With the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 we started to see Xiaomi shipping phones with a locked boot loader, soon this will roll out to more devices with the Mi4C and Mi Note Pro already mentioned.
For the average user a locked boot loader isn’t an issue, the problems start though when you want to install custom ROMS or have more free access to your Android device.
In the past Xiaomi phones came with unlocked boot loaders which allowed for easy access to optional ROMs and allowed developers to get to grips with the system behind their phones, but Xiaomi are now slowly taking this easy access away.
Xiaomi say that they will be locking the boot loader of more devices from now on to protect customers and their data. The company says that one of the reasons behind the move is due to malware and poor ROMs installed by resellers (an issue that also effects LeTV and other phones). Locking the boot loader does make a phone more secure, and even the Nexus range of phones comes locked, however this is where the real issues comes in to play.
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Xiaomi will be offering an unlock tool and an unlock application form for users to use. Those of you wanting an unlocked boot loader on your new Xiaomi will have to go through a number of steps (on a PC and the phone), fill in an application and then wait up to 21 days to receive the unlock codes. m. Xiaomi’s development team will manually check each application so depending on the demand we could see faster turn around times.
Personally I can understand the reasoning, but we would prefer to see automatically generated codes so users only have to wait a few moments, not weeks to unlock.
What do you think of Xiaomi’s new policy?
Thanks to Simon for the tip.