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  1. #1
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    [Update!] AT&T's Galaxy S4 Has A Locked/Non-Unlockable Bootloader

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    I know this isn't Cricket/CDMA related, but I thought a lot of ya'll would find this interesting... What are your thoughts on this?

    SOURCE:
    Android Police




    If you bought/plan on buying AT&T's variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it's locked down tight.

    Historically, Samsung devices up to and including the SIII have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it "authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them." In layman's terms, that essentially means that it won't allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run. Ouch.

    Steve goes on to say that he "would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work or debug the lower layers." We know that a lot of you are big fans of CM, so this is a pretty substantial statement coming from Cyanogen himself.

    "Yep, it's confirmed. The AT&T S4 authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them.

    I can't see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this. GSM and LTE aren't magical, tethering is controllable on the server side, and theft-of-services is not possible from the application processor side (or even from the modem side as far as I know). The same device is available on every carrier, so it's not an exclusivity issue either. The modem processor has always been locked, and the casual user doesn't want to mess with that part anyway. Samsung has always been developer-friendly, so I am guessing their hand was forced.

    The only outcome I see here is stacks of bricked devices being sent back for warranty replacement due to the ease of causing a permanent boot failure, especially since the device is trivially rootable.

    The arms race continues. News flash: MILLIONS of people run custom firmware (and I have the STATS to prove it). This is just a stupid move that will cost you customers and money.

    I would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work with or debug the lower layers."

    While we can't say for sure, it's probably a safe bet that Verizon's variant of the device will be the same way. Unlike AT&T, Verizon has a reputation of locking down all devices, which includes its versions of the Galaxy S III and Note II. No reason to think that the GS4 will be any different.

    Unfortunately, it looks like this may become the new norm for carrier-branded devices in the US.

    UPDATE FROM ANDROID POLICE:

    It was only yesterday that Cyanogen definitively confirmed AT&T's treacherous move to lock down the Galaxy S4's bootloader, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. No thanks to AT&T but to security researcher extraordinaire and a person I admire Dan Rosenberg, a.k.a. the magician, a.k.a. the root whisperer.

    Dan, who is responsible for numerous root and unlock exploits, tweeted this photo of his Galaxy S4 earlier today:

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    There are no instructions or blog posts explaining the unlock at Dan's blog yet - these should be coming in the future. When, you might ask? This part is not decided just yet, for a good reason (put down your pitchforks). Here's what I was able to find out:

    1.) The phone in the photo is indeed the AT&T variant, which is the only currently released GS4 with a bootloader that cannot be unlocked.

    2.) As I mentioned, there is a good reason for why the unlock method will be withheld for now. Let me just nudge your thought process in the right direction. A certain other carrier has a habit of locking down bootloaders. That carrier's GS4 variant is not going to be due out until the end of May (May 30th, to be exact). If the unlock was to be released now, that's a whole lot of time to give someone to fix a thing or two up. And if they do, that door may never open again. You see where I'm going with this?

    So there you have it - the GS4's bootloader has been unlocked but now we have to practice some patience and try to not feel selfish. Those who wait will be rewarded with custom recoveries, ROMs, and possibly unicorn ponies.

    Last edited by knewsom32; 05-01-2013 at 01:29 PM.
    *Please PM me ONLY if you have posted in the forum, and I have not replied. Thank you.*

    Wanna know how I became a SuperMod?? I got engaged to the creator of the site. (;

    Find devices to flash to Cricket here (refine the search to find the phone model you desire).
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  3. #2
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    Wow that sucks. I mean what's the point of getting an Android if you're not going to root it? Fail on ATTs part.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoopooTickler View Post
    Wow that sucks. I mean what's the point of getting an Android if you're not going to root it? Fail on ATTs part.
    Att doesn't want you to root it. That's why. Either way people or going to but it, if anything, win on atts part.
    Edit: it is root able. But you cannot run a custom/modified OS

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #4
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    I beat it gets cracked.
    Last edited by PlayfulGod; 04-30-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  6. #5
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    rooting ha snothing to do with unlocking the bootloader, anyways sprint, tmobile and uscc are all unlocked as well so my money is on cricket having a varinat of uscc's (you guys share lte bands and cdma) thus you will be free to flash cwm/twrp that we will port when the time is right and the phone is out

  7. #6
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    Would seem to be in direct violation of the recently "overturned" laws/policies which now allow unlocked phones on differrent carriers. But i guess no one said phone makers had to design them as unlockable first.

  8. #7
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    thsi isnt about unlocking them for gsm world use, this is purely bootloader stuff which is completely different.

  9. #8
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    Reminds me of the Droid X.

  10. #9
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    Return it and get the T-mobile version instead. If you want to sim unlock it to use it on ATT I guess you could but I personally would avoid carriers who lock phones like this.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmplus View Post
    Return it and get the T-mobile version instead. If you want to sim unlock it to use it on ATT I guess you could but I personally would avoid carriers who lock phones like this.
    I think it would be illegal to sim unlock now.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by salas View Post
    I think it would be illegal to sim unlock now.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    The White House overturned the law making it illegal to sim unlock a device

    Sent from my SCH-R530C using Tapatalk 2
    My work on the CDMA Cricket S3 and S4 are now obsolete. Thanks for all the support when I was actively working on them!

    Feel free to PM me only after you've posted on the forums.

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  13. #12
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    Thread updated.
    *Please PM me ONLY if you have posted in the forum, and I have not replied. Thank you.*

    Wanna know how I became a SuperMod?? I got engaged to the creator of the site. (;

    Find devices to flash to Cricket here (refine the search to find the phone model you desire).
    Feel free to donate so we can get more devices to write tutorials on!
    GreenK45 - Automatic proxy setup (u2nl/autostart) for Android flashed phone users on the $45 plan. Now available on the Android Market!

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by knewsom32 View Post
    Thread updated.
    That's freaking sexy. Nice find

    Sent from my SCH-R530C using Tapatalk 2
    My work on the CDMA Cricket S3 and S4 are now obsolete. Thanks for all the support when I was actively working on them!

    Feel free to PM me only after you've posted on the forums.

    If you need to buy something from Ebay, please use this LINK every time and support the forum!

  15. #14
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    I remember same thing happened when ios6 was finally jailbroken for iPhone and iPod 5. We had to wait for evasi0n to release.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  16. #15
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    The Sprint version ships unlocked, and that's probably closer to what Cricket will get, anyway. But cool that they hacked it already.

 

 
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