Motorola Jumps on the Unlocked Bootloader Bandwagon

Motorola, long considered the least friendly manufacturer to those who’d like to mod their phone, has indicated that they may begin including unlocked bootloaders across their Android product line later this year.

Motorola’s statement comes in response to Australian Atrix owner Irwin Proud, who managed to collect more than 8,800 signatures petitioning Motorola to “provide an unlocked/unencrypted bootloader option for its end users.” In response, Motorola provided the following statement:

“In terms of your question – we completely understand the operator requirement for security to the end user, and as well, want to support the developer communities desire to use these products as a development platform.  It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, where carriers and operators will allow it.”

Now, I’d rather have them say they’ll do it than just that they intend to do it, and that final phrase, “where carriers and operators will allow it,” leaves them a lot of room to not follow through, but it’s encouraging to see them take a step in the right direction.

Motorola joins Sony Ericsson and possibly Samsung in moving in this direction. Ironically, formerly developer-friendly HTC seems to be headed the other way.

Do you think Motorola will follow through on providing unlockable bootloaders? And if they do, will it make you more likely to consider a Motorola product as your next Android device? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Ausdroid

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13 Comments

  1. Mats Högberg
    April 27, 13:59 Reply

    I don’t care much, as long as there are talented people capable of unlocking the unlockable. But to improve their image in the eyes of the geek crowd, it’s a good move.

  2. Elvis
    April 27, 14:55 Reply

    Ive been keeping an eye out for moto replacements as my mobile device provider BECAUSE of their locked down bootloaders. This is very good news :)

  3. raitchison
    April 27, 14:58 Reply

    Sounds promising but I suspect that the part about carriers gives them a lot of wiggle room.

  4. Victor Stuber
    April 27, 15:06 Reply

    This is just to keep customers for the time being. I doubt Motorola will do anything about this.

  5. Dreamcasting
    April 27, 15:12 Reply

    “It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, except on AT&T, since they won’t allow it.”

    There you go Motorola, fixed it for you.

  6. Dreamcasting
    April 27, 15:12 Reply

    “It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, except on AT&T, since they won’t allow it.”

    There you go Motorola, fixed it for you.

  7. Epicanis
    April 27, 15:25 Reply

    I’m pretty skeptical, myself. What happened to the belligerent “We’re for consumers, not developers” and “we’ll just keep doing what’s working for us” they’ve been openly embracing?

    If they actually DID reliably follow through on this (and not just say “well, we WOULD but THEY won’t let us”) I might consider a Motorola device again someday, but right now they’re still the one brand I REALLY wouldn’t consider locking myself into.

  8. Ken Pauley
    April 27, 16:33 Reply

    Yes especially since I have found my DROID to be the toughest most reliable device I’ve ever had. It’s been punched, kicked, thrown, dropped, roasted and used as a coaster a couple of times. That coupled with my use of Cyanogen’s ROM still makes it the best handset I have ever used.

  9. James Bell
    April 27, 17:35 Reply

    Actions, not words. I’ll consider any Moto handset that can be unlocked and modded. No consideration for those that cannot.

    I wonder if Moto and others realize how much the mod and geek community gets asked about their phones. It may be a small percentage that will notice a locked bootloader, but we have alot of influence among our friends & families.

    • The Gnome
      May 20, 19:11 Reply

      Most geeks think their influence is vast.  Thats why they are geeks. 

  10. Gary Wilkinson
    April 27, 18:53 Reply

    Hell yes it would make me more likely to consider a Motorola device. They still need to follow through with it first.

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