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For next device, please don't go with Sony!!!! [not relevant]

asked 2017-12-14 17:59:24 +0300

revave gravatar image

updated 2017-12-14 17:59:55 +0300

Dear all,

I have an issue with the amount of hurdles that a potential customer encounters when attempting to become a SF user, and I hope through this post to show Jolla something needs to be done in the future.

For years now I've been a fan of Sailfish, which looks totally amazing. The first SFOS device I saw was a Jolla 1 from a friend of a friend of mine. I was immediately convinced. I then tried to buy one, but of course the limited batch was sold out already. Then when Aquafish came with the Intex (Jolla C), I tried to buy it but of course it is only sold in India. I kept following all the news and finally Sailfish X came out. SF X being finally available I bought a simlock-free Xperia through an independent vendor. I even asked specifically if the phone was never sim-locked and specified that the bootloader should be unlockable. Vendor told me this was the case. Now it turns out that my phone is not simlocked but the bootloader is not unlockable. It was already hard to find a vendor in the Netherlands that sold this (by now quite old) mid-range device without a simlock, and I'm no longer confident in my ability to find one that has an unlockable bootloader.

I am highly annoyed by Sony which claims that openness is important to them while they're practically the only manufacturer that makes it impossible to unlock the bootloader on most of their devices. I am also frustrated that I cannot support Jolla by buying, using and promoting their product, for the third time. Although I understand that the Sony Open Devices program has its advantages, it is absolutely essential that Jolla picks a device next that is widely available for potential new customers. How are they ever going to grow and survive in this tough smartphone market if wannabe customers cannot buy an officially supported phone? The bar is set way too high in my opinion. Having to void the warranty of the phone to install the OS is tough but unavoidable, releasing the official image when the supported device is almost off the market already is inconvenient but excusable given the small size of their team, and charging 50 euros for it is even more of a tough sell but also justifiable. However, not knowing if you can install it on the phone before you receive the phone is a total no go! I hereby call for the Jolla team to pick a different manufacturer for their next device, one that does not permanently prevent a big share of their customers to unlock the bootloader and basically gives them the finger when the customer requests an unlockable bootloader for the device that they own!

Happy Sailing for you lucky bastards that have a SF-device, for me that will probably take a couple more years now :(

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The question has been closed for the following reason "question is not relevant or outdated" by revave
close date 2017-12-15 18:01:57.442306



I've got mine from (black) No problem to unlock bootloader. Followed instructions carefully and it works fine.

Bakero ( 2017-12-14 22:03:02 +0300 )edit

I'm one of the lucky bastards who has a Jolla-C. I wish it had rounded corners and was less slippery - I keep dropping it. One day it will break and I'll need a replacement.

The Sony is too expensive for me. I'm perhaps unusual in that I'm not bothered by the poor camera. I take perhaps one photo a week. And the app I use most is fingerterm - for SSH: SFOS is much better than Android for that. So a cheap Chinese or Indian device would be fine - €200 max but preferably €150. And I do need Android, for Firefox, so I'll pay Jolla the €50 for that. Forgot to mention: dual SIM is essental.

DaveRo ( 2017-12-14 22:51:19 +0300 )edit

@DaveRo - AcciOne?

vattuvarg ( 2017-12-14 23:05:41 +0300 )edit

AcciOne: yes, but how to get one Europe - or here in the UK? Remember the guy who kindly proposed shipping Aqua Fishes from India? It was uneconomic - and legally questionable. We have the Jolla-C because Jolla 'gave' it to us as a community development device - for which I'm grateful. Now if Jolla would do the same for this, and the Russian phone, and whatever follows, that would be good. But I doubt it would be economically worthwhile for them either.
I'm able to flash phones, but I'd quite like to just buy one ready-made. FirefoxOS had a series of development devices - e.g. the Flame - something similar for SFOS.

DaveRo ( 2017-12-14 23:34:02 +0300 )edit

Yeah, Dave! Who needs a GUI! I wait for the mere Debian phone that works only on CLI! ;) Redial? Just the cursor up.

