As many of you know, Samsung devices have been pretty developer friendly for the most part over the past couple of years, but that could be changing. That or Samsung’s hands were forced. We’ve now learned the AT&T Galaxy S 4 and its bootloader is locked down tight. Thanks AT&T for making developers and modders instantly choose a different carrier.
While we can’t say for sure this was at the hands of AT&T, Samsung’s past pretty much gives credence to the theory. Then the hugely popular Android developer that needs no introduction, Steve Kondik (Cyanogen for those living outside of the Android world) backs up some of these suggestions with his own thoughts. While also confirming the device is locked down tight.
Over on Google+ Steve had some comments to share regarding the situation, and lets just say it doesn’t look good. Previously usually only Verizon devices were locked down, but now AT&T could be joining in on that mindset. Steve then backs up reasons why this shouldn’t be happening, stating they don’t have very much to gain by shunning developers.
“I can’t see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this. GSM and LTE aren’t magical, tethering is controllable on the server side, and theft-of-services is not possible from the application processor side (or even from the modem side as far as I know). The same device is available on every carrier, so it’s not an exclusivity issue either.” – Steve Kondik
However, locked doesn’t always mean completely encrypted so we have hope. That and developers have a pretty good track record of breaking these locks wide open and making the device modder friendly again. Even Motorola’s extremely tight devices have fallen from the Android Community of developers lately. So while this is bad news for the AT&T (and possibly other) GALAXY S 4 owners, we have faith that it won’t be long until everything gets figured out. In the meantime, developers might want to look elsewhere.