Want to have your cake and eat it at the same time when it comes to smartphones sold with the Android operating system? Well, it seems Sony Ericsson might be doing just that with its Xperia smartphones: the company is reportedly planning to allow developers the option of legally unlocking certain Xperia phones' bootloader without voiding the device's warranty.

Do you own a smartphone that happens to be pre-loaded with the Android operating system? If you do, chances are you would have heard about the word known as 'rooting' and the kind of potential one can unlock from a handset that has been 'rooted'. such as unlocking the bootloader to facilitate the installation of custom ROMs which are supposedly capable of prolonging battery life, or offering superior performance compared to that found on the stock OS built into the phone.

Unfortunately, most OEMs have made explicit warnings that rooting their device and locking its bootloader immediately voids its warranty; this leaves the Nexus series as the Android smartphones that are sold to end-users with an unlocked bootloader. However, it seems that Sony Ericsson's Xperia line of smartphones might be next in line to offer Android-based phones with unlocked bootloaders to the market.

According to a report published by Japanese technology news website ITmedia, certain models of its Xperia line of smartphones will now feature a bootloader which allows developers to easily unlock it, thus opening the doors to a variety of aftermarket upgrades in the form of custom firmware. To do so, developers will have to connect the smartphone to the Android SDK via the Fastboot tool, and that the boot loader can only be unlocked safely if the device is able to successfully 'release the connection'.

However, the company has also confirmed that it will not honour the smartphone's warranty if the device suffers from unexpected problems resulting from a failed unlocking process. Last but not least, only the Xperia Play, Xperia arc, Xperia Neo and Xperia Pro can be unlocked by the aforementioned process: earlier Xperia models will fail the unlocking process due to technical limitations.

Source: ITmedia