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Motorola Won’t Lock Bootloader on Newly Announced Photon 4G? Is There Hope for the DROID Bionic?

Ok, we had originally thought that the story of the day surrounding Motorola and Sprint’s announcement had to do with their stock Triumph which will be headed to Virgin, but boy did that just get trumped.  Our homies over at Android and Me must be on the scene at the Moto event in NYC and asked reps if the Photon 4G (4.3″ qHD, sual-core Tegra, HDMI-out, etc.) would come equipped with a bootloader locked similarly to what we’ve seen on the DROIDX2, Atrix, etc.   There answer might have been the most favorable answer we could have ever asked for and is surely going to make you smile.  Apparently this device won’t be “locked” which probably just means it won’t be encrypted like a motha’, but no matter what, this is HUGE.

So if this truly is the case (and we’ll be reaching out for further comment), and this is a sign of things to come from Moto, the DROID Bionic might have just gone from sizzlin’ hot to on frickin’ fire.  After the announcement from HTC that they will no longer be locking down devices, we were all waiting for some sort of response from the only other phone manufacturer that seems to feel it’s necessary to do this – let’s hope these reps are well-informed and not just tossing out random bootloader comments.  We take that stuff serious around here. (hah)

Please, oh please sound off in the comments.

Via:  Twitter

  • Dman27

    So whats a “sual core”? heheh 

  • i<3myX

    I think its the fact that its not Verizon. I blame big red for the whole bootloader issue.

  • Jasper

    I encourage all of you to sign the petition for motorola to unlock bootloaders.

    http://www.groubal.com/motorola-lockedencrypted-bootloader-policy/#sharethis

  • Amenemhat1

    Hey Im just as excited reading this as you were writing this; but please proof read your text before publishing… not complaining, just saying…

  • http://www.facebook.com/danlanier Dan Lanier

    The DroidX may be my last Motorola device considering the specs and openness of the Samsung Galaxy S II. For the Apple types who wonder why a bootloader makes an issue might need to consider getting out of the Adult Day Care Center for a day and driving their own path. Not all of us what to drink the Carrier’s cool-aid and call it yummy. Some of us what to have customization and FREE WILL. But that’s just my take. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

    It’s probably too late for the D3, but one can hope.

  • http://twitter.com/ProphetBeal ProphetBeal

    If the Bionic comes with it’s Web Top mode…they will try and lock the bootloader.  Although I personally think locking the bootloader on Vzw LTE devices violates the FCC rules about that spectrum

    • Jasper

      Bionic does come with Web Top, but so does the Photon…

  • Anonymous

    Really have to wonder if the whole locked bootloader thing is coming from Verizon now. We’ll see with the next couple phone releases.

  • Jasper

    PLEEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    BIONIC, FOR THE LOVE OF ANDROID!!! DO NOT LOCK YOUR BOOTLOADER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Inkster09

      Lol

    • Inkster09

      Lol

  • Anonymous

    Great… if true… But, find it very hard to believe.  I am fully expecting a “representative misspoke” response to this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649257134 John Hance

    Fantastic news. Can’t wait to try Cyanogen on my next phone. Kellex, what is with the typos in this article? Sual-core, there answer?

  • Anonymous

    Kellex will have plenty to write about…all of the custom ROMs and other goodness that comes with that kind of freedom…you know; kinda like the same things we used to talk about with the OG Droid…

    Troll indeed…

  • Anonymous

    Now they just need to unlock the Atrix’s bootloader.

  • gregmr

    Not to be negative, but I think the days of unlocked bootloaders and Android Experience Devices (Nexus) are over for Verizon. In my mind, the only way Verizon is better than AT&T at this point is that they still allow side-loading apps. If Sprint had better coverage in my area, I’d jump on a Nexus S today.

  • Mr. Joe

    Dear Motorola,

    PLEASE LOCK THE BOOTLOADER ON THE Bionic!

    Without the locked bootloader DL readers will have nothing to complain about any more.  Without a locked bootloader Kellex won’t have anything to write about.  If that happens people will see through Kellex’s lies and deceptions.

    With no locked bootloader you are essentially condemning Droid-life.com.

    Signed,

    All the Droid Life readers

    • Anonymous

      While I disagree that it would “condem” DL (as you are likely just a troll) I have to admit that was funny in a sad but true way.  I mean if you could filter out all the bootloader and Blur comments I think it would reduce the comments by a third if not more.
      So in essence Moto helps keep the lights on for Android blogs so don’t completely hate on them, or do hate to keep the clicks up.  I guess it is a win-win?

