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Motorola Clarifies Stance on Bootloaders, Looks to Partner With Developers?

By now, many of you have seen the recommendation that a Motorola YouTube admin made to a user who inquired about using a custom ROM on a future device.  Well, the idea of buying “elsewhere” didn’t sit nicely with one of Droid Life’s readers, prompting them to head over to Moto’s Facebook page to see if they would be willing to clarify this wild YouTuber’s remarks.  Sure enough, they did.

Motorola - We apologize for the feedback we provided regarding our bootloader policy. The response does not reflect the views of Motorola.

We are working closely with our partners to offer a bootloader solution that will enable developers to use our devices as a development platform while still protecting our users’ interests. More detailed information will follow as we get closer to availability.

This doesn’t exactly scream, “We’re unlocking this puppy!” but it does interest the heck out of us.  A “development platform” could mean a variety of things and we’re not exactly holding out hope that we’ll see the freedom that we all enjoyed with the OG DROID, however this is a much more acceptable tone.  We’ll be all eyes and ears when that detailed information is finally released.

Cheers sc4fpse!

  • Anonymous

    Shocker, some Moto employee was probably sick of hearing the constant bootloader whining and over reacted and released a statement that didn’t reflect the company but his views. Which then was followed up by bloggers over reacting (and keeping up the whining). We all know what Moto’s stance has been since the DX was released, nothing changed and will likely not change. Though that developer bootloader story sounds promising though unlikely. Don’t like it buy another device, no real nice way to say that, I know I am going to assuming the TB stacks up to the Bionic once I can hold both in my hands. It’s kind of like the people living in CT that are complaining about snow even though it happens every winter. Get a new hobby or something.

  • Anonymous

    Lookls like Moto needs Tiger Woods PR guy on this one

  • Djspikezz

    There you go guys.. Bionic.. enough said. BTW.. I haven’t read a single article that OG DROID was a failure.. it was quite the opposite as a extreme explosion of sucess for the android OS market and the devices/tablets!!

    This sounds like a great correctional tone and I’ve extremely glad that Moto is listening to the consumer! WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN!!!!!

  • (v)urphy

    Can we please get off the iPhone vs Android shtick??!…it’s almost nauseating.

    • Djspikezz

      NO. Fact is iphone started the BOOM in advancement in smartphone potential.. no one better take that away from Apple. Fact is now, that we have learned that Apple has way to much control over the consumer and their device and what they can/can’t do even though their device has lots of potential….

      Fact is Android is Linux bases which = OPEN SOURCE = you can develope your dream apps yourself if no one else does, it also alows for tons of apps that don’t cost you a penny that provide amazing quality and promotes growth!

      Therefore Android > Apple until apple changes their policy on control over the consumer. It’s really that simple.

  • http://www.koveleski.com koveleski

    I hope this means that they unlock my bootloader, void warranty and say thanks for your money. To which I will reply, “thank you for letting me make choices with the product I purchased and own”

  • Scruggie

    i accidentally threw my droid away today and this doesnt make me want to steer clear of the iphone..even tho i never considered getting one until i saw this post, i am now considering getting one. if i cant customize my phone then im not sure sticking w android products are worth it

    • http://twitter.com/il_Sole_Leone Stephen Box

      A non-rooted Android is still far more customizable than an Iphone. However, I’m sure knowing this community it won’t stay un-rooted for long.

    • DBK

      And going to a phone that’s just as hard to customize is the answer?

      Why not just go to HTC? Hardware may not be as quality as Moto’s but the software is solid and it is unlocked.

  • EC8CH

    “protecting our users’ interests”

    Pretty sure the users they are refering to are the carriers using moto handsets on their networks… not us.

    Thanks for the half assed apology moto but I’ll take the first advice you gave… Bye!

