In an effort to appease an increasingly vocal community of users who are eagerly waiting for an officially-sanctioned method of gaining S-OFF on the HTC EVO 3D, HTC again went to Facebook to announce their plans.
In short, HTC still plans to roll out an OTA update sometime in August to prepare the EVO 3D for its subsequent unlocking in September. The actual unlock process will involve registering your email address with HTC and accepting legal disclaimers that unlocking the bootloader may void all or part of your warranty. You will then have to connect your phone to a computer loaded with the Android SDK to receive a unique device code, which must then be entered into a web tool. Finally, you will receive another unique code in your email inbox that you must enter into your phone to unlock the bootloader.
Also noteworthy in this latest announcement is that, although this web-based unlocking tool will be available to all new phones going forward, HTC will continue to ship phones with locked bootloaders in order to prevent "operation, security and experience issues." It's probably more likely that they are doing this as a compromise with carriers, who probably don't like this one bit.
In any case, this method does seem much simpler (and safer) than unlocking your phone with the Revolutionary developer preview. Still, it is unclear at this point what HTC will do with its new list of devices that have been unlocked. Is it possible that HTC could share this information with carriers? Could the carriers subsequently keep an especially close eye on accounts that might be engaging in questionable activities, such as unauthorized tethering? Or am I just being paranoid?
HTC's full statement appears below. In the meantime, we'd like to know: Have you already unlocked and rooted your phone with Revolutionary, or are you waiting for the official tool?
Since our last update, many of you have asked how the bootloader unlocking process will actually work, and in particular why HTC's most recently released devices still have a locked bootloader. Rest assured we're making progress toward our goal to roll out the first software updates in August to support unlocking for the global HTC Sensation, followed soon by the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile and the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint. Because unlocking the bootloader provides extensive control over the device and modifications may cause operation, security and experience issues, new devices will continue to ship locked but will support user-initiated unlocking using a new Web-based tool.
So how will this work? The Web tool, which will launch this month, requires that you register an account with a valid e-mail address and accept legal disclaimers that unlocking may void all or parts of your warranty. Then plug in your phone to a computer with the Android SDK loaded to retrieve a device identifier token, which you can then enter into the Web tool to receive a unique unlock key via e-mail. Finally, apply the key to your device and unlocking will be initiated on your phone.
We're excited to bring bootloader unlocking to developers and enthusiasts, and we feel this new Web tool will meet your needs and continue to provide customers with the best experience. Thanks to the community for supporting these efforts![Facebook]