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It’s 2012 and Motorola Still Hasn’t Announced Official Plans to Unlock Any Bootloaders, We Look Back at the Year of Unlocking

For those of you that hang out on Twitter or in any of the Android forums, you probably saw a movement that started up within the last couple of days after both Asus and HTC came forward with bootloader unlocking solutions. It’s called “Operation: Make Ourselves Heard” or #OPMOSH and is directed at Motorola this time around. While almost every other Android manufacturer has decided to allow at least some sort of bootloader tool for the developer community that supports them to no end, Moto has continued to remain quiet and locked. And even though public outcries were successful with other companies, they have been unsuccessful over the last 2 years when it comes to Moto. With that said, why not start up another campaign now that almost everyone is onboard with the unlockable bootloader situation, other than them. Could there be a better time to make yourselves heard (again)? Probably not.  

First, let’s back up a tad to go through the history of Motorola and their stance on bootloaders:

  • July 2010:  DROID X is released as the first from Motorola in the U.S. with a locked bootloader. Months of work is put in by developers to try and crack it, but they unfortunately come to the conclusion that it will never be unlocked unless Motorola does it themselves.
  • January 2011:  To find the next big point in this whole saga, you have to fast forward a few months to the beginning of this year where a Motorola representative at their Youtube channel essentially told anyone who wants a phone with an unlockable bootloader, to look elsewhere. That was quickly followed by an apology and a rather confusing note on their Facebook page. Motorola was apparently ready to “partner” with developers in hopes of developing a bootloader solution. Nothing ever came of this.
  • February 2011:  The Motorola XOOM is released as a developer device with an unlockable bootloader.
  • April 2011:  Motorola comes forth with another statement, this time offering up a time frame for unlocking. In “late 2011,” Moto will look to include unlockable/relockable bootloaders on their devices “where carriers will allow it.” Ahh yes, that carrier part is the key here, which we will get into in just a few. On a related note, it’s 2012, and not one of their phones or tablets has been given an unlockable bootloader, on any carrier.
  • June 2011:  Motorola speaks with the owner of a site called AusDroid about this whole bootloader situation. AusDroid comes away feeling that Motorola will keep their word and actually quoted them as saying that phones “scheduled to receive updates in the second half of this year” will see an unlockable bootloader. Again, no phone received any sort of update.
  • June 2011 (again):  Someone in the developer community is able to pull a ROM for the Motorola Atrix that unlocks the bootloader. This was not intended to be released to the public, but it spreads like wildfire and almost anyone with the device, now has an unlockable phone. This is essentially the first unlocked Motorola phone in more than a year. The majority of the Motorola community seems to believe that this ROM would eventually become a public release by Moto, we remained skeptical. It never happened, but the damage was done. In the same month, Motorola released the Photon on Sprint with a locked bootloader. To my knowledge, the same ROM that unlocked the Atrix was used to eventually unlock this phone. Again, this is not official from Moto.
  • July 2011:  We ask readers if bootloaders are still important. Almost 70% say they will not buy a phone if it does not have an unlockable bootloader. The DROID 3 is released with a locked bootloader.
  • August 2011:  HTC locks a couple of bootloaders and the developer community freaked on them. Within a few weeks, they had adjusted their stance and announced a bootloader unlocking tool for a variety of phones. You won’t find a Verizon HTC phone on the list, leading many to buy into Moto’s stance of “where carriers permit it.”
  • September 2011:  The DROID Bionic is released with a locked bootloader.
  • October 2011:  We bring up the fact that “late 2011” is approaching and have still not heard a peep out of Motorola. We publicly ask Motorola for feedback, but of course, hear nothing. The DROID RAZR is released later in the month – Moto confirms that it has a locked bootloader. They place all of the blame on the carrier, Verizon.
  • December 2011:  HTC announces that all phones released after September 2011 will have unlockable bootloaders using their tool. They include all of their HTC devices that are on Verizon from the last year. So much for Motorola’s insistence on locking being up to the carrier? Verizon also releases the Galaxy Nexus, which has a fully unlockable bootloader.
  • January 2012:  After the Asus Transformer Prime has been in the hands of customers for a couple of weeks, they realize that the bootloader is locked. A social media storm takes place and Asus caves, announcing that it will release an unlocking tool in the near future.
  • Today:  Here we stand almost a year after Motorola announced that it would have some sort of bootloader unlocking solution and we have nothing. Not only that, but we have not heard a peep from them on this subject in months. The developer community has had it after watching company after company come forth with solutions. And that’s where this week’s #OPMOSH campaign comes into play.

