Developers and hackers, rejoice! Sony Ericsson will be unlocking the bootloader for a handful of its newer models, meaning no more painstaking custom unlocks and ROM hunts. Plus, it's all totally legit, so no more grey areas regarding hacking legalities.
The news was announced by Senior Program Architect Karl-Johan Dahlström on the Sony Ericsson Developer Blog. The bootloader option will be available sometime this spring, but it will have its limitations. For instance, it will only work on Xperia Play, Arc, Neo, and Pro models, and the handset can't have the SIM locked to a carrier. And even then, only particular releases of said handsets will work. Dahlström said the best way to find out if your phone is eligible is by connecting it to the Fastboot tool in the Android SDK.
He explained that the reason it has taken so long to free up the bootloader to developers and the restrictions have mainly been due to business agreements between partners. So in order to not put partners' noses out of joint, they picked very specific cellphones and requirements to offer the bootloader up.
Regardless, this is still good news for the developing community, and it will be interesting to see what developers on the the XDA Developers or Android Community forums will get up to with the bootloader to hand. For those with earlier Xperia models like the X8, you haven't been forgotten; there are hacks out there aimed specifically at you.
The usual Geek Tech disclaimer: Only tinker with your phone if you are confident you know what you are doing. If you are going to unlock your cellphone, be aware that you may void your warranty as well as brick your phone if something goes wrong. Don't say we didn't warn you and don't blame us if your unlock doesn't go to plan.
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