Peter Chou, CEO of HTC announced through Facebook that they will be shipping open bootloaders on all their phones. For the majority of people this announcement doesn’t matter as most users will never choose to run anything besides the default OS shipped with their device. While there is nothing wrong with running the stock OS, the point is that users should be the ones to make the choice about how they choose to use their device and not the manufacturer or wireless carrier.
Android is a fantastic open platform and has spurred a vast wave of innovation since it was introduced. Having access to an open software platform like Android is great but it means little if the device itself lacks the same openness. Smartphones and tablets have become powerful computing devices in their own right. They now have the computing power to run complex software, and also have the capability to operate in ways that go far beyond a simple mobile phone. Customers spend hundreds of dollars on Android smartphones and tablets, yet with locked bootloaders they can’t run whatever software they choose. Who are they to tell us what we can or cannot run on a device that we own? In the end it’s about choice and freedom, and it is because of this that the HTC announcement was so exciting.
Here was the official post from Peter Chou on Facebook:
There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we've listened. Today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.
This is great news for everyone except those that have already purchased the Thunderbolt, HTC Incredible 2, Sensation, or the Evo 3D. It is still up in the air if these devices will be granted access to their bootloader, or if this announcement only applies to the next round of HTC phones. Hopefully Motorola will get the message as well and announce a similar policy.