Huawei will no longer provide bootloader unlock codes

The company is shutting down the website that provided unlock codes

Huawei is shutting down its website that provided bootloader unlock codes.

The Chinese phone manufacturer runs a site that allows users to request bootloader unlock codes for their Huawei devices.

However an announcement on the site — captured by Twitter user Paul O’Brien — alerted users that any devices released after today will not be able to receive unlock codes. On top of that, devices already out in the market will have access to unlock codes for the next 60 days. After that, the service will be terminated.

According to the announcement, Huawei is making the change to “provide better user experience and avoid issues caused by ROM flashing.”

This is an unfortunate turn for the custom ROM community and developers using Huawei devices. The bootloader on a device loads the operating system when the user powers it on. Locked bootloaders are a common deterrent manufacturers use to stop users from installing custom software like ROMs — files that contain the the system image of an Android OS — and apps that require root access.

According to a post on XDA Developers, Huawei was considered to be one of the more developer friendly manufacturers. This tool was one of the reasons behind that.

The tool actually went down earlier this month. Huawei sub-brand Honor set up a Google Doc for users to request unlock codes until the website came back up. It’s interesting that, despite the dedication the company showed by working to maintain service during the outage, it’s shuttering the tool now.

It’s sad to see Huawei moving in this direction. The openness of Android is one of its best features. While the need for custom ROMs is less these days — Android is better than it’s ever been after all — losing the developer community isn’t something to be taken lightly.

That community has worked diligently to extend the life of many Android phones, providing updates and support long after manufacturers abandon those devices.

Source: XDA Developers