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Motorola Tells Customer to “Buy Elsewhere” if They Want Custom ROMs

Wow.  We know that Motorola has taken a strong stance against rooting and custom ROMs, but a remark that popped up this week from their YouTube account manager is somewhat shocking.  When the subject of avoiding the new Atrix 4G because of a potentially locked bootloader was brought up in the comments of one of their new ads, the response generated was not exactly positive and basically told anyone who is wanting to feel like the real owner of their device, to look “elsewhere.”

@tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks. – motorola 2 days ago

Seriously, that’s how you represent yourself to current customers?  I understand that they have sold a bajillion phones over the last year, but man, this isn’t exactly the stuff we like to see from a company that thanks to an open mobile OS, has risen from the dead.  As one of the biggest Moto supporters on the planet, but also one that loves freedom, this sucks.  The Atrix and BIONIC are amazing devices and I’ll likely have at least one of them, but comments like these make it even easier to start focusing on the un-locked love that is HTC.  

And here is the video since we haven’t posted it at either site…

YouTube Preview Image

Thoughts anyone?  Does a “locked” phone really matter to you?

Source: YouTube
Via:  Android Central

  • Suchy

    Good to know, I’ll wait for Samsung’s Orion dualcore and then I’ll threw my Milestone thru the window. No more Motorola.

  • Momfer Undersand

    I agree with the fact that the rooters and modders are not the majority, But us techie’s do advice to the normal people, The normal user/person also see’s wat we Tech heads are using. Motorola is so shooting themselves in the foot with this.

  • Beeze82

    If you agree with moto your an down syndrome moron and moto never again piss on you this will come around!

  • Beeze82

    If you agree with moto your an down syndrome moron and moto never again piss on you this will come around!

  • EC8CH

    Motorola king of locked down phones and now locked down youtube comments…

    What a joke of a company.

  • Rebith75

    So ridiculous that the whole reason these douche bags at moto didnt file bankruptcy was because of the popularity of the Droid1, a popularity that was in large part because of the openness and mainly responsible for such an amazing developer community. Now that android is more “mainstream” they can get away with selling Blur garbage to dumb end users (ala iphone or new smart phone users) who dont care. To this day I have never heard a good reason why they spend so much time and resources locking phones down, the bloatware alone (contracts etc) cannot be enough of a reason.

  • Soulogos

    It’s funny to see people on Droid -Life who are on Motorola’s side, why are you even on Droid-Life…a site mainly for people who do install custom Roms? The simple answer is most of you don’t know squat about what is cool to do with your phones and rely on the minority with the knowledge…The minority that also pushes/pesters manufacturers to release cooler stuff and get rid of crap (blur). The ignorant without knowledge would take whatever crap is shoved down their phones but if thats what you want….”BUY AN IPHONE” Look Motorola can do whatever the hell they like…just like I can buy any phone I like but….as the die hard minority fans are also the one’s who are most outspoken in spreading word of mouth on which phone are garbage and which phones are legit…..I suggest Motorola and other manufacturers pay attention. P.S. Motoblur sucks all traces of it should be killed and a more HTC non-intrusive sense type UI should be adopted. Blur sucks for the same reason locking down a phone sucks…it presumes it knows what’s best for me.

  • Former_Moto_Customer

    I will be one customer who definitely buys elsewhere next time. I love my Moto Droid but there is plenty of competition out there now and android is all about freedom and the open OS. I love customizing my phone and running new roms with features unavailable to locked down users. HTC, Samsung, anyone but Motorola if that is there attitude.

    P.S. Locking down the Droid X and and Droid 2 bootloaders really worked well didn’t it? No one could ever root them and make custom roms….. haha

  • No offense but I think a lot of you need a reality check. Every company has a customer relations slip every once in a while. So this employee repeats info you’ve known for how many months and everyone suddenly hates motorola and its phones? Nothing’s changed, so why all the foaming mouths? Getting pissed off for someone reminding you something we’ve known already. Really? I know Motorola owes a lot to the android community but hey, the community owes a lot to Motorola, too.

    And wait, isn’t the Droid X rootable and has custom roms? Where’s the crisis?

    • DBK

      Rootable, but not unlockable.

      It was the attitude of the response that got people upset, not the content itself (although that really didn’t help).