To join in on the #OPMOSH campaign, you can visit this XDA thread. They have petitions, corporate Moto employee emails, Twitter accounts and more for you to hit up if you feel strongly about bootloaders on Motorola phones.

  • Just want to let you guys know that Milestone 3, RAZR, Atrix 2 come with a unlocked bootloader  in Hong Kong

  • Joe Pickornik

    so motorola = the new old samsung?

  • I don’t understand why people still buy Motorola.  They make ugly phones with horrible screens.

  • Anonymous

    I would hope that in the end Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility will in fact end this rediculous BS of locked bootloaders.

  • Sporttster

    It’s important to me. I’d like quicker updates and some nice new ROMS. I’m getting quite pissed at Moto for allowing their bootloaders locked while everyone else under the sun opens theirs. In fact, it’s ticked me off so much I may just go return this Razr and grab something else that ISN’T locked!! I really love the phone but I’m sick of no developer attention at all….time to open up MOTO!!!

  • jag28co

    One more day of spamming Moto’s social networks.

  • I think we should wait to see what happens after the merger with Google is completed. {{-_-}}

  • jag28co

    We need to hit Motorola where it hurts the most.   I WILL NOT BUY A MOTOROLA PHONE ANYMORE.   There are alot of other good phones out there with open bootloaders.  BYE BYE MOTO YOU LOST A CUSTOMER.   If i wasn’t for Android you would be 6 feet under a long time ago.

    • jag28co

      LOL i already recommended the GNex to two co-workers.  I mean they lost 3 customers.

  • I refuse to purchase a Motorola device, so no issues with bootloaders with me!

  • Djenks24

    I made the mistake of buying something other than a Motorola Phone once, it won’t happen again.  They just work better in my area.  I’m not just talking about phone calls, the 3g signal is better.  I had 4 Thunderbolts (verizon replacements) and now my warranty has expired and I’m stuck with a phone that has no signal while my razr in in my other hand with 4 bars and a 3g signal.  If Moto unlocks their phones, it will be untouchable!

  • dreedy android

    In a world that does, DROID doesn’t!  Make #OPMOSH and #UnlockTheBootloader trend on Twitter everyone!

  • raoul duke

    i was all about getting a smartphone when i found out about the iphone. but it being only on att made me stay with verizon. then the og dropped and i bought it without really knowing anything about android (or bootloaders for that matter) but the ad campaign was cool and i dug the way the phone looked. i got it for xmas that year and hopped online to see what people thought about it. i found this site and dl introduced me to “rooting” and “unlocking” and “flashing roms” im not gonna say i hate apple or that i am a fanboy for one side or the other but i can say that apple and google are competing and competition drives creation. it intrests me to see what the next iphone is gonna be like purely because i wonder what will come next from android hell even rim has been really quiet for a year and is working with 4g lte radios. the nokia/microsoft partnership is gonna be interesting because nokia is a great mfg of phones. again competition will drive creation. for both rim and nokia this next year will be a hail mary of sorts to remain relevant. i guess what im saying is the unlockable thing is very “to each his own” if i wasnt really much into tech as much as just liking the phone i guess the unlock wouldnt bother me so much. i loved flashing roms on my og and then dinc and now have cm7 on my touchpad and i have a gnex cause i wanted ics not so much for the simple root and unlock (it is both rooted and unlocked) but i am sure ill be flashing to something soon (thats the joy in android). iphone is cool in my book cause its a very well made machine, and again, i cant wait to see whats next from culpertino. this next year is gonna get crazy competitive cause of the nokia rim new apple and more google stuff. whatever, i love it all im just a geek at heart and all the companies out there are supplying me with a fix. i may not have the money to buy all the tech but reading about it good for me. also to all the fanboys and defenders and flamers, i get it, but really, if we didnt have all the choices i would hate to see what the current market would look like. competition drives innovation. its all about 1 uping the next guy. 

