Remember when the Galaxy S III launched last year? When the Samsung flagship finally came to the US, most carriers got the handset with an unlocked bootloader; only Verizon’s was locked-down. That was upsetting, sure, but knowing Verizon, not exactly uncharacteristic, either. Since then, the playing field hasn’t exactly been trending towards more open hardware, so perhaps we should be just as unsurprised to get word that the Galaxy S 4 as it’s coming to all the US carriers is similarly locked.
Steve Kondik got the call out last night, warning users about the state of the bootloader on the AT&T GS4. His voice was followed shortly thereafter by AnandTech’s Brian Klug, echoing that, and adding in that this locked bootloader wasn’t exclusive to AT&T, and all US models were crippled in the same fashion.
This may be a result of carrier pressure, or could be tied to the Knox security software that was supposed to arrive with the GS4, but has since seen delays. In any case, it’s not going to bode well for the future of the phone’s development community, which is already off to a rocky start thanks to resistance from team Hacksung.