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Windows Phone unlocking tool being discontinued...for now

This is the end...

With Mehdoh going and this being MetroTube's last day, we figured why not go for the trifecta? Yes, in a late-breaking story here, ChevronWP7 Labs will be coming to an end as soon as those remaining "tokens" sell out. This was (and still is) the only sanctioned unlocking tool outside of Microsoft's $99 AppHub and was to serve as the gateway to a large homebrew community. Not to mention allowing new devs without the hundred bucks to play around before committing to the platform.

The team of ChevronWP7 Labs, made up of Long Zheng, Rafael Rivera and Chris Walsh, have put out a statement on the matter:

"ChevronWP7 Labs enters the New Year with 10,000 token sales under our belt. Hooah! Nearly 90% of the tokens we’ve sold have been used to successfully unlock a Windows Phone thus far.

Our agreement with Microsoft was to sell no more than 10,000 tokens. Our team doesn’t currently have plans to renegotiate this number, although it’s a matter we’re still discussing."

No doubt there have been some difficulties with various configurations of people's computers and phones as well as some PayPal issues leading perhaps to some frustration on both sides. The question though is this: will we see the return of the ChevronWP7 Labs experiment or will someone else have to take up the cause? We're sure to find out in 2012...

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Comments

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JodyMaccz says:

Sounds like they sold out to Microsoft.

GP07 says:

I don't think so, if the deal was for 10k originally, then if they want they could do more, most of the people who ended up unlocking didn't end up making and selling apps I bet.  Hell, I say most probably did it just to run some homebrew apps out there and nothing else, those weren't going to spend the $99 to MS to do it regardless, so in the end MS didn't, IMO, lose out by supporting this project which was something they really didn't have to do from the start.

Sounds like they struck a fair compromise to me.

GP07 says:

On a different note, I think MS should drop the AppHub price, honestly with sales being slow still there's really no need to not try and do whatever else you can to make more devs happy and then win even more and better apps over to the platform which will bring more users in turn.
 
I really think MS should think about dropping that price to half, $49.99 and also redo the revenue split, sorta like how they plan to do it on the Windows 8 Store, that is, keep the default 30% for them for the first, lets say $1k, and then drop their cut to 20% for the next set number.  And then to make devs even more happy after some other number they can cut it yet again to 10% or something.
 
If that idea doesn't fly they really should allow in-app purchasing and DLC type systems like on the Xbox to allow devs to make a bit more off of their hard work or we could see other apps calling it quits after a few updates for one reason or another.

Eirenarch says:

The idea of these $100 is not to generate money for MS. They are there to make sure that anyone submitting apps is serious about it and is at least going to try for a quality app.

RogueCode says:

Plus, it really isn't that hard to "break-even" with a descent quality app.

Eirenarch says:

Is anybody selling one of these unused tokens or I have to go to ebay?

Also who do we have to pressure... I mean beg this time - Microsoft or the Chevron devs?

Workshop2 says:

Does this mean we can't reuse our tokens in the future like promised? Grrrrr

Re-using a token is supported. We're just not selling new ones.

fbloise says:

glad to know that. I'm learning how to make apps and having this in my lumia in invaluable.

MaulerX says:

I find this suspiciously odd. Specialy after Rafael wrote a nice article just a few days ago detailing our unlock options. I mean, why even write that article if he knew they were about to hit the "10k token" mark? For some reason, I have a gut feeling that article didn't set to well with Microsoft. But then again, what do I know? Happy New Years everyone!

robertftw says:

This is very sad, I hope they will bring it back in the close future.
Thank god I got my old Chevron unlock still.

NaterBater says:

So if I were to get a new phone, then I would be outta luck trying to unlock it with my code for my current phone. I guess I could use that unlocked that you guys showed last week.

TheP90XGrad says:

This is sad news indeed. I just purchased a Chevron unlock myself when that comparison article was published. I agree it's strange to even bother with such an article if they were so close to the limit agreement. Perhaps they hoped it would help hit that mark even sooner.

I just hope another legit, more easily affordable option appears.

captobie says:

So now I have a reason *not* to upgrade my unlocked phone since I won't be able to unlock the new phone?  Sounds like Microsoft may be cutting out at least 10,000 new sales...