@vattuvarg: Exercise 1: Draw a Minkowsky diagram of a brief phone call during a thunderstorm. (got it?) ;)

lakutalo ( 2017-12-15 00:37:49 +0300 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2017-12-14 18:47:45 +0300

yomark gravatar image

updated 2017-12-14 18:54:59 +0300

Sorry to hear that you had these problems, but your story that the Xperia X is hard to find in the Netherlands is simply not true.. It's still a device that is in stock in a LOT of places in different, including large outlets, see And why should you even ask for a unlockable phone? All these phones, sold separately(from the telco's), are(MUST BE) simlock free, unbranded and unlockable. And if not --> send it back(you can in fact return every online buy within 14 days, no questions asked), buy another one.

No need to make simple things complex and difficult. Bough mine from belsimpel(a white one) because they were the cheapest at the time, ordered it on 22:00, had it the next day. You could have your X tomorrow.

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I maybe need to alter that a bit, not exactly sure what gave me that impression but most of the places I found at first glance sell with a telecom contract, leading me to assume (possibly inaccurately) that these devices will be useless for our course. My perception of scarcity might also have been influenced by the fact that many sources require you to buy the entire phone directly, whereas I was happy to have found a vendor that allows installments. Regarding that, thank you (and Bakero) for telling me you got it from Belsimpel! So did I, so I have now send a request for exchanging my phone (through their 31 days return policy). Maybe I just got unlucky (got one with a foreign charger as well). Thanks for the inspiration and sorry for the long rant. I kinda lost it when I saw my rooting status :s

revave ( 2017-12-15 03:26:49 +0300 )edit

I get your frustration. The fact that there are "locked" phones in the first place(an so you could get unlucky) is annoying. But it's not Sony's fault per se, it's the same with other manufacturers. Those phones are probably produced (SIM)"locked" as a requirement from the telco's, but now somehow sold in the open market.

yomark ( 2017-12-15 12:07:33 +0300 )edit

Yes that's what I guess happened to me. But AFAIK other manufacturers do not make their hardware permanently locked to the best of my knowledge, and many sites say that Sony is a bit of a unique case here. Then again, my previous phones are both 5 years old (Sony Xperia Z1, branded by t-mobile but has an unlockable bootloader, HTC One, not branded and also has unlockable bootloader). Maybe this changed over the last 5 years, I wouldn't know.

revave ( 2017-12-15 14:27:05 +0300 )edit

@revave: No, other manufacturers do this as well, e.g Samsung, LG. But it always depends on the telecom carrier who request from Sony, Samsung etc. to lock the bootloader. So there's nothing Sony can do about it as long as they want to distribute their devices to the telecom companies. In the US for example, companies like AT&T even want their logo printed on the devices. I think Sony is very open compared to other manufactorers, especially with their Sony Open Devices program which is also the reason we can have Sailfish X.

Btw, Sailfish X costs money because Jolla also has to pay licences for stuff like Android emulation, text prediction and Exchange service and offers official support for the image. If you don't want all that stuff you could also use a community build - which is maintained by the community and doesn't cost money (

But seeing how much advertisement and Google branding there is on "free" Android, I think those EUR 50 are absolutely worth is - apart from the fact, that the developmnent of Sailfish OS costs money.

Btw, use this 20% discount on Sailfish X - it's available until December 17th.

molan ( 2017-12-15 16:24:48 +0300 )edit

@alain that's a first that I hear of that. But I'm willing to take your word for it. It never happened to me, but I usually got Dutch phones (this one I think came from UK judging by the plug). I'm gonna close and/or delete my rant above, because it seems I might have gotten this wrong completely :-)

Regarding why it costs money, I totally understand, and like I said it is justifiable in my opinion. And like I said I want to support Jolla as well and want to buy their OS (I also think it'll be worth it :))!

I understand Jolla does the best they can, and this is not meant as harsh criticism. I just wished to point out that there is no easy way in which lesser adventurous people can get the OS, (even if you can send a product back, it's a hassle and then there's the warranty and other stuff) which can be a limiter on Jolla's success. I really want them to succeed, but it is slightly off putting imho what steps you need to take to get a phone with their official OS. There has to be a better, more streamlined way. If they could for example get their ROM signed by Sony under the condition of a disclaimer regarding warranty, bootloaders would be a no factor, and suddenly a lot more people can buy their product. Convincing Sony would be difficult (/impossible?). Anyway, have a nice weekend :)

revave ( 2017-12-15 18:00:44 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-12-15 00:54:31 +0300

AlanBreen gravatar image

So far as I know Sony is the only mainstream manufacturer that supports the flashing of their devices with different software. While you may have experienced problems unlocking the boot loader I don't think you can blame that on Sony, your problem lies with the Telco the device was made for.

