader is not that easy. People are working on it.
@SharpGreen - same. You can root to get tethering. That's not the problem.

The issue is that Samsung said the device would be unlocked. Verizon said nothing. They sold the device at rates competitive to those that other carriers were charging for an unlocked phone. They got people to do it to extend their contracts in order to screw them just a little bit more.

It may be difficult, but the hackers out there are hard at work, and have already rooted the phone, and loaded CWM. It's only a matter of time. Honestly, this is really not a show stopper. It is a bad move on Verizon's part, but you can always switch carriers if it really matters that much to you. Personally I feel if you really want to get the best Android experience, you'd get a Nexus device. The Galaxy lineup has always been subpar in my mind - Samsung hardware is just not that great, and this is one thing I despise about my Nexus. I love the software, but hate the Samsung hardware. I hope Google chooses another manufacturer for the next Nexus phone device.

Well...what's the surprise in this? $600 is usually the price you pay for a high end unlocked phone. If you went subsidized (aka on a contract), you can bypass the bootloader issue easily. People never cease to complain/whine about very stupid/simple things.

tsupersonic said,
Well...what's the surprise in this? $600 is usually the price you pay for a high end unlocked phone. If you went subsidized (aka on a contract), you can bypass the bootloader issue easily. People never cease to complain/whine about very stupid/simple things.

No... and no.... =\

This isn't about the contract - it's not really the same thing as people wanting an unlocked iphone. It's just about the ROM on the phone.

The locked bootloader prevents you from putting custom ROMs on (for example, stock android... PURE ICS to get rid of Samsung's garbage). The bootloader has not been cracked on most (if any) devices- yes, eventually, people figure out ways to get some customized roms on their phones but it still is not the same thing as being able to have stock android.

It also prevents people from getting updates to future Android OS's until Samsung/Motorola/HTC provide the update (which is usually a year later if anything - most times they just don't even give it to you).

Do you still have to sign a contract? it sounds stupid to still have to do that but I have heard weirder things...

capr said,
Do you still have to sign a contract? it sounds stupid to still have to do that but I have heard weirder things...

no, anytime you pay full or retail price for a phone your contract remains as it was. I have been off contract with them for almost a year (buying my phones elsewhere).

Verizon does not use GSM standard therefore it has an added leverage to screw up customers......
That was the main reason why I chose VoiceStream as a provider in 1994: at the time it was one of the few ones using GSM standards.
With Verizon you do not only pay a full price for the device, it is also, still, Verizon branded.

SharpGreen said,
How dumb. I don't see what VZW's obsession is with locking their phones up so tight.

To prevent people from doing things that Verizon wants to charge extra for (tethering is a big one).

nvllsvm said,

To prevent people from doing things that Verizon wants to charge extra for (tethering is a big one).

Actually, all of the new Verizon plans include tethering for free now (finally!)

SharpGreen said,
How dumb. I don't see what VZW's obsession
is with locking their phones up so tight.

its so when idiots who have no business rooting their phones just so they can install some theme thats actually meant for a differnt phone and end up bricking it. They then call verizon demanding help on fixing it or ask for a replacement.