HTC to allow unlocked phones in August, satisfies consumer appeals

by Kristen Nicole

Earlier this year, HTC let on that it would reconsider its policy on unlocked phones, but no details were given at the time. Today, we learned that HTC is indeed giving consumers something to get excited about, announcing a timeline for unlocking boot loaders on a handful of its devices. The company plans to release software updates sometime in August, allowing HTC Sensation users to unlock their phones. HTC Sensation 4G users at T-Mobile, and Sprint’s HTC Evo 3D will also be able to unlock their phones, though no dates have been given for the two latter devices.

It’s a perk for advanced users seeking customization and deeper access to the software on their mobile devices, and it’s a matter that’s become an important allowance across the industry. As manufacturers and carriers continue to tack-on their own features and bloatware to Android’s base OS, the variance amongst devices is notable and, at times, frustrating for end users.

"We're in the testing phase for the unlocking capability now, and we expect it to be fully operational by early September for devices that have received the software updates," the company notes on its Facebook page. "We'll continue rolling out the unlocking capability over time to other devices as part of maintenance releases and new shipments."

HTC pushes Gingerbread update, doubles Q2 profit

HTC will also be rolling out Android 2.3 Gingerbread updates for the Desire handset soon, announcing a timeline beginning at the end of this month. The HTC Desire has had its ups and downs, missing an earlier date for the Gingerbread upgrade scheduled back in February. It’s a big deal for HTC Desire users, anxious to get a newer version of Android’s mobile platform.

For a mobile handset manufacturer, steady updates and an attuned acknowledgement of consumer needs can help companies like HTC dominate the market. For HTC, Android has been a saving grace in bringing the Taiwanese phone maker to worldwide relevance. HTC out-performed itself in Q2 of this year, beating forecasts and reporting that sales for June were up nearly 90 percent. Doubling profits and breaking sales records, HTC is set to ship around 50 million smartphones this year. And with S3 Graphics as its latest acquisition, it’s clear HTC also plans on steadily improving its mobile handsets’ capabilities.