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Motorola Tries to Issue an Update to Their Locked Bootloader Policy, Everything is Still Up to the Carriers

Almost two months after Motorola first announced their semi-confusing stance on locked/unlocked bootloaders, they found some time to clarify things by speaking with the bootloader petition crew again.  In their previous statements, Moto said that their intent was to enable relockable bootloaders on all devices starting in late 2011 “where carriers and operators will allow it.”  The new stance isn’t all that different, and almost looks like a public finger pointing at carriers for getting them into this situation that has garnered so much negative press (at least in the developer community).

According to Irwin Proud (the petition guy) who had an hour long conversation with Christy Wyatt (VP of Mobile Software), Motorola has plans to change the bootloaders of devices that are “scheduled to receive updates in the second half of this year.”  This sort of verbiage almost points towards Moto looking not only at unreleased phones, but also at devices like the DROIDX2 or maybe even the original DX who currently have locked bootloaders.  (If this sounds unlikely, you aren’t alone.)  Their goal is to build all future versions of “flavoured Android” (whatever that means) with “the same unlocked source code” (again, whatever that means).

Later in their interview, Christy apparently talked about a pretty significant and potential drawback  of this new approach which had to do with problems that would arise because of the stringent testing that carriers put devices through.  Again, seems to us like they want to deflect most of the situation to the carriers, but did mention the fact that the XOOM’s unlockable bootloader was well received by them and that they are doing as much encouraging as they can to get these changes to go through.

Irwin also wanted to assure everyone that Moto sounded genuine during his conversation with them, and that he is confident that they will live up to this “arrangement.”  As much as I hate being the negative Nelly and usually try to stay positive with these things, I can’t help but think this will continue to be one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” sorts of things.  And I say that because of Moto’s consistent stance of “where carriers will allow it” which we know is not a good sign for us.  Manufacturers can parade around all day talking about this or that policy, but we all know who has ultimate control.

Via:  AusDroid

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  • Rickkane

    I just came up with a theory on their locked bootloaders.  How many people are still holding onto their OG Droids because they are now running GB and have blazing fast phones with amazing battery life, custom roms, etc, etc?  Lots right?  What happens if they unlock the droidX or droid2?  How many more people will hold off upgrading their phone if Moto unlocks them?  Probably a lot too.  I think Motorola is shocked by how many people are still running an “antique” OG Droid, and their locked bootloader is an attempt to make the latest and greatest phone that much more appealing. 

    • http://twitter.com/Rocko9999 Rocko Smith

      Good theory. Keep the phone locked down and stop updating it, or put crappy updated software on it to force them to upgrade. You let us build our own OS, we could keep these useful and fresh for 5+ years.

    • Anonymous

      The reason people keep their og droids is because all the new phones are locked down. If new phones were also unlocked many people would upgrade. 

  • Anonymous

    Problem is, what to buy on Verizon if you want an unlocked bootloader?

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  • Anonymous

    Verizon allows htc to have unlockable bootloaders so why not Motorola?

    • RW-1

      Which one currently out there is unlocked?

  • Nick

    Samsung seems to be the last carrier that has any real dedication to the spirit of android (if their donation of an G sII to Cyanogen is any sign at all).  

    If you need to replace your phone,  go to swappa.com and buy someone’s used device. I’m thinking of picking up an original incredible for shits and giggles. Either that or a fascinate. 

  • Anonymous

    No problem here, if its locked, no purchase from me. If it can be unlocked, ill give them another chance and consider that device.. the ball is in their court

  • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

    This is exactly what I predicted, Motorola (like HTC) made a public announcement to stop the flood of complaints on FB and Twitter, but they aren’t planning on changing anything.  They have been blaming the carriers for locked bootloaders since the beginning of locked bootloaders.

    Other than a few token phones I predict in the future that almost all Motorola phones will continue to have locked bootloaders.

  • Hyphnx

    Motorola basically shot themselves in the foot. They tried to revolutionize the mobile phone industry and it back fired.

    I really hope the Samsung Galaxy S2 has LTE. I really would hate to get the Bionic.

  • digsoreos

    “Later in their interview, Christy apparently talked about a pretty significant and potential drawback  of this new approach which had to do with problems that would arise because of the stringent testing that carriers put devices through.”

    I had to laugh when I read that part about “stringent testing that carriers put devices through” after going through the GingerBlur update with the DX and suffering more dropped/unconnected calls, more 3G-1X fluctuations, significantly poorer battery life (from 100% to 53% in less than 3 hours), degraded touchscreen responsiveness, lagging virtual keyboard entry (stock multi-touch as well as Swype and SwiftKey X). 

    Let’s hope VZW acknowledges some of these issues and requests an update to GingerBlur that fixes them quick.