Sony Ericsson is on a roll. Following their decision to bring Gingerbread to the Xperia X10, they have now officially confirmed that the bootloader on the new range of Xperia smartphones will be unlocked. “Sony Ericsson will allow advanced developers to unlock the boot loader in a secure and legal way,” says the press release. All new Xperia phones will see the bootloader unlocked (Arc, PLAY, Neo and Pro). The Xperia X10 will not be unlocked due to “technical and legal reasons”.
This will only be available on certain kits (i.e. unbranded models), any phone that is SIM locked won’t get access to the bootloader. Even more of a reason to ditch the branded handsets. Other handsets may also be blocked depending on geography. One sure way of knowing if your handset is compatible is to test whether you can connect to the Fastboot tool in the Android SDK.
Sony Ericsson say that unlocking the bootloader is done with the usual caveats i.e. custom unsigned ROMs might not work properly on your phone, the warranty may be voided and that the SE repair network may not be able to properly test your phone if it gets damaged. They also say it should only be attempted by advanced users and they “strongly recommend that standard users NOT unlock the boot loader, as it is not needed. We are proud to deliver great phone experiences through our rigorously tested and official software releases.” For the rest of us however, it is great news and maximises the potential of the handset.
This is super news and further indication that Sony Ericsson is doing a great job of listening to its community. Sony Ericsson is targeting the number 1 position in the Android smartphone space – the fact that it is learning from its mistakes and delivering what consumers want, we have no doubt that it will make great inroads to get there.
Via SE Developer Blog.