Huawei and its sub brand Honor lately attracted a lot of attention from power users and enthusiasts by providing frequent updates, timely releasing kernel sources and providing Project Treble support on plenty of older devices.

They used to have an official infrastructure to provide bootloader unlock codes as well, but the Chinese OEM changed its stance abruptly and phased it out completely couple of months ago.

There were strong community backslashes, even petitions, but now it seems that Honor India has recently started an initiative to provide bootloader unlock codes via their authorized service centers.

An unlocked bootloader is often a mandatory prerequisite for unleashing the true potential of the device – even if it’s not an Android device. The popularity of Huawei (and Honor) devices is steadily rising, and an unlockable bootloader is one of the prime reasons behind it.

Honor even started to sponsor XDA and started a developer program by collaborating with them. Huawei also open-sourced the APIs of the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) of their in-house Kirin SoC which is responsible for AI related features.


In late April of 2018, various users reported that the official bootloader unlock page was unreachable. After much confusions, Honor USA released an official statement regarding the issue and offered a Google Form as a temporary measure to mitigate the issue.

Among rising amount of FUD, Huawei (and Honor) announced to completely block bootloader unlocking capability on May 24, effective after 60 days.

The community became seriously upset, and moreover confused to see the reasons cited by Huawei for this 180 degree turn. XDA had to issue to a statement to clarify their stance and existing relations with Honor. While there was a short and limited revival of the unlocking facility, the window closed very fast.

Eventually third party services start to pop up, offering unlock keys for a lump sum. Long term collaborator of XDA, FunkyHuawei, is one of them and currently the most compatible one for newer models.

Among the turmoil, a probable silver lining is there. According to a recent conversation between Honor India and a twitterati, Honor India confirmed that they are providing bootloader unlock codes from their authorized service centers. They also mentioned it further that invoice with IMEI number mentioned on it and photo ID proof are mandatory to get the codes.

In a typical fashion, Honor Support India reps were clueless at first, but later responded properly to describe the protocol. A user from Guwahati, Assam posted feedback on the same XDA discussion thread about successful receiving of the unlock code via email after following the protocol.

Is this again a time limited trial, similar to the previous short-lived one? Will other regional entities of Huawei and Honor follow the same path? We at PiunikaWeb are closely monitoring the situation and will update you guys.

PiunikaWeb is a unique initiative that mainly focuses on investigative journalism. This means we do a lot of hard work to come up with news stories that are either ‘exclusive,’ ‘breaking,’ or ‘curated’ in nature. Perhaps that’s the reason our work has been picked by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and more. Do take a tour of our website to get a feel of our work. And if you like what we do, stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) and other social media channels to receive timely updates on stories we publish.

Kingshuk De
896 Posts

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.

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