I bought a Boost branded Xperia E and when I check the Service menu (dial *#*#7378423#*#*) it says:-
"Bootloader unlock allowed: No".
Sony make the Xperia E able to have its Bootloader unlocked unless the CARRIER (in this case Boost Mobile) orders it to be not allowed.
Note, Bootloader unlock on Xperia phones does not unlock the phone from the network, the Xperia E would still be locked to the Telstra network in the case of my Boost Xperia E, and I'm absolutely OK with that because the Boost plans are very good value for money.
But I want to experiment and try the new alternative Firmware that does not from Google -- "Firefox OS" from Mozilla.
Sony have made available an experimental version of Firefox OS specifically for the Experia E (and only the Xperia E from their range) but to install this firmware the Bootloader must first be unlocked. For details see:-
Sony provide the complete solution to do this but not if the carrier has requested this to be locked down.
Is Boost Mobile going to make available the unlock code for the Bootloader of our phones?
I hope that Boost will see value in allowing their customers to choose alternatives to Google in the same spirit that they find value in providing an alternative to the other Mobile Service Pproviders.
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Since posting my message I've raised the lokced Bootloader situation directly with Boost Mobile through their online chat (transcript saves as pdf) and phoned the support number (which is a Telstra number).
Tthe phone conversation was very lengthy and open with "on hold" periods when a supervisor was consulted. The summary of the response was "we can not give written authorization for Sony Service to change the Bootloader unlock allowed to "Yes" because this would void your warranty"
They may be correct in this because in Australia warranty is part of our "Statutory Rights" under consumer legislation.
I'll do some checking into this because it may be possible, for example, to have a written statement witnessed by a Justice of the Peace where I relinquish all warranty claims IF Boost authorize Sony to modify my phone.
There is a precedent for this because Sony have done it by requiring me to acknowledge that I may damage my phone and no longer get technical support as part of their online Bootloader unlocking process.
Although it is easier for me to buy another Xperia E that is allowed to have its Bootloader unlocked, I will contact more senior Boost staff, next time from their sales and customer relations section. There is an opportunity for them to avoid the public backlash that Sony had in 2010-11 when Xperia buyers found that they could not unlock the bootloader. Sony changed their policy and as a result have won awards and become supplier of choice for many mobile phone software developers.