When we told you that Verizon was keeping their Galaxy S III tightly locked up, many folks were upset, considering the other carriers have user-onlockable bootloaders on their S III’s. Well fret no more, young hackers, for Samsung has just announced that they will be offering a developer edition S III that works on Verizon.
This hacker-friendly version will be sold directly from Samsung’s developer portal (developer.samsung.com) for $599. It’s unfortunate Verizon won’t sell it directly themselves since it won’t be subsidized, so if you want this phone for $199, you’re out of luck. But if you’re willing to spend the bucks or don’t want to be on-contract anyway, Samsung’s offer should be music to your ears. Of course, many of you who already purchased the Verizon S III are probably a little miffed. Time for a return?
All the usual warnings apply… unlocking, modding, flashing, etc. is all done at your own risk. Screw something up and you’ve got a very pretty and expensive brick. But we know you’ll be careful.
Hit the break to read Samsung’s mini-FAQ about this edition.
Samsung is pleased to announce the Galaxy S III Developer Edition for Verizon Wireless. The Developer Edition will be sold only through Samsung.com. This special edition device features a user-unlockable bootloader.
Who is this for?
Samsung and Verizon Wireless recognize that there are many enthusiasts and professional developers that are interested in customizing their device with third-party ROM software. Unlocking the bootloader can put the stability of the phone in jeopardy; therefore, only experienced developers should attempt to unlock the bootloader.
What about the other carriers?
Other versions of the Galaxy S III are sold with a user-unlockable bootloader as a standard feature. Those models are available directly from the respective carriers.
Where can I buy the Galaxy S III Developer Edition?
The Developer Edition will be sold online directly from Samsung. When the device is available for purchase, it will be sold through the Samsung developer portal at developer.samsung.com for $599.
Why is Verizon Wireless’ version locked?
Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. Unlocking the device also voids the warranty.
Has Samsung always unlocked the bootloader on its phones?
While not all previous Samsung Android devices have had an easily unlockable bootloader, all of our other current Galaxy S III flagship lineup, and all Nexus-branded devices, support the standard bootloader unlocking procedure.
What happens if I load custom software and damage (“brick”) my phone?
Problems caused by unlocking the bootloader and installing custom software will not be covered by the warranty.
Problems with third-party and customized bootloader software can cause irreparable harm to the Galaxy S III. Users interested in performing these actions should proceed with caution and at their own risk. Out of warranty Galaxy S III Developer Edition devices will be serviced directly through Samsung, and service charges will apply.