HMD Global's Chief Technical Officer, Mikko Jaakkola, has declared that the company will reverse its earlier decision to deny bootloader unlocking to owners of Nokia phones, and will do it one device at a time. On Twitter, Jaakkola asked which device fans want unlocked first, and neither he nor any other HMD Global representatives have chimed in to say that the company has decided on the first device to unlock as of this writing. The entity who reached out to Jaakola about the issue, the Nokia Power User blog, advised that the Nokia 6 should be the first one unlocked since it was the first one sold, followed by the flagship Nokia 8. For the moment, however, the popular vote seems to fall with the Nokia 8.
While HMD may be slow with rolling out the ability to officially flash Nokia phones, fans over at the XDA Developers community have managed to figure out how to run Nokia's official flashing and servicing tool, which could be a promising development, but would still require workarounds and possibly be somewhat limited without an unlocked bootloader. The Nokia 6 was the first among the new crop of Nokia devices to be released worldwide, and is still the only one available thus far in some territories, which makes it the second most popular choice for a first bootloader unlock. The most popular device on the list so far, the Nokia 8, is a powerful modern flagship with the Nokia name behind it and specs that rival the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Lenovo Moto Z2 Force.
This change of heart comes after Jaakkola publicly announcing that the company did not plan on unlocking the bootloaders of Nokia devices. The initial announcement garnered such backlash that Jaakkola decided it was worth bringing the issue to the attention of other company executives. Presumably, this resulted in a green light to begin allowing Nokia owners to unlock their bootloaders. Listening directly to customers on major issues like this is usually only seen in smaller OEMs, which could mean that Nokia's grand re-entry into the Android space after years at Microsoft's behest will shake up the global market.