Since the release of the original Galaxy S smartphone, Samsung has quickly become the golden child of the Android platform. While its fellow Android vendors struggle to find profitability with the platform as Samsung certainly has, Samsung has managed to find the perfect equilibrium for its devices. The South Korean manufacturer has appealed to mainstream consumers with its sleek designs and top-notch specs, while enthusiasts have loved Samsung’s openness and the hackability of its devices. The company’s flagship Galaxy S III smartphone, however, is its first to include a locked and encrypted bootloader, blocking users from flashing custom ROMs and kernels. There is a catch, though. The Galaxy S III will only be locked for Verizon Wireless customers, reportedly due to a request from the carrier. Despite a tweet from Verizon’s support team claiming Samsung is responsible for the locked bootloader — even though AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile’s versions are not locked — a Verizon Wireless spokesperson supplied BGR with the following statement via email:
Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open boot loader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.