That didn’t take long at all. After ASUS rocked the modding community with the news that the quad-core Transformer Prime would have a locked bootloader, the company came forward on their Facebook page and said that an official statement was coming soon. That was earlier today, and the manufacture has finally come forward and offered a bit of insight.
As it looks now, it would seem to be the generalized same statement that we saw from ASUS Taiwan, but this time a bit more detailed, and not lost in translation. ASUS apparently chose to lock the bootloader due to Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues with client devices. But, they will be providing a tool to unlock the bootloader for those who choose to do so at a later date. The statement is below:
“Thank you very much for all of the support you have given to ASUS. Eee Pad Transformer Prime received excellent reviews and great demand when it launched in December 2011. Now, we are continuing to make the Transformer Prime available in the worldwide market, and doing our best to fulfill the incredible demand. ASUS strives to create the best products and provide the best service for our customers, and will be releasing an FOTA update for the Transformer Prime shortly. This update, version 126.96.36.199, will improve the focus of the camera, the fluidity of the touch experience, and the APK capabilities in Android Market.
ASUS has been working hard to make the highly anticipated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available on the Transformer Prime, and today, we have good news for you. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich FOTA worldwide update for the Transformer Prime will start from Jan 12th, 2012. Thank you for your patience and support through this process.
In addition, we would like to address your concerns related to GPS and bootloader on the Transformer Prime.
The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites. Please note that this product is not a professional GPS device, and signal performance can be easily influenced by factors including, but not limited to: weather, buildings, and surrounding environments. Please understand there are limitations when using the GPS function. To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, we made the decision to remove it from our specification sheet and marketing communications. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers’ requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.
Thank you for all the understanding and support for the ASUS Transformer Prime. Happy New Year!”
The other noteworthy piece of information is the launch date for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the tablet: January 12th, 2012. That means in just over a week’s time, owners of the Transformer Prime will finally have Ice Cream Sandwich up and running on their tablet. Good news for all, and hopefully that unlocking tool comes sooner, rather than later.
via ASUS Facebook