A number of users are reporting that Sony Mobile is refusing to repair handsets with hardware issues such as the yellow-tint display problem because their bootloader has been unlocked. Some customers who have sent in their handset to Sony have had them returned without repair due to the “illegal unlock” of their mobile. Whilst this is not the case in all regions, it does at least seem to affect those sending handsets to UK and Dutch Sony repair centres.
Re-locking the bootloader before the handset is sent in doesn’t seem to make a difference either as at least one user has reported that the repair was refused as the bootloader was unlocked in the past (we imagine they could tell from the removal of the DRM keys).
As far as we see things, an unlocked bootloader should make no difference whatsoever to any hardware faults (or manufacturer defects such as the yellow tint issue) that may be present on a Sony Xperia handset. Also, this shouldn’t be seen as an ‘illegal’ unlock as most people do it through the official Sony website. By the way, this is what it says before you attempt to unlock your handset via the website:
“Please note that you may void the warranty of your phone and/or any warranty from your operator if you unlock the boot loader.”
The fact that the statement says that a customer ‘may’ void the warranty creates ambiguity. If the company policy is to flat-out refuse hardware repairs based on the unlocked bootloader then Sony needs to make this much, much clearer to users. If you have had similar issues, please let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, we have asked Sony Mobile for an official statement on this matter.