  • BionicCommando4231

    How are the sales #’s for the Bionic and Razr? VZW promoted the hell out of them, so they are likely  still pretty good, but I’d likely to see them take a hit and watch the HTC and Gnex exceed expectations.

    Moto needs to be afraid of their customers and sales #’s before they change.

    Lying DB’s anyway. they are screwing up otherwise awesome phones.

    Bootloaders are like chastity belts. It all looks like fun until you want to get inside and poke around. 

    • Granted

      Who in their right mind would think a chasity belt looked good from the outside? I mean besides virgins that probably look at it and go “Wow! What is that!? Is that where you keep your magic spells for magic role-playing?! I just ram mine up my anus, then when my mom comes to clean the basement she won’t throw them out like she did with my Barbies and my dungeon master lubricant!”.

  • This is the very reason why I have not owned a Motorola device since the OG Droid.

  • Mule0331

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but you can still load custom ROM’s on a device with locked bootloaders, so what the commotion about?

    • BionicCommando4231

      Yes, you can but the customization is limited. More importantly its more difficult to recover if you screw something up. However, the biggest issue is that the it drives the Devs away. You need to have talented devs working on the roms, else it doesn’t matter what phone you have.

      Many talented Devs do not want to bother with a locked down device when they are more friendly and open phones to deal with. There are some good roms on the Bionic, I have Kinext v1.0 rom from Th3oryrom, but he bailed for the Gnex on its release. Not likely to have another update now.

      The rezound just got unlocked. Devs are flooding to it. Who wants to piss around with a locked down Razr or Bionic when there are two other awesome unlocked phones to get really creative with?

  • Who even cares about Motorola and their stupid bootloaders anymore.  After I took it up the butt on the DROID3, I decided to go Nexus from now on.  My curved screen angel is a godsend.  And I guarantee that there will be nothing but Nexii in my pocket for the rest of my days!

    • Granted

      What about your medicated tampons then?

  • Azndan4

    Why don’t you just say it, Kellex?  Motorola lies to its customers and does not care about what they want.  It’s 2012 and we haven’t heard anything from them or seen any action on unlocking the bootloader on any phone.

    I will never buy another locked Motorola phone again.  And even if it is unlocked, I still probably won’t get it because of all the lies that Motorola has told the community.

  • burpootus

    Bought a DroidX on launch day…thinking the locked bootloader was no big deal, developer community would crack it, had Original Droid dreams of Android bliss. It will be my LAST Moto device.

  • QtDL

    What I don’t understand is that pretty much every phone on Verizon is ‘technically’ locked right out of the box when you leave the store. It’s just that some are more easily unlockable than others. Why can’t Moto just release an unlock tool like HTC and Asus? Lock ’em up when leaving the store and for those that want to unlock can do so when they arrive home. It’s not like everyone that buys a Moto phone is going to unlock it, most people don’t even know what that means. The ones that do ‘get unlocking’ already know the risks – so what’s the big problem?

  • Pretty sure the razor is unlocked overseas…. It’s the carriers in the U.S. that we need to get on board!

    • Anonymous

      No no no no you are NOT allowed to say anything positive about Motorola here. 

      • Jim

        If you read the e-mail to Motorola in the XDA thread, we have plenty nice to say about their work, but nothing nice to say about how they treat us.

