A little while back, my esteemed colleague Robert brought us news that the HTC Incredible S would have a locked bootloader. What this means is that it makes it much more difficult (not impossible mind you) to root the phone and then add custom ROMs, kernels or recoveries to it. This has been an increasing trend with formerly-development-friendly HTC, with both the Incredible S and the Thunderbolt including locked bootloaders.
Now comes word from Android Police that the HTC Sensation also comes with a locked bootloader. This means that, unless entrepreneurial hackers get lucky (as they did with the Thunderbolt), the Sensation will remain on lockdown indefinitely, just like the Incredible S and many Motorola phones.
At least insofar as I’ve read, no one has been able to figure out why HTC has shifted their strategy in this regard. Previous phones by them were very development friendly (excuse me while I hug my EVO with CyanogenMod 7 on it), but now they’re making it much more difficult for developers to alter their phones. Maybe it’s a carrier thing in that Verizon and T-Mobile don’t want to deal with hacked phones (while Sprint seems to welcome such development on its phones)? Maybe HTC is trying to copy a few pages from Motorola’s playbook?
We really don’t know at this point, and for most mainstream Android users this won’t even be a big deal. For those of us who enjoy the benefits of rooting our Android phones and tweaking things, this is a troubling trend that we’ll have to keep an eye on. What about you? Does this affect you as an Android user at all, or could you not care less? I’d love to read your comments on the matter.
[via Android Police]