Originally Posted by Symmetric
I agree that locked bootloaders are a pain, but manufacturers are looking to improve the customer experience; unfortunately, that includes protecting idiots from themselves.
Example: Customer goes in and buys the shiny new phone, comes home and tries installing CM7 on his (unlocked bootloader) phone using the update.zip found on XDA for a different device. Obviously the phone bricks and the customer takes it back to the store where he finds out that he voided the warranty and will not be provided a replacement.
The customer's take away? "I hate XYZ carrier and ABC manufacturer sucks"
Companies spend millions on UX and in the grand scheme of things, locking the bootloader is a pretty inexpensive way to avoid the above situation.
At the end of the day, most stores have a 30 day return policy, so buy the phone you want and if there's no root in 29 1/2 days, return it for one without known bootloader locks.
Sorry man.. I just disagree 100%. I honestly believe that the number of people who brick their phones and try to return them show up on financial reports as statistical noise. It simply isn't a valid argument for a decision about anything.
They lock the phones at the request of content providers to prevent people from exercising their fair use rights (where applicable), and to a lesser extent, to reduce piracy.
The copyright laws of many countries protect time & format shifting, for example. In Canada, it is legal to decrypt an encrypted (DRM'd) movie you've purchased, and copy it to your car's video player to watch it. With a movie purchased through iTunes on a locked iPhone, this is impossible.. which means, if you want the video in your car badly enough, you have to buy it twice.
Copyright law in Canada recognizes the right of resale. Some users may choose to decrypt their DRM'd media so that they can sell it when they're finished. Again, often impossible with locked devices.
Fair use enriches society, but (possibly) not the media companies. DRM is intended to steal from the public to increase media company revenue, but it's not reliable if end users have ultimate control over their devices. So they lobby for laws, and make backdoor deals with companies like Motorola.
The practice is despicable, and must stop.
Excuse the rant.