    • KniteLyf

      No one forces you to visit the blog…go troll somewhere else.  BTW Manufacturers are listening to these sites…Product update lag – addressed at google i/o…locked bootloaders – HTC now unlocking

    • Anonymous

      Kellex will have plenty to write about…all of the custom ROMs and other goodness that comes with that kind of freedom…you know; kinda like the same things we used to talk about with the OG Droid…

      Troll indeed…

      • Inkster09

        I know remember when droidlife first came out with all of kellex’s tutorials and videos. He was/is THE best at that

  • http://twitter.com/mfg68 MFG

    Verizon is going to force the bootloader on the Bionic to be locked. So unfortunate. 

  • Rizzidy

    F Motorola

    Quit hyping their products.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    “sual-core Tegra”

    wow, I can’t wait to try a “sual-core” chip. is that better than a DUAL core?

    • Rizzidy

      HAHAHA OMG TYPOS ARE SO FUNNY OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG

  • Draggerlane

    Lets just say ill believe it when I see it

  • Anonymous

    if it has blur, the bootloader will be encrypted. Motorola has a lot vested in their people (morons) who develop blur, therefore they want it to be used.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

      The Photon is supposed to have Blur but will be unlocked.

      • Rizzidy

        says…some dude?

      • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

        Indeed, according to this article.  I believe Towelie was trying to say something along the lines of “bs, the photon & bionic will both be locked down”.  I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with him, I’m just trying to clear up any confusion.  :)

    • Jasper

      It has Blur, you can watch the Video hands on at Engadget.

  • Kevlew70

    The reality is, of the hundreds of thousands of phones they will sell only a small % want a stock unlocked device. Probably like 98% of people are like Kierra and either dont know or dont give a shit. So make all the noise you want but we do represent a very small minority and it probably does’nt even affect their bottom line.

    • http://twitter.com/eatmode4life Ray Mendoza

      If that was the case and a small % of people are unlocked, then why does VZW care about the small % that use wireless tether? “It probably doesn’t even affect their bottom line.”

      • DBK

        Because that small percentage, through tethering, use up more data and bandwidth then half of their full customer base combined. They’re what we like to call data hogs.

  • Scott Hartman

    I doubt the Bionic will be unlocked, because Verizon doesn’t roll that way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1332240301 Dan Graziano

    Hopefully this isn’t a misunderstanding like the S2 coming to Verizon in July. I don’t think I can be knocked down any further. Please oh please

  • Kevlew70

    Dont Feed The Trolls
    vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

  • EC8CH

    Sorry, I’m not holding my breath for an unlocked Bionic…. this is VZW we’re talking about.

  • Anonymous

    I just want to free my Bionic from those stupid Blur icons…

  • Developer

    I can’t wait to see everyone’s disappointment when the bionic is a giant flop.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      What a sad life you live.

      • Developer

        Nah, all this hype around it is going to make the disappointment so much better.

    • Inkster09

      Sooooq true I faint understand y bionic? NEXUS 3 baby!!!

      • Inkster09

        There goes my terrible posting skills again

  • Davros

    Maybe it’s just moto’s retaliation against Verizon for the iphone ;)

  • http://twitter.com/gardobus Juan

    mmm sual-core

    • Anonymous

      Was thinking the same thing :-)!

    • Anonymous

      Was thinking the same thing :-)!

    • Anonymous

      Moto can’t use the term dual as one of the core will be put in at a future date during a mail in upgrade.  So they want to avoid any lawsuits when that doesn’t happen.

  • Kevlew70

    Oh and remember Motorola claimed it would allow unlocked bootloaders for devices coming in late 2011 if the carriers permitted it. Maybe Sprint is ok with this but lets see what the control freaks over at Verizon decide. If one carrier decides to unlock and the other locks, bad business decision they will lose customers over this. Too bad the 1% that would utilize an unlocked bootloader will hardly make a dent in Verizons bottom line.

  • Davros

    At this point with the way moto has treated us they would have to make a phone that exceeded my requirements AND gave me a reach around. So anybody not liking their Charge and wants a DX, just let me know :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

    Wow…am I really going to have to switch to Sprint? Come on Moto if the Bionic is unlocked, I can forgive you for everything else.

    • Inkster09

      I’m yelling you sprint is on its way up with their network and promises.(no tried pricing). T-Mobile will too with the phone’s they are coming out with. Just absolute beasts

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cameron-Carey/567445212 Cameron Carey

    The boot-loader god has shined down upon us. 