    • Anonymous

      Yup, everyone always conveniently forgets that part just to keep the Moto-hate going.

      • Jim

        Because it’s not true. It is locked overseas. We have folk from India, UK, Ireland, and other countries in the XDA thread.

    • Jim

      The RAZR and all other devices are locked, worldwide.

  • Binglut9

    I think motorola wants to go towards business users hence the locked bootloader, zumocast , wentop dock…i feel like their hoing after rim customers tgerefore they actually want the phones unlocked

    • Tyler Cameron

      That may be, but look at the RAZR. Did the world ask for a stupidly-thin phone with a nonremovable battery? Hell no. But they released it and for some reason thinness is a selling point to young people. (except me)
      Young people being the target consumers != business consumers.

  • faber


  • RaptorOO7

    Didn’t Motorola promise to start selling Android phones with unlocked bootloaders (carrier permitting of course) by Q4 2011?  Of course NO US carrier is going to allow it.  Hopefully with Google owning them they will make that important change but unlikely.

    • 6ball

      except that EVERY carrier has unlocked phones even Verizon. Its Moto locking them not the carriers

  • Barbacoa

    I would like to point out that google is buying motorola, and any work towards unlocking may be on hold while they finalize that.

  • jb

    Here’s your campaign strategy… don’t buy their stuff!  Pretty simple and it actually requires NO effort 🙂

  • Anonymous

    october 2011: unlocked bootloader for international razr’s (ICS) announced by motorola board member Christy Wyatt:


    • Yeah, Microsoft doesn’t allow a different UI from Metro to be installed over top WinPho7…

  • This is the very reason I may never buy another Motorola device. True their hardware is nice, but to continue to lock their devices down, especially after saying they would ease off, is lying to the consumer. So bye Moto. It was nice, but I’ve moved on.

  • Anonymous

    Motorola can kiss my ass. Never buying any thing from them until they unlock their boot loaders. I don’t care how pretty it looks.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta get this posted on engadget or gizmodo and any other tech sites to get Motorola to listen.

  • Mark Christian

    Cant we just make an #OccupyBootloaders

  • Superbalde

    As much as I love droidlife, if this movement is to go anywhere it has to get on a big name site like engadget or gizmodo then picked up on news outlets.

  • Anonymous

    One word…. Nexus. 😀

  • Now that I own and love my #GalaxyNexus, Motorola can go die in a fire for all I care. Weren’t they supposed to show a quad core phone in 2011 too? Liars.

  • Jefferson Ietto Novo

    Internationally, Motorola Milestone was the first one to disappoint buyers everywhere… as early as 2009…

  • Darkseider

    Motorola failed and because of this I retired the OG Droid and went to T-Mobile and am happy as a clam with my G2X running CM7.  This is the beauty of choice.

  • This is the number one reason I switched from my RAZR to the GNEX.

  • Honestly, the only phones i’ll get in the future will be anything but Motorola.  I got the Atrix 4g on the first day it came out, and it was such an amazing device, but the wifi signal on it was always being dropped (i wasn’t the only one experiencing this) and not only that, as stated above, they promised an unlocked bootloader for the phone and failed to deliver.  Not to say Motorola is all bad though, they did update the Atrix 3 or 4 times, but seriously, the phone came out before Gingerbread was already out for a few months, and it took them almost half a year to push Gingerbread onto the Atrix.  And now that Ice Cream Sandwich is out, the Atrix isn’t even on their list of phones to push ICS onto… Seriously Motorola?  And one other thing on their part that they didn’t really think through was the Laptop Dock.  All their new devices have a upside down and inverted micro-usb and hdmi port in respect to the Atrix’s, which works for their new Laptop docks, therefore Atrix owners won’t have the option to buy anymore 1st generation Laptop Docks since they’ve stopped production on those.  Come on Motorola? How many times are you guys going to screw over Atrix users?

