There has been some confusion over the issue of unlocked bootloaders on the new Sony Ericsson Xperia handsets. We first reported over a month back that unlocking the bootloader meant that you would not be able to connect to the Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS) to update to the latest official firmware. This was subsequently refuted by Sony Ericsson UK who said that as long as you were not running a custom ROM, you would still be offered official updates.
Well it turns out the original case stands. If you unlock your bootloader you will not be offered SEUS support. This has been confirmed by Sony Ericsson Developer, Karl-Johan Dahlström, who said that part of the problem was not knowing which software release was currently on the phone if the bootloader was unlocked. Dahlström says that the company is investigating ways to get a SE ROM back onto the phone, but there’s no idea on timelines for now.
For those that haven’t unlocked your bootloaders, this is an issue you should be aware of, especially as we cannot guarantee Sony Ericsson will come up with any recovery program. If you have unlocked your bootloader then you can still upgrade your firmware, but only via Flashtool. xda-developers have the latest Android 2.3.3 firmware to download. Check out Dahlström’s responses in full below.
I am aware that we don’t have a recovery ROM in place. There are some reasons why that is the case. One reason for not supporting FOTA updates after the phone has been unlocked is that FOTA is a delta between two know SW releases and as the phone has been unlocked we can’t be sure of the SW release currently on the phone. I will bring this question back to see if we could allow phones that has been unlocked to be updated via “SW update service” which would be a way to get a Sony Ericsson ROM back on the phone, but please note the warranty may still have been voided as the phone.
Currently we don’t support SEUS for phones that have been unlocked. I have initiated discussions if we can support that going forward, but there are several things that needs to be investigated before I can give you an answer (e.g. will it affect customer call centers, repair centers, which SW should be used for unlocked phones, how to identify phone model if other things has been modified, are there security concerns for unlocked phones etc). Will get back to you as soon as I have more information. Sorry that I can’t give a better answer at this time.