Sony clarifies warranty guidance if you unlock your bootloader

by XB on 3rd August 2012

in Featured Content, Problems

Last week we reported on the problem that a number of people were having in trying to get repairs made on their Sony Xperia handsets. The problem affected some of those who had unlocked their bootloader to allow them to install custom ROMs and root their handsets. Many of these repairs were refused because of the fact that these people had unlocked bootloaders and Sony therefore said the warranty was voided. This was also the case for manufacturer issues, such as the yellow tint display problem.

Phone Arena reached out to Sony Mobile PR’s team for an answer and we’ve included their full response below. The gist of it is that unless it is a known batch issue, Sony Mobile will not honour the warranty if the bootloader has been unlocked. This sounds fair to us, especially given the fact that installing custom ROMs and overclocking one’s handset could cause overheating and other issues. Obviously in most issues this isn’t the case, but Sony shouldn’t be expected to spend the time to weed out these issues when it may have been caused by the consumer. See the statement after the break.

For most issues/problems, unlocking the bootloader voids the warranty. Sony Mobile only honours the warranty if it is a known issue in that model/batch of phones or if it is an issue that clearly could not have been caused by flashing a different ROM. Because a new ROM can have a wide range of consequences (e.g., it can overheat the battery or change the voltage, which can damage other components), that basically means that only a small subset of issues are still covered by the warranty. Therefore, even when the phone is in warranty, the service centre usually has to do a very costly board swap in order to get the phone back to its original state before it can perform any repair. The end-user has to pay for that part of the repair.

We are proud of providing the unlock feature to the developer community. Previously, there was a large risk of bricking the phone when unlocking with third party software. Sony Mobile’s solution remove’s that risk. When we initially provided the unlock feature, it was presumed that only highly skilled developers and super-users would take advantage of it. From blogs and discussion boards, it was clear that the community understood the risks and that unlocking largely voided the warranty. It appears that less sophisticated users (despite all our warnings) might be using the feature, and are now surprised by the consequences.

Via Phone Arena.

  • SONY clearly mentioned while providing the bootloader unlocked for xperia phones that warranty would be voided
     but on the other hand SonY forced the users to unlocked their bootloader when they release ICS beta for play arc etc.

  • Ambroos

    They didn’t force users? The beta was a release meant for developers. Calls and data didn’t work either. There was no reason for anyone else to use that beta release.

  • blurb8

    They force users to install beta software?

  • Xlash Andraid

    So, developers and “super users” automatically lost the right of claim for warranty in case they had a hardware problem…

  • NO, no one forces you to use beta software ;)

  • Khiem Diep

    Wow, stop complaining already. This really says it all.

    “It appears that less sophisticated users (DESPITE ALL OUR WARNINGS) might be using the feature, and are now surprised by the consequences.”

  • hamboy

    It’s fair enough really

  • Sounds fair enough…

  • ThilinaC

     Well said mate,what a way to respond to dev community :/

  • EowynCarter

    And the yellow tint don’t match the “known batch issue” part ? Who Sony does think they’re fooling there ?

    I agree to pay the consequences if I brick my phone, but hardware issue SHOULD be covered by warranty unless user fault can be proved.

  • goldenblls

    Software that has not been optimised properly for the phone will be the cause of other issues, such as the hardware overheating, which in turn causes the screen tint.  

    If people meddle with the software on their phones, knowing that they have been pre-warned that they will void their warranty, and this causes hardware issues arise, then Sony really can’t be blamed.

    If you bought a new car and retuned the engine to make it go faster, then when driving it a the higher speed it caused other original components to fail, can the car maker be blamed when you had been pre-warned?


  • EowynCarter

    Fact is, some had the tint issue without messing up with firmware…

    And imho, a properly made phone don’t see it’s screen tinted for a bit of heat.

  • Pingback: Sony clarifies statement on unlocked bootloader warranty | mobile technology news update()

  • goldenblls

    True, and they narrowed it down to a certain batch of phones which was then dealt with under warranty.

  • EowynCarter

    Then they should give batch number and such and clearly explain.
    From my point of view it’s just a lame excuse to limit money loss because they screwed up.

  • Chaostheory

    I don’t need to unlock the bootloader of my xP but i want to root my device. So why isn’t there an official way to do this?

  • Rune Christiansen

    Well wouldn’t you have noticed or specifically check if there’s an issue BEFORE tinkering with the phone in any bare? I’m certainly not dumb enough to unlock it without getting it fixed beforehand…

  • Rune Christiansen

    Bare = case

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  • EowynCarter

    Sure, the phone are tinted out of the box and the probem will be visible right away….

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  • Me

    Do you really expect them to honour warranty of a modified device ? I know it stinks but be reasonable mate… you can’t honour warranty on bricked phone if you know it’s been meddled with – no matter if they allow bootloader unlock or not.

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