For the past few months HTC has been playing it pretty mod-friendly with HTCDev, their portal for all things developer and the home of HTC’s bootloader unlock tool. But those few who have access to AT&T’s LTE version of the One X have found that using the previously posted bootloader unlock simply won’t work – the unlock process returns a failure, and says that the American model isn’t allowed. Without an unlocked bootloader, custom ROMs will be difficult, and custom kernels will be almost impossible.

The lack of an unlockable bootloader is a definite problem for advanced Android users. Along with the Galaxy S III, the One X is the top dog of Android 4.0 devices at the moment, and having it off-limits to custom ROM enthusiasts is a major disappointment. Motorola continues to keep their bootloaders locked on Verizon at the carrier’s insistence, and it’s more than enough reason for many Android enthusiasts to avoid otherwise great phones like the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX.

Noted modder Paul “Modaco” O’Brien was the first to spot the inconsistency. There’s been a lot of hue and cry since Paul’s post – most of it not actually coming from him. I’d like so sound a note of caution here: the AT&T version of the One X (known as the “One XL” when it debuts on other LTE markets) won’t be officially released for another two days. In the words of the great Ford Prefect, Don’t Panic.

HTC has consistently unlocked all its phones for the better part of a year, including Verizon phones like the Rezound and even the original HTC Dream. Other AT&T phones have been unlocked as well. It may take them up to a few weeks to add AT&T’s One X to the list, but at this point we see no reason why they wouldn’t.

UPDATE: According to HTC, AT&T may be to blame for this one, which doesn’t bode well for the odds of seeing an unlocked bootloader on the One X. The real question is why the carrier decided to put its foot down here, when previous HTC hardware has already been unlocked.  Naturally, Android power users aren’t happy. AT&T has not made an official statement on the matter.

[device id=2325]

  • NW_Raver
  • FFS. This is RIDICULOUS. The Rogers version, which is an exact replica of the AT&T version of the HTC One X, is UNLOCKABLE. This is a load of crap. Our devs want to get to work on this fabulous piece of hardware! We understand that this voids our warranty, JUST GIVE US THE DEVICE WE PAID FOR!

    • Jerkface

       officially no, unofficially yes

  • 155

    Qualcomm dual core processor, Non-removable battery, No external SD card slot, Locked Bootloader to lock you into their goofy skin instead of pure asop.  Isn’t’ this supposed to be a flagship phone?

    The AT&T HTC X One is the poster child for why HTC is losing market share.

    • DYNK

      + 1
      Galaxy S III it is!

  • j

    I h8 this and I preordered my phone too. I will tell you why I hate this. After the warrenty is over and ATT doesn’t care about updating the phone anymore, why wouldn’t I do my own image?

    When it is Sept 2013, my warrant is over and Android 5.0 is out, why don’t I want to unlock the phone?

     It is very very annoying that ATT decided that I shouldn’t be able too. I understand I shouldn’t do it under warranty, but the warranty period is only a fraction of the phones life. What about the other part of the phones life? *If* they had a way to unlock phones that were out of warranty I would be fine with this. After ATT says I am on my own…. I should be on my own… But, I am not. May return the phone over it.

    •  Developers will hack it don’t worry. Just might take a few weeks or months. The Sensation and EVO 3D were hacked before HTC started unlocking them

      • DYNK

        yeah that was like nearly a year later 10months…

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  • My contract is up and I am having seconds thoughts on renewing my contract with this company. Travesty.

  • This phone is going back to the ATT if I can’t unlock it.

  • Dos

    Root, ROMs and kernels is why I have an Android. Why do they want to drive customers towards the rotten Apple?

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  • DYNK

    This is another reason why I’m opting for the SGS III
    htc promised as well last year. Fail. Hate this

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  • The Captain

    Just stopped into my local AT&T store to look at the HTC one X. The clerk there was friendly and actually honest, pointing out a few facts that were and were not good about each of the phones. I asked about unlocking them and she said that their manager called AT&T corporate about that as the HTC One X is the only one they sell now that is still locked.

    She said that word from Corporate is that HTC blames AT&T, but corporate claims this is not true and it is an issue on HTC’s side…..

    Ive had my fair share of issues with AT&T(but I don’t trust Verizon or Sprint any more than them so why change?) so while I trust the clerk had no reason to lie, I also don’t see why they would want it locked either, but…. AT&T’s word isn’t worth much in my book.

    My guess is a failure to communicate of some sort… but who knows. Hopefully it’ll get resolved in a few weeks once they get a load of complaints.