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Motorola Responds to eFuse Rumor, Phone Won’t Blow Up

Motorola Marketing Director James King sat down with some Facebook readers this morning and touched on a bunch of topics, but there was one in particular cleared up which has been taken completely out of context and blown into something absurd.  Yes, we’re talking about that damn eFuse

Regarding e-Fuse. References to dynamite, explosions, booby traps…really?? Please….Everyone is fully versed in our policy over Bootloader access, but eFuse is the same as on Milestone and is not loaded with the purpose of preventing a consumer device from functioning, but rather ensuring for the user that the device only runs on updated and tested versions of software. If a device attempts to boot with unapproved software, it will go into recovery mode, and can re-boot once approved software is re-installed. Checking for a valid software configuration is a common practice within the industry to protect the user against potential malicious software threats. As expressed before, and that have circulated in the past, malware, hacks and various nefarious situations for owners and companies will likely to become increasingly common for smartphones as has been seen in computers, and at Motorola we have a duty to the widest consumer base and businesses to ensure we have done everything we can do to protect. JK

The bootloader essentially does what we’ve always thought it would do, lock you out should you try to tamper with it.  How is this new?  Is it because we have a locked bootloader stateside finally?  Seriously, this might have been the most obnoxious rumor on the face of smartphone earth.  Can we officially drop it now?

He also went on to talk about Froyo for the Milestone to those of you wondering…

Next European Milestone and 2.2 (Froyo). I have expressed over the last few days that the decision is pending. The team here has been collating key pieces of information and views from this community in the last month and providing input to relevant teams in Motorola so they are aware. I am pushing for that decision to be made as quickly as possible, and we can then all go from there. Some others ask why the decisions on upgrades take so long, and why does implementation then take much longer still. What I can say and have stated recently is that upgrades are not a walk in the park. Sure there are short cuts that people can take, but when you have to integrate software to a specific hardware, then test it and integrate with third party applications, let alone any innovation from ourselves, plus then get approvals to make this all official and safe… its is a big undertaking that requires planning and resource and third party coordination to see this all through. As I say, once we have decision, we will inform. JK

That sounds like 50/50 odds for Milestone Android 2.2 to me…let’s hope not.

Update: As this was sitting in line to post, it looks like Engadget received a similar response from Motorola.  You can read it here.

Thoughts now?

Source:  Motorola Europe Facebook

Cheers @RaptorBot!

  • Tony

    Actually the answer is just type in more than one contact in the “To” field. A different app isn't necessary at all.

  • Anybody that's unhappy with the locked bootloader if you're so damned smart then just build ur own phone. Problem solved, right

  • Jasonlavon

    Trying to look at this from Moto point of view. Does locking the bootloader minimize the amount of bricks or general support there people have to deal with?

    example: I've been using android a while (used the iphone before that, never looked back) just switched from tmobile mytouch froyo 2.2 for V for the Droid X. While buying the phone and getting it activated, a guy walks in with the original moto droid, asks a rep how he could send one txt to multiple recipients. I'm thinking oh simple, NOBODY IN THE STORE COULD FIGURE IT OUT! after three or four reps he was about to leave, so i took pity and walked over and took over for the flustered sales reps. the answer is “handcent” btw.

    Does this level of support knowledge shed more light on motorola's decision? I don't know why else they would do it. Surely they know it will hurt their sales. the locked bootloader protects Verizon right? or am i wrong there?

    • Jasonlavon

      Would Verizon require Motorola to do it?

    • Tony

      Actually the answer is just type in more than one contact in the “To” field. A different app isn't necessary at all.

  • guest

    so milestone won't get froyo?

  • timarnette

    Which is the best backup for the Droid X? Thanks

  • Uplink

    we need a BIG article saying the DROID X does not “blow up”, and that your an idiot for believing that lOl

  • nick o

    has anyone else discovered that the red dots at the bottom when you scroll left or right if you slide your finger on them you can scroll really fast or really slow its really a feature no one knew about but i just thought id share it with the droid community!

  • Justin

    Screw the “security” aspect.. if you brick YOUR phone, who'sy problem is it? Not motorola's!

  • John

    Wonder how much carriers influence this.. I suspect a lot.

    I imagine Motorola sold more devices to people who wanted to mod them than they've had to replace broken phones due to them running cooked software. So, this leaves carriers, such as Verizon, not wanting their bandwidth stolen, or their time wasted by people having problems with cooked sw.

