Bad news for future Verizon’s Galaxy S3 owners. The carrier has shipped some SGS3 units to the folks who had pre-ordered the handset, and to their horror, it looks like the handset comes with a locked down bootloader. While the bootloaders of the Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy S III are fully open, Verizon has somehow managed to convince Samsung to lock-down the bootloader on its variant of the Galaxy S III.
The whole community over at XDA is seemingly angry over this, and ace developer supercurio has suggested everyone on the forums to return their Verizon locked SGS3 and get a full-refund.
A locked down bootloader means that gaining root access on the handset is going to be tough, custom ROMs will be limited, and there will be absolutely no way of flashing a custom kernel. While sometime in the future, a developer might find a way of unofficially unlocking the bootloader on the Verizon’s Galaxy S III, it won’t solve the problem altogether. Future firmware updates from Verizon will definitely try to patch any security hole via which developers managed to unlock the bootloader.
Samsung has been known to support the Android modding community by providing them with devices, and always releasing their devices with unlocked bootloader. Looks like Samsung ultimately did had to pay a price for releasing a non-modified variant of the Galaxy S III under Verizon’s network.
If you want Verizon or Samsung to unlock the bootloader on the Galaxy S III, head over to this thread and sign the petition. Don’t get your hopes up though! Verizon is known to have a tough stance on not unlocking the bootloader on its devices.