Can you tell us what manufacturer you would recommend Jolla use in the future?

Jolla have to work with an already released phone in order to know what they are developing for. Remember they announced the Sailfish X nearly 12 months ago now. 12 months is a long time in the mobile device world. As you acknowledged Jolla has only a small team, development takes time unfortunately.

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Can you please explain to me what you mean with "support"? We still need to use an exploit to back up the TA partition in order to be able to relock the bootloader ever again. My previous phone, a HTC One, had a bootloader that could be unlocked with a code HTC provides readily to HTC owners. Sony also voids your warranty when you flash anything non-Sony. Just like all the other companies. So how is that support? At least the ability to unlock the boot loader is not permanently disabled on HTC. But also Xiaomi, Oneplus, LG and Samsungs have unlockable boot loaders indiscriminately. The only thing Sony does is sharing their drivers more openly, as far as I understand. But Jolla could cooperate with another manufacturer, just like they did with Intex. Sony's Open Devices Platform therefor doesn't seem essential. BTW, I do have to give it to Sony that their hardware is great. If only Jolla could make a deal with Sony to get their roms signed, without unlocking, like the other Sony roms, that would also be a solution. Maybe my initial statement needs some rephrasing :)

revave ( 2017-12-15 03:06:29 +0300 )edit

unlocking the bootloader is only one small part of the sony open device program. There's also a reasonably well working AOSP tree maintained by Sony, as well as a maintained unified kernel for all their open devices. Other manufacturers don't supply anything like that.

r0kk3rz ( 2017-12-15 10:51:59 +0300 )edit

Alright, you've got a point, but does Jolla need that per sé? They seemed to manage very well with the Intex Aquafish? If anything it seems to have less issues than the X (from what I've seen on videos and updates, I don't own an Intex). Does Intex provide the same a maintained unified kernel? Or is this a case of "Let Sony worry about that so that we can put more people on other parts of developement"?

revave ( 2017-12-15 14:21:45 +0300 )edit

Intex was a commercial arrangement selling the device with Sailfish OS, this Sony thing is an aftermarket flashable image. They aren't the same thing.

Outside of a commercial arrangement, I don't think the other manufacturers would offer the parts Jolla needs to create a proper sailfishos image. If one of the major android phone manufacturers wanted to sell a Sailfish OS device I'm sure they would be delighted.

r0kk3rz ( 2017-12-15 17:44:08 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-12-15 03:27:28 +0300

GynTh0r gravatar image

updated 2017-12-15 03:33:23 +0300

ahoi, If you just go for the correct SKU than you won't have any problem. I bought mine simply of shelf from a hardware store and checked wether the sku fits. Since it is printed outside on the box you can check without buying one ;) Common CDA Versions are 1302-9401 (i have 1302-3363) check the Version with this List Most "1302-...." Devices seem to be unlockable. And if you're dutch than you can just buy one at they specify 1302-9401 which should definitly work.

Best wishes

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Thanks, I didn't know this, and may I ask where you got that information from? I don't recall seeing it on either Jolla's or Sony's websites? My phone has 1302-3046, customized FR, and is not unlockable at least. How do you see in that list what phones are? You can also check that through the service menu btw :)

revave ( 2017-12-15 05:43:41 +0300 )edit

I found this information on a long ongoing hunt for information, until i found it on this Page. If you understand german you can give this tutorial a try it's verry comprehensive and well written. In my case it worked like a charm.

best wishes

GynTh0r ( 2017-12-18 11:58:40 +0300 )edit

thanks to carepack: give it a try: In fact, deactivating "my Xperia" delivers Bootloader unlock allowed: Yes after entering the service menue with ##7378423##

starts at the bottom of page 1

or this

GynTh0r ( 2017-12-18 12:05:46 +0300 )edit

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Asked: 2017-12-14 17:59:24 +0300

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Last updated: Dec 15 '17