      • I guess I’ll never understand. There are worse things to get pissed off about. And anyone who cares about unlocking their phone would have come to this conclusion on their own long ago. I personally don’t care for it but even I had the reaction to the comment that I have heard it somewhere before.

        • DBK

          The only plus to unlocking (as opposed to just rooting) is being able to change the UI (Blur, Sense, TouchWIz). A lot of rooters (here and elsewhere) are passionately anit-those UI’s. It makes sense if you want the best performance possible. However, I get where you’re coming from and tend to agree. As long as I can root and ROM, I’m happy. Ditto on the reaction. 🙂

  • I don’t want to rant or rave or clmor. I just want to say that the only reason I would have liked to root the bionic is that Blur is just so intrusive. It doesn’t matter though. It really really doesn’t. No matter what Moto says people will keep taking a crack at these.

    As for me, now I just don’t know. I don’t like HTC for their bland phone design and cheap-plastic build. I don’t like Samsung’s cheap plastic build either. LG?

  • HA DROID 1 STILL rock-in on, after d1 they tried to put em on lock down!

  • Dpu328

    Well F Them. I will go HTC. I love the Incredible. I have the OG Droid, but my wife uses the Incredible and it is awesome.. fast and never skips a beat. I will go for the new version I think.

  • Fine, assholes. We will.
    This makes me want to hold on to my OG Droid till I can pick up anything that isn’t designed with a blurred viewpoint.
    I might even start championing HTC and maybe even Samsung.

    How does Blur even make their phones better and more appealing to customers? I don’t even think average consumers know/care about the entirety of Blur. It’s almost like they make it for the sake of employing mediocre coders.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry – developers can and WILL find a way to unlock these phones.

  • anon

    Buy Elsewhere… if you insist. and BTW HTC makes great phones.

  • Ted

    Moto is just trying to mitigate their losses. After the original Droid came out, I would LOVE to see the stats on how many came back to their factory after being returned or exchanged after their owners rooted and bricked them. They learned that they lose money by having to replace and repair devices that customers screw with. We probably have ourselves to blame for their strong stance.

    Both Verizon and Moto were not prepared nor trained for what was the Android modding community, nor how to deal with it. They’ve both wised up now.

    • DBK

      Unfortunately there are those that ruin it for everybody else. Us Android lovers are no exception!

    • Someguy

      The original Droid is almost impossible to completely brick. Unless you were doing something really crazy you could go to any of the android forums and find out how to get your phone back up and running no matter what you did to it. Also a lot of claims end up going through a 3rd party insurance company like Asurion so I don’t think that was a big issue. Plus I’m sure hardware problems were the main reason for returns. My Dad and brother’s Droid’s both started flipping out and had to be returned even they never rooted, while mine never had problems despite playing around with all sorts of custom roms.

    • AnimateDroid

      would it be safe to assume you’ve never rooted or even looked into rooting?

      I didnt root until I had to send minee back for warranty replacement because vzw couldnt provide a “complete backup & restore” of my phone to the replacement (despite being told so by an ignorant techrep). It’s unbelievably easy for the MotoDroid and if u screw up, a simple reflash of a stock SBF from the Bootloader is all it takes to go back to Stock. Same w my girlfriend’s phone, didnt root until i had to send it back. and then the 2 following replacements they sent her were also defective in one way or another. She’s now out of warranty, and everytime the other person hangs up first in a phonecall, her screen shuts off and wont turn back on unless someone calls in again. I’ve also rooted the Droid2Global for 4 family members and it seems just as simple. It’s near impossible to brick a phone. and as emphasized by VZW and all over forums, if you send it back rooted, u dont get warranty coverage.

      There were MANY MANY issues with the 1st and even 2nd gen of MotoDroids that rolled out. I dont even kno if there was a 3rd gen since they issued “End of life” for MotoDroid half yr after release. Most of it were physical issues. For me, my keypad started sticking and then my pwr button just stopped working one day from one minute to the next. It seems like they mightve rrushed the release

  • Anonymous

    aside from the fact that motorola apologized for the rude employee, until moto comes out with an unskinned android phone, they have the last of my phone moneys

  • Unexpected62

    Tight, they just confirmed I’ll never buy another Moto again when I’m done with my OG Droid. Peace Moto.

