AT&T has been offering unlocked bootloader support for a number of devices in the past. Now, however, the wireless carrier has decided to stop lending the unlocked bootloaders, apparently in view of the fact that Verizon has stuck to its locked bootloaders across all devices.
When AT&T started offering unlocked bootloader support for different devices, many users were overjoyed. This essentially meant that they didn’t have to find to outdo the locked bootloader by finding a workaround. The carrier was ready to provide the unlocked bootloader support even for the most recent smartphones, such as Samsung Galaxy S4.
However, now the company has decided to backtrack on this policy. As a result, the Samsung Galaxy S4 that AT&T is now offering no longer comes with unlocked bootloader support. The same case goes for the Galaxy S4 available on Verizon.
Naturally, AT&T is making the excuse of ‘safe and consistent experience on your wireless device.’ In other words, AT&T wants to lock down all its Android devices so that users don’t take their handsets elsewhere. Nonetheless, we can rest assured that soon the developers will come up with a way of devising their own custom ROMs.
You must note, if you unlock your handset’s bootloader, the warranty of your device becomes void. So you should go for the unlock only if you absolutely want a custom ROM.