  • Confused

    So is he saying that your phone will or will not brick if you try to root and/or install a different ROM?

  • locsta

    I just got my droid x today, ordered it yesterday around 2:30pm EST. So all this bootloader talk, what does it mean for custom roms? Is it NEVER gonna happen or is it just gonna take longer for people to figure out a way around it. Because I gotta decide weather to keep this phone or not. And if it can NEVER have custom roms, well that just might be a deal breaker for me. Gotta get that bugless beast on droid x.

    • Justin

      From what I understand, it is so highly encrypted that it is very difficult to break. I think it is the milestone that had been out for 7mo and hasn't been cracked yet. I really wasn't an x, but not at the price of lost freedoms!

  • So droid 2 eu when ? 🙁

  • digitalicecream

    I don't think we can drop it. I think it needs to be front and center for thousands to see that Motorola has built in safety's for the (non rooting) consumer's best interest. I see several blogs slamming the DX for this sole reason, WTF? So I'm being recommended to get an iphone because the Android phone i want to buy is designed not to have third party low level software or OS on it?

    No I think more articles like this need to circulate. Good kickoff, and thanks.

  • Drummer62

    I didn't notice any comment of Froyo for Droid 1 though? How come? Any word on that Mr. JK?

  • andrew401

    i am so glad i returned that peice of crap called the droid x ……… what a joke of a phone i am ashamed to even say that's part of the droid family. i'd take a droid eris over that awful phone. the phone would be nice if it was not for that absolutely awful UI they have going on and it's locked up like fort knox. moto you guys really dropped the ball on this one and lost A LOT of customers. HTC FTW!

    • Actually, Motorolas UI is closer to stock android i think. I know you can like not use the moto widgets and only use android widgets..

  • Droidzilla

    The “security” issue is bogus. You can always make a way for the tech savvy to hack and install ROMs without the general public being able to. Heck, where's the security issue for the Droid1? It's not like some malicious software could just flash a new ROM to your system; it takes a little bit of work and a lot of volition.

  • EC8CH

    Dear John,

    Thanks for not blowing up our phones.
    Now please, FREE THE BOOTLOADER!

    • Craig


      That may become a t-shirt…

  • So is the DROID X going to suffer a slow agonizing (maybe not so slow) obsolescence and forced fragmentation the way MILESTONE has? They don't exactly have a stunning record for updating a locked bootloader with that safe, approved software? DROID brought back moto as a contender for my money, locked bootloaders will see it spent elsewhere so long as I have a choice. And really isn't that what it's about? We're buying a phone, like a pc, we should have our choice of OS.

    Also I am so tired of these BIG HUGE companies whining about how hard their job is! Quit, let someone with talent who WANTS the job do it. Seriously the new millennium is like the age of whining because I have customers who want to buy stuff from me… waaaaaah.

    • Antivanity


      My feelings exactly

    • ircmaxell

      I agree for most of that. I don't honestly care if they want to lock the phone down more. I haven't (and more than likely won't) root mine.

      What bothers me, is there are no powerful phones on the market with stock android (once the Droid and Nexus 1 finish obsolescing)… That bothers me. I like android. Why do I want some “blur” crap on it? So either give me just a plain OS, or the choice to put one on it (via a ROM)… But to kill both? That's just plain silly if you ask me…

      • exactly, what attracted people to the Android format in the first place. Well, except for a buddy of mine who just like the way his eris looked. lol.

  • Andrew

    This is off topic, but Anyone this Droid-life will giveaway a Droid X like some other websites do?

    • EC8CH

      No, Kellex had to fight to get on for himself.

  • Tyler

    Now, they're in business to make money, we want to customize our phone, they want to “protect us from ourselves”. Now, a reasonable compromise could be they hire someone to test and review ROMs to make sure they are not malicious, and we pay a small fee for the ability to switch out to these custom ROMs, even if they are ROMs that are faster or offer more features than they offer us. Either that, or do a better job getting the software to us. As it stands, they're only protecting us from getting ourselves a better phone.

  • I think Moto's response is pretty reasonable here. Anyone who expects a major mass market hardware manufacturer to SUPPORT the idea of.cooking new ROMs for their device needs to quit smoking the rock.

    Samsung/HTC/et al may not be working as hard to shut down modders (HTC pumps stuff out so fast they probably don't care as much, they just shelve products rather than support them) but you can bet your ass they hardly consider it desirable or to be a supported use of their product.

