Verizon cleared up its stance on locking the bootloaders in phones using its network earlier this year. In short: it encourages OEMs to do so, to keep its network humming along as Big Red feels it should. Well, it seems that VZW Support is telling a different story, as it's laid blame for the Galaxy S III's closed bootloader squarely at Samsung's feet, claiming that it's locked "per the Manufacturer." Now, that doesn't explicitly state that VZW had no part to play in denying users access, but it surely seems like this is a game of PR pass the buck to us. Of course, as we reported earlier, there's a workaround to be had by rooting the GSIII, which revealed a vulnerability allowing non-stock ROMs to be flashed to the device. But it's only a partial workaround, as the kernel's signed and implementing a full custom ROM experience is neither for the unskilled nor the faint of heart. We reached out to both Verizon and Samsung for comment on the matter, but have yet to hear back. While you wait for official word, feel free to check out the ongoing conversation at the source link below.
Update: Seems that Verizon's still singing the same tune it was back in February, claiming that unauthorized software brought by open bootloaders could harm the overall network user experience:
Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.