  • Anonymous

    it only took one rude guy to cause a whole mess of trouble. honestly i hope he or she gets fired. thats just flat out unacceptable for customer service. no matter how many times you’ve been asked about a bootloader. and judging by how rude he was, he must have been from massachusetts lol

    • EC8CH

      masshole

    • EC8CH

      masshole

  • http://twitter.com/TheBigNoob Ryan Fraser

    If moto opened the bootloader I’d be interested in using them still to replace my OG droid when my upgrade’s do.

    As of now, it looks like *shudder* Samsung will be getting my money.

    • EC8CH

      You must not like updates

    • EC8CH

      You must not like updates

  • Mylockandroid

    its just damage control. they don’t intend to honor the openness that defines the spirit of android. i will not buy another device from OEMs who commit such dishonor.

  • Anonymous

    I will only accept this apology if they give me an exact release date for the Xoom.

  • Anonymous

    I will only accept this apology if they give me an exact release date for the Xoom.

  • Lists

    It’s looking like the bootloader will be unlocked very soon even if Motorola doesn’t like it!

  • http://twitter.com/mfg68 Matt Galo

    Maybe this whole reaction shook something loose.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm to late to sorry….hi htc thunderbolt…..are you unlockable….you bet….:)….nice to meet you…..hey this is my droid bionic….its half unlockable……ummmm are you android? lolol…..nah he’s just trying to protect me. lol…thats what lookouts for…..

    • EC8CH

      That would make a good evo-i*hone type video :-)

  • Anonymous

    I worry that any flexibility will be too late for Motorola.

    The only reason I’m on an X is because I rode my happiness and hope from my original Droid.

    By the time Motorola comes to their senses many of us that tried to hang with them will be gone.

    We want freedom to work with our phones like we could with our D1’s. Soon a new lineup of powerful unlocked phones are coming and i’ll be returning my X to Costco.

    Goodbye Motorola and hello HTC!

  • The350zWolf

    The proof is in the actions. If moto is wise, it will make a “developer phone” and perhaps may really want to partner up with the community developers and hire them freelance to really make “Blur” a kick a$$ environment. Maybe that is a little of an oximoron, but hey, as long as we get access to unlocked bootloader phones, I’m in!

  • Godsmack97023

    HTC phones have a better built in experience I think, minus the fact that my girlfriends ALLY is a piece of crap hardware wise I kinda like the look of everything very bright like HTC

    • Anonymous

      Ally is LG.

    • Anonymous

      Your girlfriend’s Ally is made by LG, not HTC.

  • Anonymous

    They’re working with their partners to develop a bootloader…

    I thought Moto developed their own bootloader/software? If this is true, then they’re likely talking about their hardware partners, which means what? A developer model phone and a consumer model phone? That seems silly, but what else could it mean?

  • guest

    That youtube admin came off almost as half of the users of this site. I’d say you can’t go much lower.
    The reason for a locked boot loader is that customers in the USA expect everything for free, including unlimited wireless internet with hotspot creation. If it can stop this behavior, it can negotiate better deals with carriers. In Europe most people pay for data (this is how it should be), so rooting is less less of an issue.
    Eventually, Android will also have more protection for developers who create apps to stop piracy.
    I’m guessing Moto is trying to find a happy medium. I’d love to own an Atrix, and I have unrooted Droid X. It is a fantastic phone. Motorola makes the best high end equipment there is and those who avoid it are hurting themselves. I like that Motorola has survived on the free market as well, which is impressive as all the Asian companies get huge support from their socialist governments and their buy local consumers.

