LG has confirmed that it has plans to provide an official bootloader unlocking solution for those who wish to install custom ROMs and other third-party tweaks on their LG smartphones and tablets. The company warns, however, that “it will take some time.” Some smartphone manufacturers offer a small number of “Developer Edition” devices that come with their bootloaders already unlocked. Others, such as HTC, offer an official unlocking solution for those who wish to take matters into their own hands. This allows users to easily bypass certain security restrictions and install third-party customizations as they wish.
Bootloader unlock policies are always a sticky situation. On one side you have the Android modding community wanting full control over the devices they’ve purchased, to do things like modify the software and flash custom ROMs. On the other side are manufacturers who’s hands are usually tied thanks to carriers making a locked down bootloader a requirement for phones operating on their network. Recently, we’ve seen a shift in the tides as OEMs attempt to circumvent these restrictions, whether it be with their official bootloader unlocking software (a la HTC), or official “developer edition” devices that come out of the box with bootloaders pre-unlocked and ready to flash the custom ROMs like CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android. LG is one of the bigger Android OEMs who has chosen to distance themselves from the issue, shying away from talk of unlocked bootloaders or developer editions when it comes to more strict carriers (like Verizon or AT&T) — until now. Senior XDA member Wolfgart mentions in a post on the developer forum that he received an email from LG stating that they are working on a software solution that will not only appease ROM flashing addicts, but avoiding stepping on the toes of carriers.