Yesterday was the official last day for Huawei device users to request their bootloader unlock codes through the Huawei Bootloader Unlock website, as the company decided to stop offering this service to its users. This is a massive blow to the Huawei rooting and modding community, as without an official way to unlock bootloaders, rooting Huawei devices may become incredibly difficult, or even impossible.
Huawei’s reasoning for pulling this service is based on the old “security” versus “freedom” argument, as generally smartphone manufacturers prefer that their customers use the devices as the company designs them, without flashing third-party ROMs or root apps. A small handful of device manufacturers openly embrace the open-source community, and until recently, it seemed Huawei was one of those companies, which makes this incredibly sad news as the company has done a 180 on their policy.
In fact, Huawei was regularly releasing commits for supporting custom development, and had signed on for the Project Treble adoption to all of their Oreo devices.
Without bootloader unlocks, Huawei users can no longer flash things like Magisk, SuperSU, custom ROMs like AOSP, LineageOS, or modifications like Viper4Android, or useful tools like L-Speed, Xposed Framework… the list goes on of things that are suddenly unavailable to Huawei device owners.
The situation isn’t entirely bleak, as there are still third-party (paid) services that will obtain a bootloader unlock code for your Huawei device, but this also involves purchasing third-party dongles, as well as paying for the unlocking services.
We’re hoping that the Android open-source community fights back by finding some measures to provide free unlock tools to Huawei device users, but given that the open-source community tends to neglect companies that don’t embrace them, it may be that Huawei devices will altogether cease being popular amongst the rooting and modding community, leaving room for other companies to fill the void.