Xiaomi Locking Down Some Bootloaders With Firmware Updates!


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Oct 6, 2011
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Having an unlocked bootloader means that you have full control of your phone's software. You can flash mods, custom roms, and root your device with ease if your bootloader is unlocked. So far Xiaomi phones have has unlocked bootloaders. This has led to some devices showing up on customer's doors with 3rd party malware. This happens when a malicious third party buys phones direct from Xiaomi, installs their own malware, the resales the phone. Not only are they making money off of you when you buy the phone, they make money on you with the bloatware they install on the device.

Xiaomi is aiming to put an end to this on their phones. They have decided to ship some models with a locked bootloader. They have even gone as far as to lock down the bootloaders on some models like Note Pro, Mi 4c, and the Mi Note Pro. Phones with locked bootloaders will be unlockable by the end user via a Motorolaesque dev site. The unlock method provided by Xiaomi is pretty complicated and requires you to download a desktop program, log into your MIUI account on both the phone and desktop, wait for a verification and OEM unlock code which is sent via SMS. What makes this super complicated for some is that all of this is in Chinese and Chinese only. You have to give a reason for why you want to unlock the bootloader.

This seems to be a major headache for consumers who have been accustomed to simply having a phone with an unlocked bootloader. This would be most frustrating for those who bought a phone with an unlocked bootloader just to find the bootloader was locked after an update. The update has even caused bootloops and bricks after the update installed the locked bootloader. This has undoubtedly caused a pretty big uproar in the Xiaomi community.

via Reddit
The issue is at the reseller level. This is what Xiaomi needs to address..