  • Kevlew70

    Think i will wait until the official announcement. To many shady rumors running around here lately. Like hey did you hear Verizon is getting the Galaxy S2 in July?  Oops, my bad wrong device, go back to waiting.

  • Stephen D

    Meh, I’ll stick with getting a Galaxy S2.

    • EC8CH

      I’m with you… if it does make it to VZW late this summer

      • Stephen D

        I really hope it does. It is easily the best phone this year so far. I’ve heard nothing but praise for it. And it’s completely open .

    • Anonymous

      I for one am glad the S2 is pushed back for Verizon, assuming that means they’re going to stick an LTE chip in there….

  • http://www.facebook.com/japultra Jason Nguyen

    Oh please please please say YES! I would love to load ROMs without all that complications of a locked bootloader!

  • stm^

    even though moto has had their heads up their asses for awhile now about almost EVERYTHING, the bionic is the only phone right now or on the horizon that can meet my beastly needs (wants). i love my dx and want something just as beastly as it was when it first arrived. if this news is true, you have me as a customer for at least another upgrade moto :).

  • pezjono

    Why must you toy with my heart and wallet Verizon?

    • Inkster09

      I give vzw a cpl yrs maybe then they will be the 3rd best carrier when the rest catch up because thy LISTENto our community

  • Mctypething

    Why does everything revolve around freakin bootloaders? Who cares..

    • John

      You have no idea. Unlocked bootloaders allow such more of a capable phone

      • Anonymous

        The question is this: was the phone good already, out the box? With the hardware and Android getting better as time goes on, I dont really see the need for the bootloader to by open.

        I think some folks act like the phone, Android is no good UNLESS the bootloader is open. Am I one of the few that appreciate and love Android for what it is out the box on these phones?

        • http://twitter.com/BlackTaxi2d Henry S

          but…it’s not android out of the box…it’s BLUR

          • Anonymous

            So Android is no where on the phone…..

            You do realize Blur is the closest to stock Android than any of the custom UI.

          • Inkster09

            Again what Henry said

          • Anonymous

            I think LG’s is closer. Motorola keeps changing more with each Blur release.

    • http://profiles.google.com/chrisleighton3 Chris Leighton

      Because stock Android is miles better than Blur

      • Anonymous

        i disagree. i like blur better than STOCK..it has widgets and jazz. HOWEVER…….

        MODIFIED STOCK (ie cyanogen) is significantly better than blur

        • Anonymous

          on second thought, you cant even call that modified stock because there isnt a stock launcher and such….its just miles better lol

        • Anonymous

          woops wrong reply, sorry skate

        • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

          I have the latest 2.3 update on my Droid X. I’m surprised to say that I actually like some of the Blur Stuff. I of course don’t use any of the Blur widgets, but the launcher is not bad at all, and the look and feel camera app, keyboard, photos, phone, all feel and look better than stock. 

          That’s just my opinion, but I don’t think Blur is a total loss. Especially not in the new Blur that is on Gingerbread. 

          • Anonymous

            im really pleased with the new blur. i LOVE the contact widgets, theyre so useful
            another nice thing is the changing of icons on the bottom, that’s really nice (which stock cant do)
            the alarm app on blur is soooooo nice.

            i dont like the multitouch keyboard, i prefer the stock one (its smaller i think)
            photos i like stock because of the nifty 3d effect and more options (i think you can delete and such)
            camera app – couldnt care less

            what i hate about blur:
            everything social on it..i just wish it would leave. i hate going to the accounts section and seeing 2 of everything and i can only click on some. i like my facebook APP to do the syncing.

            if i knew anything about coding, id make the Super Launcher with everything i loved included =D

          • Inkster09

            Nooooobieeee

      • Anonymous

        I disagree, after running AOSP themes for a while I actually have forgotten how god awful some stock things, like the camera and gallery for example…

        • Inkster09

          OK u just keep thinking that as updates cone and your sitting waiting holding your balls

          • Inkster09

            Because that’s what vzw has u by.

    • Anonymous

      Are you serious?

    • EC8CH

      You’re Mom cares.  She loves it when I revolve around her freaky bootloader.