    And I GUARANTEE carriers friggin HATE the idea of unauthorized system builds loose on their network… Heck some of the apps essentially enable theft of service and potentially limit their billing options (example: mobile hotspot/tethering cooked into ROMs).

    And to be honest, I don't blame either of them (carriers/manufacturers). It's a huge cost, limits their business opportunities, opens their proprietary work to competitors, poses a security/stability threat, etc, etc. It's nothing but a drain on resources… even if, what? Like maybe somewhere from 2 to 5% of their customers think it's “awesome”. LOL.

    I'm just thankful we have a phone OS in the form of Android is that designed as an inherently “open” software system and architecture. Regardless of whether manufacturers keep things moddable, we'll still be better off than the bad old WinMo, Palm, iOS, only days. Android pretty refreshing. If I can at least get “root”. I'll be happy… I don't have to have a skinned ROM.

    • Chris Nimon

      I personally am disgusted by moto's move. The openess of the droid and the marketing there of saved this company. Now they want to lock things down harder than an iphone. Just switched to the DI, rooted Droid 1 for sale if anybodys looking. If all the android phone makers jump on this band wagon i will be forced to switch sides.

    • jacob

      I think Moto's response is pretty reasonable here too.

      Kinda against people that dont like DX because of locked boot loader. i mean they say yea we bought it we should be able to do whatever we want with it but if we have any problem with it, it's your company's fault and you guys need to fix it for me..

      i know a lot of people might not like my comment on this but it's just my opinion.

      • digitalicecream

        I agree with you.

      • EC8CH

        If you brick your phone while hacking it you should own up and take responsibility. Has anyone ever heard of a D1 ever being truely bricked anyway?

        A better solution than locking the bootloader would be to have open software on handsets so that people don't have to hack their phones to gain full access to their hardware.

        • Chris Nimon

          I agree totally with that. Give us the option and IF we screw up our phones bad enough to need replacement then its on us, not them to pay for it. Thats all were really asking for isnt it?

        • In re to bricking the d1… I've tried to totally brick it and i have not been able to do so. I'm posting from it and its always fixable.

    • L_P

      I agree, Motorola and VZW are protecting their own interests and justifiably so. It's just another hurdle for software hackers n crackers to leap. Im sure it's possible to circumvent the system =]

      • Yup, don't get me wrong, I'm ALL FOR custom ROMs. I'm rocking Bugless Beast, right now. But the fact is, I understand WHY these entities are doing it…. why ROM modding probably will (and maybe even *SHOULD*) stay underground!

    • Diverge

      “Heck some of the apps essentially enable theft of service and potentially limit their billing options (example: mobile hotspot/tethering cooked into ROMs).”

      That is total bullshit. We pay for our bandwidth, and should be able to use it any way we want. Just cause some people don't realize that, or think it's okay for companies to think of new ways to rip people off doesn't make it stealing when the user gives him/herself that function on their own.

      That's like a car manufacturer only putting one seat in your car. What, you want more then one seat? Okay, the pay up 1.5x the cost of the one seat version. And don't even think of bolting in your own seat, they put a super duper drill resistant alloy in your floor boards. And if you are able to drill a whole through it, the cars CPU will turn your car into a brick :p

      • “That is total bullshit. We pay for our bandwidth, and should be able to use it any way we want. Just cause some people don't realize that, or think it's okay for companies to think of new ways to rip people off doesn't make it stealing when the user gives him/herself that function on their own.”

        No… you don't have any such right to violate the terms of service is if YOU agreed to those terms of service with the contract, in a legal sense they have EVERY right to enforce it and you are flat out breaking/disregarding is. I'm a hacker type guy.

        Emotionally, I agree with your bandwidth is bandwidth and carriers treating it based on usage is ripping me off type of sentiment on those terms, but the LEGAL FACT is that it's a violation of a contract you agreed to and they have every legal right to be pissed about and try to thwart violations of that agreement. Sorry.

        Yes, it also makes them a ton of money for almost no tangible development/cost. Boo hoo. Welcome to business. This is the reality for any carrier, any OS, any manufacturer.

  • Chris Nimon

    I think most of us have realized that our phones will not be “bricked” by now. What still has me fired up is motorola spokesperson telling us if we dont like it to go f#(k ourselves. Did they have any apology and a pink slip for that?

    • digitalicecream

      Really they said that? I thought that they said that this is not a developer model, and if you are a developer and need a phone with those certain privvies then you should know which phones to get?

