Asus: Warranty Killing Bootloader Unlock Tool Coming to Transformer Prime, ICS Ships January 12

Paul Lilly

Isn't it swell to be heard? Sometimes all it takes is a collective effort to help raise your voice loud enough for the recipient to get the message, and if you need a case in point, look no further than Asus. We reported earlier today that Asus was telling the modding community to chillax while it works up an official statement regarding the Transformer Prime's locked bootloader, and we (correctly) guessed the news would be good...mostly.

"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," Asus stated on its Facebook Wall Tuesday afternoon. "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."

Asus is quick to remind users that if they do coose to unlock their Transformer Prime tablets, it will void the warranty and Google video rental will no longer be available. Both small prices to pay for root, unless you manage to brick your tablet, that is.

Also, Asus seized the opportunity to announce a January 12th release date for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), which will ship over-the-air (OTA) worldwide next week. Among other things, the ICS update will improve the focus of the camera, the fluidity of the touch experience, and the APK capabilities in the Android Market, Asus says.

Now for the bad news. Many have voiced concerns over busted GPS functionality and were looking forward to a fix, but the way Asus has chosen to address the issue is to simply remove the feature from the Prime's marketing materials.

"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," Asus said. "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."

Bolded for emphasis by us, not Asus, simply because we wanted to make sure we read that right. Ah well, at least there's root, right?

Image Credit: Asus

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