    • Anonymous

      The ability to customize every aspect of your phone except what is restricted by hardware is what made the original Motorola DROID so fantastic for a lot of people. Skins, themes, and roms were awesome. If you wanted the new os before the oem released it you just had to follow the steps. You could put custom kernels on to increase battery life while at the same time raising your clock speed making your phone faster. If you haven’t ever tried cyanogen mod you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

      • Kierra

        I want a phone that works for me right out of the box…I dont car about the bootloader either. But if it makes you whine less pllllleeeassee Moto 

        • Kierra

          Customizations are fine but getting into the innards are not for me. There are OTHER manufacturers of phone do you really want a Moto phone that bad even when it chooses not to cater to your needs….DONE 

    • http://twitter.com/Bradgog Brad Gogats

      troll

    • Anonymous

      Do u actually own an Android phone…

      If locked down is ur thing, be our guest and stick with Apple :-

    • Mr. Joe

      AMEN AMEN CAN I GET THREE MORE!

      People here are such sheep!  FACT no one here would care about bootloaders and rooting if it wasn’t for certain people complaining about it.  It’s the same thing with skins and what not.  People dislike moto blur because certain people in the community dislike it and cause they R who they R people follow them.

      Seriously, android fans are just as much sheep as the iPhone users are.  The only difference is we are not Monotheism like iPhone fans are.  Android fans like polytheism!

      • Kevin Mahoney

        You shut your mouth.

        FACT bootloaders are something that interests a select few in the community because the majority of it relies on other people’s work, which will be there whether or not the bootloader is locked, but that’s not to say that nobody cares about a bootloader.  You have no idea how many hours I’ve put into attempting to unlock mine, and I can guarantee that I am not the only one trying.

        • Mr. Joe

          You come over here and make me shut my mouth (preferably with your mouth on my mouth so we both can “shut” it)

          I’m not saying people don’t care about them.  I’m saying the only reason they do is because of certain people.  Which is where the sheep comment comes from.

          iPhone users used to want flash.  Then Jobs came along and said no no.  Now iPhone users are like “OH Flash is so outdated blah blah” because Jobs said so.  Same goes with Android.  Certain big shots in the community come out and say “OH HEAVENS locked bootloaders!  NO NO!”  Or “OH I like sense a lot *giggles*”.  Then you have the whole android community screaming the same thing.  Despite the fact none of them cared before.

          iPhone fans follow Jobs (1) but Android users follow many (tons)

          • Actngrezy

            flash and locked bootloaders are totally different.if the bootloader is encrypted and locked then that means you cannot mod/change things that you would want to. so thats why people care so much about it. if the bootloader is locked then you cannot have a aosp rom on your phone and you are stuck with using roms built off the software that is leaked or comes with the phone. alot of developers stay away from phones with locked bootloaders so your phone will not have as much support within the community. its not because one guy says they are bad so the rest follow. the task killer episode is more like the flash thing. if a dev thats been around for awhile says a task killer is good/bad and people followed what he said then that would be more comparable to the flash argument.

      • Inkster09

        Ur a weirdo and your comments are weirdos too

    • Thisguy

      what are you doing on this website

    • Kevin Mahoney

      I’m about to flag that comment for being so damn stupid.

    • http://twitter.com/chqueed charles rogers

      If I’m going to buy a phone why not at least have the ability to do that? Even if i were to decide not to I would have options. And I like options. Right now my only option is “Keep OG Droid.”

    • Inkster09

      No kellex will never happen

    • Inkster09

      Noobeeeeee you’ll find out

  • Anonymous

    I’m gonna take this with a grain of salt.  These reps often have no idea what they’re talking about, like the the one who said the GS2 would be out on VZW in July.

  • Jim Dandy

    Gotta love the smartphone drama :p

  • http://twitter.com/monkespit brian meyer

    that’s cause sprint, i think, gives a little bit more of a crap about it’s customers than verizon. 
    -not screwing with people who tether
    -no throttling
    -not as fast, but more functional 4G

    either that or motorola figures each carrier gets ONE unlocked phone and this is sprint’s.

  • http://twitter.com/TankRizzo TankRizzo

    I don’t hold out a lot of hope, mainly because of big red.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s not jump the gun with Moto too soon. But we can hope.

    I like the look of this phone though. And that kickstand looks almost Droid-esque.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gonnadie4thegov Jeremy Wray

    Maybe there is still hope for my pocket to have a Bionic and not a Galaxy S II…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Emaw-Kennedy/504157652 Michael Emaw Kennedy

    If you’re going to do it for 1 device do it for all!

  • RonsterWVU

    I’ll believe it when i see it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Emaw-Kennedy/504157652 Michael Emaw Kennedy

    That’s BS enough said if you’re going to do it for 1 device do it for ALL!

  • http://profiles.google.com/chrisleighton3 Chris Leighton

    DEAR LORD. YES. THANK YOU.

  • Anonymous

    for real?  don’t make me switch to sprint.