  • cody

    well considering i cant root and install roms and such with my Dx cause my camera button doesnt work, i would say im pissed too

  • Mylockandroid

    and this is why I still haven’t upgraded from droid 1. OEMs mutilate android. so disillusioned that I will likely hop back to iOS for v5.0

  • Anonymous

    honestly, i need the merge. im on a DX now and i miss my physical keyboard so much. the GB one is better than any other but oh my do i miss a physical keyboard. Ive never had a problem with motoblur but i do throw any and every rom on it. i’m really jealous of sense. i love the way it looks and all the widgets and profiles (even though theyll eventually be out for the dx). I NEED THE MERGE but i dont want 4g…shit costs too much

    speaking of which, is it possible to get a 4g phone on a 3g plan?

    • DBK

      Agree. Man, that would have been my next phone, too, if it wasn’t scrapped. 🙁

  • Mikey

    hey Moto, Blur sucks!… oooooooooooo buurrrrnnnn!!!!

  • Buckgrad

    “Its time it (your phone) got to know you?” No, I think its time MOTOROLA got to know its customers. If it were not for us over the past year and a half buying their products they would not be where they are today. They need to remember that and not dismiss us as a group that way. As much as I love my Droid X, I find myself being turned off to Moto a little more each day…enough that I will probably go with a non-Moto phone next time around.

  • Agsded

    You know tho, that attitude is prevalent through Motorola. I am one of the unfortunate souls who was reamed in the Cliq XT fiasco stuck stranded on android 1.5 with a continuously dwindling set of apps to use as everything under the sun abandons support for that platform. When I sent a direct message to them in twitter about it complainig, they sent me back a smartass response on par with a typical teenager, far removed from the concern due a PAYING customer who ponied up nearly $400 for that piece of crap. #MotoFail that’s all I have to say…

  • Anonymous

    How are the Moto lovers (and Anti-HTC) people feeling now?

    This is perfectly within their rights since it is THEIR product. At least they are being upfront about it rather than hiding behind the locked bootloader. I think it’s a questionable strategy, especially because so many people love Android over other devices because of the freedom. The ONLY way this will ever change is if their sales drop drastically with locked devices. If people are still buying them then why would they change it?

    Here’s to hoping HTC and other potential phone makers don’t go down the same path.

    • DBK

      The hardware yes, the software no (since it is a Google OS, technically that makes it Google’s).

  • No surprise.

  • I own a small business and choose the phones for my 15 employees – and as I am the Tech-wiz, I have pushed a great number of people toward the Droid and now the Droid X. I am disappointed that you consider technologically advanced users (i.e. the root/rom crowd) to be of no value. Sad that in this economy, a company would alienate its own gatekeepers – the people that drove your recent success. You guys stick with what is “working”. We’ll be just as happy leading customers elsewhere.

  • the only reason their strategy has been working is that the droid was actually good with a stock build of android and the rest of the phones theyve come out with rode its coattails and fooled customers into buying the most shitty, crapware infested abominations ive ever seen. LEAVE THE OS ALONE GOOGLE KNOWS WHAT ITS DOING. YOU DONT. STICK TO HARDWARE OR YOU WILL LOSE ALL OF YOUR CUSTOMERS. -droid user with 2 family members and many friends suffering with droidx’s

  • Rizzidy

    Motorola has always sucked. The OG Droid was the only thing decent that company has made since the StarTAC. For me, it’s HTC all the way baby!

  • What I am really frustrated about is this… WHO PAID FOR THE PHONE.. ME.. I OWN IT.. I should be able to do what I want with it. If I void the warranty by loading a rom that is not part of the norm then that is my choice. I am tired of this crap that “We have to be sure it works and does not cause our network any issues” . I may not have paid full price for the phone but after a 2 year contract I pay well over $2500.00 to use it. Open it up MOTOROLA and stop bending the the Cellphone carriers!!!!!!!!

