The Death Star strikes again. Word has come out that AT&T’s variant of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will come with a locked bootloader. We’ve stressed how bad a locked bootloader is plenty of times on this site, as it makes hacking/rooting the phone for customizable software much harder. News came down from Steve Kondik, Founder of CyanogenMod, as he delivered it by way of his Google+ page. Kondik didn’t endorse the GS4 on AT&T; he basically told folks to stay away from it.
“I would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work with or debug the lower layers.”
That isn’t good for AT&T or Samsung for that matter. Kondik has major clout in the developer world, which does hold millions of people who create or consume customization software. The Galaxy S 4 is already getting its ass kicked on just about every credible technology site (including ours) when put up against the HTC One, so having the dev community angry is another issue the company doesn’t need.
The reason locked bootloaders piss a lot of people off is because it shows a carrier’s dictatorial attitude when it comes to phones. Wireless providers feel entitled to dictate what goes on your device, even if you paid the money to own it. They want to control your device, your property. Thankfully, the developer community is both clever and smart; we’re sure there will be a solution to this locked bootloader problem very soon.