Ok and just how is Microsoft responsible for this?

tanderson says:

Because MS is at least partially, if not totally, responsible for the 10,000 cap.

And u know this how? Got some kinda source ese?

rodneyej says:

I agree about the pricing and profitability of the marketplace. WP is in no position to be pushy with developers, on the $ end. There most definitely needs to be a lower submission fee for developers. And, how can we expect to keep good apps on WP if the continuous cycle of low adoption rates, low developer interest, low apps, low adoption rates..continues?

I think that the idea has been to attract customers with the number, and quality, of apps in the marketplace, but it needs to be the opposite with WP because it's running a different race than iOS or Android. Windows Phone needs to advertise, and market itself better to the customers first, which will attract developers, and finally attract more adopters. We are doing it all backwards.

their site says tokens sold out, where is this 90% come from?

tanderson says:

They are sold out.
 
The 90% is for used tokens.  That is that 10% of the token are either sitting around unused or they failed.

slysy says:

I wasn't even aware that these tokens were limited in any way :(
Question for Chevron Team - Any particular reason why you are not planning to renegotiate the allowed number of tokens? I'm sure there are plenty of people that would really appreicate it.

I guess I missed out. :'(

Duvi says:

That definitely does suck.  If I would have known, I would have bought more tokens.  Was there a 10k limit ever announced prior to their announcement stating there would be no more?

slysy says:

Not to my knowledge, unless you include a tweet from ChevronWP7 18 hours ago saying there were only 98 tokens left. I think this could have been communicated a lot better, to warn people that it was their last chance to buy.

MaulerX says:

They never mentioned it. Which is why I find it suspicious. When Rafael wrote his article a few days ago weighing in the Pros & Cons of the various unlock methods, he never mentioned the HUGE Con of their unlock method. In that you wouldn't be able to get it just a few days later. Super weird.

OakLines says:

Disappointing...
I didn't realize there was a sunset provision to this personal development concept.
This really did seem like a well light path for personal development and suddenly - poof - it's gone.

I started developing for wp7 in september of 2010, I had no experience developing apps before and would have been pessimistic about paying the $99 fee. BUT LET ME SAY THIS... it was the best $100 I've ever spent.  The fee is indeed a filter to keep out the really crappy apps and the spam apps. Raf, Long, and Chris have done an amazing job by legitimizing a homebrew/XDA community. I think 10k keys was a resonable number (actually a little higher than I expected).
 
ALSO NOTE: you can develop for the phone WITHOUT paying the fee. The tools are free and the emulator (almost exact evironment as the device) is free. Not until you need to unlock a device, or publish to the marketplace do you need to pay.
 
So all the arguments from people saying that they wont/cant develop is meritless. Only a spammer wanting to flood the MP with effortless apps would contest a fee for appHub.
 
BOTTOM LINE: If you consider yourself a skilled developer and can produce a semi-quality app, you WILL make the $99 back quickly. I've made several thousand dollars in the past 6 mos w/free apps (minimally ad supported). So dont worry about it, develop your app... maybe ask some other developers with accounts to beta test it on device, then pay for appHub.

tampacoder says:

10,000 x $9 = $90,000

Folks, that's quite a bit of money for just an experiment.
I said it has indeed paid off quite nicely. Microsoft should take note.

wpcitizen says:

I bought one license yesterday night after seeing Chevron labs tweet about only 18 tokens left. Glad that I bought it. i unlocked my titan, and am planning to do some app before I commit to AppHub.

HD7guy says:

Was the comparison article a way to quickly clean out the last of the token stock? And why wasn't the limited availability mentioned in that article?

Although I'm sure not the intention, I also feel a little misled by the comparison article. I for one would have liked to test out a few apps on a live device before going ahead with the full-blown App Hub subscription. There are some things that cannot be feasibly tested in the emulator.

xrs22 says:

What if you hadn't had a chance to download the tool but already paid for the token? do i lose the opp. to use the download? My laptop version is too old to run the program and my desktops' hdma connection on the back of the tower is loose so i can't view my monitor. And i haven't had time to make it to another 'puter to start the process. I was looking forward to unlocking my friggin' phone too.