    • Anonymous

      Hello moto. Please go away now…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710530141 Tyler Buchanan

      A.) Motorola doesn’t care how much data you use, the carriers do. And the carriers are allowing other phones with unlocked bootloaders
      B.) The locked bootloader does nothing to prevent rooting and making a hotspot (unless I’m mistaken) and nothing against piracy. Even if it does prevent you from making a hotspot, big deal, plug your phone in to your computer and use pdanet
      C.) I’m sick of people saying “its the way it should be in Europe” when it comes to just about everything from speedos to gas prices to cell phone plans, the businesses are in business to guess what, make money, and if the American people are demanding one thing the carriers better carry to it if they want to stay in business, that’s the point of capitalism. Don’t give me the “in Europe its the way it should be” BS, people have the option to go prepaid and don’t.
      D.) Motorola needs me more than I need Motorola, I wouldn’t be hurting myself by “only” getting a Thunderbolt 4G over a DROID Bionic. Maybe if I was going to the dark side completely, but not a Thunderbolt.
      E.) All the locked bootloader does is force you to buy a new phone when Motorola is too lazy to come up with OS X.Y for your particular device (or demands money which the carriers refuse to pay to upgrade you), and that does not fly with me

      EDIT: I tried liking the original post to this so it would be more apparent so people can tear it apart, but it would not let me like the post. Perhaps its a sign?

    • Anonymous

      “The reason for a locked boot loader is that customers in the USA expect everything for free”

      Which is exactly the opposite of what we get, ie. ever increasing prices for continually reduced service.

  • http://twitter.com/Bl4ckn355 Michael Black

    I bought the OG Droid right after launch and I love it. Unfortunately, if Moto doesn’t change the bootloader policy, this will be my last Moto device. Bummer too. I love their hardware.

    • tpipher

      AMEN! Could not have said it better myself!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve already seen enough on Howard Forums to believe that the bootloader on the Bionic is going to be locked in an incredibly insane way. Their talking making just rooting so difficult that the average rooting, custom rom user well be completely unable to reasonably gain access to their phones.

  • Anonymous

    I applaud their attempt at damage control, but it might be too late for a lot of us.

  • Anonymous

    You want my money? than stop posting bullcrap promises and MAKE AN UNLOCKED PHONE. simple.

    • Anonymous

      They have no idea who to solve this problem even though we keep telling them how. Just make the phone, we’ll buy it. We love literally everything you do except motoblur and this bootloader crap, and as long as the bootloaders unlocked than we don’t even care about motoblur!!!!

      • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

        I think Google needs to just make MotoBlur and HTC Sense available in the Android Market for free download when The Gingerbread Man comes. {{-_-}}

        • http://www.facebook.com/mobrienjr Michael OBrien

          From what google has said in the past they are aiming to provide a UI that is better than Sense or Blur that way the manufactures do not put them on.

    • Anonymous

      They need an unlocked phone without Blur….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1603800094 Cody Clay

    I like the sound of that, but im pretty sure theyre just saving their ass because of that comment. Do you think they are going to change it just because people flooded their youtube and facebook page? Idk. I would really hope it sounds as good as it is, but eh, im not going to hold my breath.

    PS. if you look at their page, they are replying to a lot of people that are bitching. Using this exact statement, lol. Good ol CNTRL + V

  • Anonymous

    “while still protecting our users’ interest” Your users interests would be a device that they paid for and own completely. That quote is a spin, like Verizon “simplifying” the buying process by eliminating NE2 and 1 year upgrades.

    My boycott of Motorola products will stand until they prove, with more than words, they are willing to let people own what they pay for.

    • Ed

      I’m still mystified why anyone thinks 1-year upgrades are going away on Verizon.

      It’s simple. Want to upgrade every year? Sign a *gasp* ONE-YEAR contract. Yes, it’s that simple. Really.

      Want to save $70 off the one-year price? Sign a *TWO-YEAR* contract.

      Does it really need any more “simplifying” than that?

      Can’t say I won’t miss NE2, but 1 year upgrades are not going away. If you sign a two year contract and then complain that you’re only allowed to upgrade at discounted pricing every 20 (not 24) months, you’ve got far too much complainin’ going on.

      • DBK

        What’s going away is the early upgrade for the 2 year contracts. People wanted the discount and the early upgrade. Now they are forced to choose one or the other. And considering how many are switching over to the one year contracts, I think their answer is pretty clear.

