Why On Earth Is HTC Locking ChaCha And Salsa Bootloaders?

HTC has today announced that its new ChaCha and Salsa smartphones, will be available from July 6, exclusive to Vodafone and 3. But in an odd twist, it's been revealed that the bootloaders on these new Gingerbread "Facebook phones" will be locked. Updated.

A few weeks ago, HTC said that it'd be reviewing its policy on locking bootloaders on select phones, before HTC CEO Peter Chou announced that bootloaders on all its Android devices will be unlocked.

The Taiwanese company's change of heart was welcomed by (potential) customers frustrated by the lack of freedom to root and flash custom ROMs on what was supposed to be an "open source" platform.

So why doesn't this new global policy apply to the ChaCha and Salsa in Australia? None of HTC's people were forthcoming with explanations at last night's launch, least of all willing to provide an official statement on this decision. We'll look into this and keep you posted.

Update: We've contacted VHA and a spokesperson has told us that they've requested an official response from HTC regarding the locked bootloaders. Until then, it's "no comment" from the carrier.

The Salsa and ChaCha will be available for $0 upfront on Vodafone's $29 cap over 24 months, or $0 upfront on the $45 Infinite plan over 24 months. The ChaCha is also available as a prepaid offer for $299. [Vodafone]