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Feature Request: Unlock bootloader

Dear HMD Global / Nokia:


You're device lineup from last year has been a success, and received fair reviews from various tech reviewers. With the release of the new lineup of devices that will be released this year, we think that now is the time for you to unlock the bootloader for the previous generations of device, and give some love for the developers out there. By unlocking the bootloader and releasing the kernel sources for a device, one could customize and gain total control over the OS he or she purchased during the first place. We paid for our device, and we shall be getting the most out of it since we purchased the unit, knowing that Android is OPEN SOURCE, and can be modified and/or customized.


We are aware of the risks of unlocking the bootloader, and even acquiring elevated commands from the OS. We are also aware that unlocking our bootloader would put our devices at risk. We purchased the device, knowing that we must get the most out of it.


One user from Twitter, claiming to be a Chief Technology Officer at HMD Global (@MikkoLJaakkola) stated that "Unlocking bootloader is indeed in our backlog ." It's been almost six (6) months from the time of this post, yet nothing has been done yet.


HMD Global / Nokia, I think that now is the time for your company to give love to the passionate developers out there, and to give your customers what they truly deserve: The freedom to have total control over their device, and get the most out of it.


Sincerely,

NHeoShadow


27 people have this question

 Bumping the thread.


1 person likes this

I, personally, would like to see Nokia/HMD jump on the unlockable bootloader bandwagon. More and more handset manufacturers are shipping without methods to unlock or are removing their ability to unlock the device(I'm looking at you Huawei). HTC is, regrettably, a sinking ship, Google's offerings have the best support but suffer from an Apple level of cost, and OnePlus cuts costs in the wrong places for me(Micro SD Card, Wireless Charging, USB PD fast charge). I've considered ASUS but they are much like OnePlus and cut the features I would like; not to mention that they violate the GPLv2 license for the kernel because it is often not complete. Where many other Chinese brands are not an option because of questionable user data collection policies, outright disregard for the kernel license, and I cannot be sure there aren't user hostile modifications to key pieces of firmware (eg Cellular Modem).


We, as consumers, are loosing our options (at least in the United States) for devices with unlockable bootloaders that have good (notice I didn't say great) network support and performance. Sure, if we wanted a Samsung or LG phone with an unlocked bootloader we could import a European model. However, that comes with tax (sometimes quite literally) and removed features (Samsung Pay if activated anywhere but Europe).


Options are always good for consumers. Not to mention, that it is often the developer/enthusiast/IT person that influences and recommends technology to those not so well versed. I would love to be able to recommend Nokia/HMD to my friends and family. The majority of them are familiar with the Nokia name/brand, particularly having heard of the nearly indestructible phones of old, and would make my encouragements that much more effective. However, I cannot in good conscience do so for a device that has a way of enforcing planned obsolescence built in.


Also, to the person that says that not providing an unlocked bootloader is a GLP violation. You are not wrong but you are not entirely correct either. GPL version 3 does have the Tivoization provision, however, that was an addition specifically included in version 3. Version 2 has no such provision and the Linux kernel now and for the foreseeable future, as determined by its (largely) benevolent dictator Linus Torvalds, is GPLv2. Which means Nokia/HMD are not bound by the license to provides such measures and are not in violation of GPLv2 in regards to the Tivoization provision you have referenced. They are only required to make the source code available without charge, as well as, the other provisions stated in GPLv2.

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