  • Chris Nimon

    Droid-Life is a big player in the world of Android. Gee, I wonder if a Droid-Life sponsored petition would make any difference in the way we are treated. HINT HINT

  • David

    Wow all I can say is that’s awful

  • Chris Nimon

    I would just like to let everyone know that I just invited motorola to SUCK IT! Every day It is something new with them. I can easily now swear on my mothers grave that I will never buy another motorola phone. (unless they retract their actions from the last 6 months and issue a public apology for this current comment)

  • Droid1294

    screw them, getting a htc phone on verizon

  • Anonymous

    I’m going back to sanyo

  • Ultradroid

    I’ve said for quite some time that Motorola is The Evil Empire, who engage in what amounts to acts of terrorism by installing booby-traps along with their locked bootloaders. I know, because I walked into the trap with my Droid X last Summer. It took a friend of mine who is a for real cell phone technician/electrical engineer 6 HOURS to un-do the mess they made of my phone. That was premeditated by Motorola, and in my mind was a criminal act. They haven’t changed their attitude towards rooted phones. I’ll buy HTC in the future..

  • Yo momma like it

    lol Has he not visted xda lately?

  • GPick

    wonder how much the ‘rooters club’ has fostered the advancement of R&D in order that Motorola attain a cutting edge for their products. The R&D of which I refer is how we, the ‘rooters club’, use their product and express what kind of improvements we want. Motorola, don’t shut this resource down.

  • meanderingthemaze

    In this case, I’ll follow their advice and go with another manufacturer. I played with someone else’s stock Droid and was not impressed by their customization of Android. I’m not worried about “missing out” on the Atrix or BIONIC because they don’t have a patent on the concept and other device manufacturers will soon come out with their own similar devices as soon as there is a market for them.

    It’s pretty amazing as you pointed out that they took a free open platform and locked it down without any amount of shame at exploiting the giant shoulders they are standing on. Shame on Motorola.

  • GPick


  • yes, it reminds me of the old cingular phones where you could not add your own java apps because it was locked down

  • Jayson

    Wow. This might be enough for me to switch to HTC. I love my DX but if the company behind it doesn’t understand what android is all about then I just don’t know if I can support them.

    However, the android community will always have developers that are smarter than the people at motorola to make sure custom ROMs are apart of every android phone no matter how locked down it supposedly is.

  • Monsterpt1

    Just how “locked” are we talking here? This is seriously top on my list(only phone on my list actually). Locked like the DX? Bootstraping takes care of that and I have faith in the dev community to come though with a process to hack this phone. I guess ill wait til the devs have a working unlock on this. If it is not possible, don’t tell me, I will just continue with my current fantasy.

  • fish1552

    I had plans to buy a BIONIC, but after seeing this, I’m going with HTC for my next phone. It was a toss up between the BIONIC, and the THUNDEROLT anyway so this helps seal the deal. I almost bought an HTC instead of my Droid last spring. Now I wish I had.

    Problem is, I may still need to go with them for the Xoom, unless someone else comes out with a better tablet.

  • shr1k3r

    did anyone notice that the admin said he “didn’t know” if the bionic would be able to support the docks and to check the motorola website for compatibility?

    motorola.com currently shows 0 docks for the bionic. Something’s fishy here

  • Anonymous

    I seriously do not see a point here. Why would all these companies waste there time on customizing the ROMS and putting more stuff on the phone that people may/may not want it.
    Just make good hardware and let Google make good software, and there are devs who make good apps.

    Let people do what they do best….

    Jsut saying…..

  • Coastiefish

    Wasnt the X supposed to be locked too? Koush or pete or someone will break it. I wouldn’t worry too much.

    sent from my droid 2. 😉

    • It isnt so much about “worry” as it is the principle…do you _really_ want to buy a product from a company that is actively trying to prevent you from doing what you want to do with it?

      I own a Droid 1, and love it, but my next phone will not be a Motorola phone…and for this reason only.

      And just because hackers have managed to circumvent Motorola’s blocks in the past doesnt mean they will necessarily do it in the future. If you buy a moto product now, you are taking that risk. They have told you that they will continue finding new ways to make things hard for you.

  • Xheavymetaldadx

    And this is why I chose the “outdated” Inc over the x or d2.

    • Chris Nimon

      you win (hangs head in shame) lol

  • BigRed4X15

    I am not sure what the big deal is, I have a D2, with a locked boot loader, and I have a custom ROM, Fission, and the ability to over clock thanks to D2 Over Clock App, what more do I need?

    On another note, a verizon employee in Oklahoma City told me that there was a code to turning off blur when you first activate the phone, has anyone herd of that?

  • Shanklin07

    If your planning on buying one of their phones in the near future then I don’t think you can say how crappy it is of them to do this. Your supporting it in a sense.