        Wrong blog, by the way.

    • http://twitter.com/willsours Will Sours

      Personally boycotting #Motorola locked down phones with upgrade-killing MotoBlur Its the only way you can vote on it. #NoMoTo.

    • http://twitter.com/willsours Will Sours

      Personally boycotting #Motorola locked down phones with upgrade-killing MotoBlur Its the only way you can vote on it. #NoMoTo.

    • takeshi

      Except that you’re assuming that the majority of consumers are like the enthusiasts that frequent Droid-Life. That’s a common mistake not only here but on all forum sites. We represent a tiny fraction of the overall consumer market. Don’t forget that.

      • dude

        We are talking about smart phones. We are the average user. We have the power to hurt moto’s sales. They have proven in the past that they can accomplish this on their own anyway. If they were smart they would unlock it, before the lose relevance…………again.

  • Anonymous

    Damn, i should have got off my high horse on my Motorola post and sent this Kellex sooner then I did. Oh well i missed it by 14 minutes.

  • Anonymous

    Translation:

    Dear Loyal Moto Customer,

    We didn’t mean to piss you off that much. We’re not going to unlock the bootloaders anytime soon. However, we’d still like you to buy our phones. Also, contrary to popular belief, we did not hire Steve Jobs as a consultant during his medical leave.

    Sincerly,
    The Moto Disaster Response Team

    • DBK

      Lol The MDRT…about as effective as FEMA, but with a quicker response time. :)

      • Anonymous

        I like your acronym. However, I think Moto DiRT would fit better. :-)

        In any case, it’s nice to see that Moto has the locked bootloader issue on their radar. I just hope they shoot it down. If not, I’m inclined to join Timoh’s boycott.

      • Anonymous

        I like your acronym. However, I think Moto DiRT would fit better. :-)

        In any case, it’s nice to see that Moto has the locked bootloader issue on their radar. I just hope they shoot it down. If not, I’m inclined to join Timoh’s boycott.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s just me but I actually find this news very positive for 2 reasons: 1) The dev/root-desiring community is clearly significant enough of a factor that Manufacturers are at least listening to what they/we have to say, and 2) It would appear that the signature Motorola bootloader really could conceivably be revised in upcoming phones. Or maybe I just reeeealy don’t want to have to jump the Motorola ship.

  • Godawgzsicem

    Motorola don’t piss off the ppl who buy your phones & tablets The Droid family members are the reason 2010 Was a fantastic year for you . Make sure you smile when you say The Bootloader is open

  • Jonathon_flores

    Well isn’t that sweet. An apology. I think a company should have stricter guidelines for employees who want to interact with the general public and/or its direct end users. I still wouldn’t buy another motorola smartphone. Love the hardware quality. But blur and how motorola handles its smartphones, post original droid, is unattractive.

  • Anonymous

    A big reason I supported Moto was due to their under dog status. I hope they update their customer service etiquette, or they have no chance at my future business.

    • tpipher

      AMEN! Could not have said it better myself!

  • Dpu328

    Awesome. Must feel pretty good that with your help us droid lovers can express our opinions with immediate impact. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    As previously mentioned, the dick-ness of the original comment kinda set some of us off Moto. However, I’m sticking with my R2-D2 and Android running i*one. Am I allowed to say that word if it’s running Android?

    • DBK

      No, no your not. And you are obligated from now on to refer to Android as *ndroid to remind yourself of the horror you have created and to allow us to know of said horror so that we may pile upon thee the obligatory jokes.

      End of line.

      • Anonymous

        Fine. I understand. Just know that I did it my self. And it was for the novelty of it. My former friend, who worships Jobs, gave it to me, and I immediately put *ndroid on it. And you know what? Android

        • DBK

          Considering it wasn’t yours to begin with and you were just trying to make that piece of crap worth something, the Droid-Life community has agreed let this slide. You may fully spell out the name most holy, but any future transgressions will result in the fullest punishment allowable with the most extreme prejudice. You have been warned.

