The Samsung Galaxy S4 is on the AT&T network with a locked bootloader, but we know that is not going to stop Android hackers from getting into phone and unlocking it so it can run custom ROM’s. That is exactly what has happened already with the new smartphone according to one online source. A well known Android hacker, Dan Rosenberg, posted an image today showing the Samsung Galaxy S4 reloading with the message “Samsung Galaxy S4 bootloader hacked by Dan Rosenberg (@djbliss)”. The image that was posted only shows Samsung branding and nothing indicating that it is from the AT&T network, but a series of posts on Twitter confirm the rumor.
One post on Twitter from Rosenberg says, “Reversed most of the AT&T Galaxy S4 bootloader. Design seems solid, I don’t expect it to be unlocked except by leak or key mgmt mistake.” This tweet was posted at 6:51PM on the 28th of April according to screenshots of the tweet. For the most part, there are few details other than what we have posted here, but it is expected that he will a tool that will be free of charge and allow users to get around the locked bootloader.
Rosenberg has created tools to unlock the Motorola Droid RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD, plus other RAZR devices that are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. The tool that Rosenberg created can be downloaded for a Windows PC or a Mac. Since he has figured out a way to get around it on the AT&T model, there is nothing that indicates that he will not get around the Sprint model or the Verizon Wireless model once it hits stores at the end of this month. Verizon Wireless has a long history that indicates the company will ship the handset with a locked bootloader, so it is very much expected with the Galaxy S4 as well.
Sprint has confirmed the Galaxy S4 will ship with an unlocked bootloader, but that it is an unlocked “for Sprint”. Getting an unlocked bootloader is not the same thing as the SIM unlocked smartphone. A bootloader will usually be unlocked at the end of a two-year contract or if a consumer pays full retail for the phone and owns it outright. Usually that means that users can take their phones somewhere else, but they would not be able to install custom ROM’s.
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