  • raptorbot

    woot! debunkage

  • nkhex19

    Write back to James King and tell him to Free the bootloader!!!

  • geonerd

    So, estimated date for the ota update for the Milestone ?? It was supposed to be ready on the 13th !! Give me my Froyo now…

  • jacob

    “If a device attempts to boot with unapproved software, it will go into recovery mode, and can re-boot once approved software is re-installed.”

    So.. it won't brick even someone tries? That's a good news, no?

  • Droidzilla

    I really have no idea what it takes for something to be “Droid” branded; I think it's just a marketing thing (correct me if I'm wrong). If so, I hope some of the new Android devices that are simply lacking the arbitrary “Droid” moniker are covered on this site, since DL is teh uber rad.

  • it will only blow up in the hands of an iphone user

    • davesdroid

      Depends on how they hold it. Ha!

    • Justin

      “dude I love my new iphone, check out the new home screens!”

      Yea that's cool, but my droid was able to do that a year ago

  • It's unsettling to see a big “JK” at the end of statements like this…
    Does this mean he is “just kidding”?? lol 😛

  • Keke

    did you hear the DX has a locked bootloader?

    jk, on to the DROID 2!!

    • Tyler

      which will also have a locked bootloader…

  • Michael_NM

    It's funny that Moto's Marketing Director is named James King, because his signature (JK) makes me wonder if he's signing the post or telling us that he's joking. Most of the OTA update news from Moto or VZ seems to be bad joke after all.

    • Crap, you beat me to it…lol

      • Michael_NM

        Haha! Great minds think alike! 🙂

  • Droidzilla

    For me, the bootloader issue has turned my fancy from the Droid X to the Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S), or the Samsung Tape (Galaxy Tablet).

    Land of the Free, Home of the Open Source!

    • I played with a Galaxy yesterday….I was seriously impressed. Super light weight, and responsive as heck! lol

      • Michael_NM

        You played with a Galaxy? I knew of your mod (double meaning intended) power, but I was unaware of your cosmic abilities. 🙂

        • LOL! Nice. Yea, super powers are fun 🙂

      • Chris Nimon

        is this the one that is supposedly coming to verizon under a different name? cause it could very possibly be my next phone.

        • Yep, thats the one 😛

          • Chris Nimon

            Any idea what their gonna call it ?

            Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

            —– Reply message —–

          • The “Fascinate” lol

          • Chris Nimon

            Wow, unfortunately that sounds really,,,, ill call it alternative lifestyle. Did you recheck the post on the pic I made for you? Has description.

            Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

            —– Reply message —–

      • EC8CH

        Whaddabout their i*hone wanna be skin though?

        • I'm just saying…it felt very nice in my hands and had a big screen and so light weight.
          It just felt really good.
          The UI wasn't that bad. I'm sure something can be done about it 😛

          • EC8CH

            Being that it's on all carriers it should have a huge user base, which should make for some good dev support. I agree it is a very interesting phone.

    • Michael_NM

      The Samsung option is fascinating, but why is it not Droid branded?

      • Droidzilla

        I really have no idea what it takes for something to be “Droid” branded; I think it's just a marketing thing (correct me if I'm wrong). If so, I hope some of the new Android devices that are simply lacking the arbitrary “Droid” moniker are covered on this site, since DL is teh uber rad.

        • Michael_NM

          I think you're right. It seems like Samsung has chosen not to pay Lucas Films for the branding and is marketing the phone on it's own. I wonder how this will impact the way VZ promotes and supports the phone. I'd also like to see some coverage of it here. Maybe we can think of it as a Droid stepchild.

          • Timoh

            I'm glad it has no relation to lucas(fill in the blank). That company is the second most arrogant, overrated company. Apple being #1.

      • eddieonofre

        Seems that Verizon decides which phones are branded as Droid. Droid is a maketing strategy from Verizon

      • EC8CH


        No problem, just root the Fascinate and load a Droid Boot Animation.

        Steve Jobs
        sent from my I*hone

  • 1bad69z28

    See All of this was Steve Jobs trying to get back at us, he's the responsible for the RUMOR Damn those Apple people LMAO

  • Thanks you. There's no way Moto would want to brick devices. Even without modifying a phone, files can be corrupted and prevent the phone from booting once. Moto wouldn't want you to be out of luck if that happened.

  • Duh

  • Martinpelant

    first again?