          End of line.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mobrienjr Michael OBrien

      Call it an iDROID….that sounds better

  • Kiriuskris

    “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.”

  • 630630

    This kind of goes along with the rumor that Motorola will have the next Nexus phone?

    • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

      Oh man. If Motorola makes a Nexus phone that can work with Verizon 4G LTE, I might just get it. But it would have to be a least as good as the Droid Bionic. And it needs a keyboard. {{-_-}}

      • EC8CH

        verizon letting on open nexus phone on their network…

        about as likely as moto unlocking their bootloader.

        • Anonymous

          Probably not on Verizon but if Google persued Moto for their, say, Nexus M, I could easily see an unlocked version with Atrix specs and stock android on T-Mobile or even Sprint.

          The possibility of that happening is at least 6 months away though.

    • Anonymous

      That would be amazing.

  • http://www.searingarrow.com Honeybot Ver. 1.0

    wow that was fast

  • Rizzidy

    The cat’s already out of the bag. This is too little too late for #Motofail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachpepsin EaglesDudeNFL

    so either:

    a) a Motorola Youtube admin is just trying to piss us off,
    b) a Motorola Facebook admin is trying to make us happy, or
    c) Motorola is bipolar

    or all of the above?

    • Anonymous

      Lmao

    • Anonymous

      C. Totally C.

    • Anonymous

      I think Motorola will have a opening for a new Youtube admin by tomorrow.

    • Anonymous

      or somebody over at youtube moto just got fired…..lol

    • Anonymous

      or somebody over at youtube moto just got fired…..lol

  • Anonymous

    So you’re saying that you might not unlock possibly remedy while fixing and solving a problem that really doesn’t interest us in the least bit…… HUH

  • Jdfairchild

    Still planning on making the jump from the DX to TB

    • Anonymous

      I’m jumping right behind you

      • Godfrey2009

        Same here! DX for TB! Im sick of moto. Here I come HTC

        • Daniel

          I’m planing to upgrade to the TB from HTC droid Eris.I wonder how much technology improved since then?

    • Anonymous

      Same, I’m going DINC to TB.

  • Anonymous

    Too late to change ur mind!
    Already stickin with HTC XP

  • Anonymous

    Too late to change ur mind!
    Already stickin with HTC XP

  • http://twitter.com/coggy9 Adam

    I call BS. Just like the CLIQ getting updates,

  • http://twitter.com/DaSpiter Jonathan Seymour

    Off with that “Wild YouTuberz” head!

  • jtf323

    *cough*Damage Control*cough*

    • Anonymous

      Methinksso.

  • Eduardotre

    so will there be 2 models a developer and a regular model?

    • http://www.facebook.com/zachpepsin EaglesDudeNFL

      wtf are you talking about?

      • Eduardotre

        I meant like maybe you can buy the atrix with At&t (locked bootloader) but if you want it with an unlocked bootloader you buy it directly from moto?

        • DBK

          Not a bad idea, which means it will never happen. :P

        • Anonymous

          That would be nice, though no subsidies.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mobrienjr Michael OBrien

          good luck buying anything from AT&T that is unlocked….you should be able to do the unlocked thing because so many people buy the T-Mobile phones unlocked and then place their own sim cards in the phone.

  • Eduardotre

    1st

    • DBK

      ooooh….so close….

  • OmegaXzer0

    Firsties!

  • http://twitter.com/trongable Trong Nguyen

    Someone’s getting fired… puahahaha

    EDIT: Err, not that I really want someone to lose the job. But I think most of you guys get the point.

    • Anonymous

      Haha

    • Anonymous

      This was my first thought :D

    • Anonymous

      This was my first thought :D

    • Anonymous

      You know what, at least he was honest, unlike this bs.

      • Eric

        I couldn’t agree more.