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Asus’ official statement on the locked bootloader and ICS release date

Yesterday we reported on the fact that the Asus Transformer Prime comes with a locked and encrypted bootloader, making many people in the modding world rather annoyed to say the least. Whether it is to use ROMs, develop them or whatever else you want to do with a rooted Transformer Prime, a locked bootloader which is encrypted makes things very difficult.

There is good news though. Asus said earlier this morning they would release an official statement about the whole bootloader ordeal and sure enough they have. Along with that they have also announced when they will be releasing the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) FOTA update for the Transformer Prime. If you don’t want to read the official statement below, here is the quick and dirty version for you.

Ice Cream Sandwich will be pushed out for the Transformer Prime starting January 12th, 2012. That is definitely not that long of a wait. Regarding the locked and encrypted bootloader, Asus is developing an unlocking tool for people to use in order to unlock the bootloader so the modding community can enjoy a rooted Transformer Prime. This is great news that Asus listened to everyone. No word just yet on when the tool will be available but it shouldn’t be too long.

The official statement is included below for your reading pleasure.

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 8.8.3.33, 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!

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