Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets, from the point of view of developers is loved especially for the revolutionary policy of offering excellent devices at a very low price with the ability to flash any Custom ROM.
Recently something has unfortunately changed. It seems that Xiaomi has returned to its old ways of acting against the interest of the developer community. It all started with an announcement on the forum MIUI:
We have blocked the bootloader of the Redmi Note 3 since its launch, in order to protect the security of user data. As we said before, we will do the same change for other devices gradually. Currently, the list will also include We are 4C e My Notes Pro. "
The forum message goes on to explain why Xiaomi he had to make such a decision. The reasons behind this choice are the now customary habit of resellers to fill the ROMs with which the devices are sent with malware and other malicious software of various kinds.
Un bootloader unlocked it puts a big one series of security risks, which are not worth, according to the company, for an average consumer.
There are various solutions to remedy this problem. There first solution, or market the device with locked but unlockable bootloader offers users the choice to venture along the path of the modding or keep the device in the conditions in which it was received, while the second solution, or release the terminal with the bootloader locked, it simply opens to all risks.
Even the devices Nexus, which are intended to be reference devices for developers, are equipped with a bootloader blocked, which can be unlocked if the user wishes. A scenario of an unlockable bootloader is also much more favorable than having a device with a fully locked bootloader without having to unlock it.
Xiaomi actually provided a procedure to unlock the bootloader. In fact, as already reported in recent days in our tutorial, the unlocking procedure is already operational.
For beginners it may seem like a rather complex procedure, however, for any other expert user, these sets of instructions are not so difficult to follow. There is also a guide in English, simplified with images to guide users through the procedure.
So, where is the real problem if Xiaomi offers users the tools to unlock the bootloader?
The problem is not with the solution, but with execution. Unblocking the bootloader is not a simple and hassle-free process, as it may appear on the surface, the difficulty is how to actually get the unlock codes from Xiaomi.
The first obstacle concerns the Chinese language of the Xiaomi site dedicated to unlocking, so it is mandatory to use Google Translate to browse the same to search for the item request to unlock, but also to fill in the details, including yours "Motivation for unlocking the bootloader" and description, you need to explain to Xiaomi why you want to unlock the bootloader.
Not only that, but the confirmation of the possibility of proceeding to unlock the bootloader can vary between 3 up to 21 days, being all the requests manually approved by the developers. In fact, therefore, it is not the end users who have control over the unlocking of the bootloader but someone else.
The discussions inside the forums reveal even more negative aspects of the whole story since starting from MIUI 6.1.14 the bootloader of some devices Xiaomi, As the Mi4C and the My Notes ProTherefore, those who received this update have been blocked OTAmust, if they wish, release their device by carrying out the aforementioned procedure. Even numerous users have reported the "Brick" of their device following this procedure, obviously generating the dissatisfaction of the users.
As if this were not enough, many users are reporting that if you want to get approval of the bootloader unlock request within a reasonable window of time, you need to have a "level" high in forum MIUI. Since the application process is carried out through the site Xiaomi and requests are manually approved, this process is really an unimaginable scenario.
A member senior belonging to the XDA forum explains to a user with the bootloader locked in short words how to solve the problem:
"There is a need to reach a certain status on their forum so that Xiaomi can approve the release request. The most interesting part is that, once approved, you need to wait for their SMS containing the unlock code to really unlock the device. This may require 15 days or more according to users who have tried to perform the procedure ".
Currently interested users are probably the most active ones in the flash ROMs for devices Xiaomi and that unknowingly blocked the bootloader. But this will become a forced standard and it will also be distributed via OTAthen, at a certain point, this circumstance will affect an ever larger portion of users; continuing like this, most Xiaomi devices will be blocked.
Certainly the most sore point is provided by the fact that the bootloader unlocking must be done through a request that needs an approval (with a presumably biased process), and that the unlock request may take several days to complete.
Overall this is a sad development for all fans Xiaomi. With what Xiaomi so far it has been able to offer has certainly become a leading company for emerging markets and not only, the relationship quality / price with reference to the hardware offered in their devices it is difficult to resist.
But what has been a plus so far is definitely the possibility of personalization and freedom linked to ROM MIUI, a situation that seems to no longer be the case and the sentence "You have what you pay" it starts to make more and more sense if you take as a reference what happened.
In one of the frequent questions asked by Xiaomi asking:
"The bootloader block is against the geeky spirit of the MI users?"
The answer that has been given completely avoiding the question.
We hope that Xiaomi can fix this "Bootloader gate", providing a process for it impartial and universal release, so do not leave users in complete darkness waiting for one "judgment" on unlocking the bootloader of your terminal.
What do you think of blocking the bootloader on the terminals Xiaomi? Will you continue to buy them?