Transformer Prime to Recieve Unlockable Bootloader
The power of the people’s voice has been witnessed again. Four hours ago ASUS North America announced via their Facebook Page that the ASUS Transformer Prime will gain a tool available to unlock their bootloader. There is a twist however. It will register the device as having a voided warranty and will prevent the device from renting movies off of the Android Market.
The full statement on the unlock follows:
“Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers’ requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.”
This is a similar approach to HTC’s bootloader unlocking tool explained at HTCdev.
In the lengthy post ASUS announced that the FOTA (Firmware Over-the-Air) update to Ice Cream Sandwitch (ICS) would be beginning 12 Jan 2012, just over a week away. They then thanked their customers for being patient.
ASUS did concede one point however, and that it that their design is crippling to GPS due to the construction materials used, namely it’s metallic unibody design. They emphasize that the Prime is no professional GPS device but this is probably of little comfort to those who have already plunked down hundreds of dollars for something advertised as having solid GPS. Fear not, they are telling people that now, or at least they are removing advertisements about its GPS.