    LOL.  Aside from my Atrix/Motorola bitterness & loathing, looking back at the year of bootloaders, i’d have to say it wasn’t too bad for me.  Luckily some leaks were put to good use and our Atrixs/Atrices were finally free of those chains and shackles that kept our phones from Rom developments =]  Looking forward to the new year, and not going to hope or wish of much from Motorola in regards to getting ICS for my Atrix.  Although if i do get too antsy and can’t wait for my contract to end and see the new lineup of phones in 2013, i guess i could always get the new Galaxy which already has ICS and an UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER!!!!  

    • Binglut9

      I garuntee the atrix will have ics

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

    I think they had it right the first time. Motorola spoke, we listened. A good portion of people with a OG Droid would be holding a RAZR instead of a Galaxy Nexus right now if they’d changed their stance. We bought elsewhere.

    • Greg

      This is probably one of my favorite posts…….well said.  Knowing Motorola’s reputation for solid hardware, I was holding out hoping Moto would come on board with unlockable bootloaders.  So, I held onto my OG Droid until 2 weeks ago until my upgrade was available and my poor phone was on it’s last leg and I went with the Galaxy Nexus.  I am as happy as I can be with the phone – no regrets whatsoever.  BUT, had Moto followed thru with opening things up, I definitely would’ve gone with another Moto.  

  • EC8CH

    It’s probably due to Moto’s attempt to position themselves as the leader of “enterprise” class android devices.  They see they’re locked down software are more secure and a selling point to corporate customers.

    • Anonymous

      Correction – “They say their locked down software is more secure”

      • Jager07

        You locked, bro?

    • That is true too. I’d completely forgotten that Motorola is attempting to become the new RIM for Android.

      • RIM for Android, isn’t that the truth. Unfortunately for Moto, I think they forgot to check out RIM’s stock over the past year.

        • EC8CH

          I think they are, and are expecting to catch RIM’s customer base when they tank.

        • Anonymous

          RIM’s stock is tanking because they failed to evolve and adapt with their hardware and UI, not because they have locked down phones for enterprise.

    • Well, I will have reluctantly agree with you on that because a corporation would have a hard time controlling the phone if it’s unlockable. On the other hand, Motorola makes the phones, and they can easily develop a solution for the corporate client to lock their phones using a different method so that the retail unlock tool won’t work on corporation locked phones — they can actually make money out of that tool.


    People will still buy Motorola phones for the fact they are ‘MOTOROLA’ because they are a brand that is trusted in quality, their devices will still SELL, hence they keep it locked, because the devices still sell a lot.

    • They only sell because Verizon offers them as the only choice in a lot of categories. Plus, they are the only Android phones that aren’t Binged up, as you may recall. Galaxy Nexus excepted, of course.

      • The thunderbolt wasnt binged, the droid inc and droid inc2 weren’t binged, the charge wasn’t binged. Only choice my eye, quit talking out of your behind.

        • The Thunderbolt wasn’t Binged, I’ll give you that. That was an exception that I forgot about. As for the DROID Incredible, DROID Incredible 2, and DROID Charge, they were part of the DROID lineup. All DROID phones weren’t Binged. Even I pretty much forget that not all DROIDs were Moto phones. I sort of grouped them all in there…

    • Motorola hardware is ROCK SOLID. But when somebody asks me what phone I recommend, I have to say “Anything but Motorola”. The kind of people that care about unlocked bootloaders are the kind of people that get asked what phone they recommend.

      I’m sure they will still sell plenty of phones. Lots of people still walk into Verizon and say “I want a new phone” and they just pick from whatever options the tech there hands them. But the population of people that want to buy a specific phone based on reviews and recommendations is growing, and Motorola doesn’t seem to care about PR at all.

      • Binglut9

        my friends dont care about locked bootloaders so i still tell them to get a motorola device….although as of right now its nexus or bust

      • B Diggs82

        Why would you recommend or not recommend a certain brand phone based on the bootloader to people who have no idea or don’t care what a bootloader is. Quite honestly I would recommend Moto to anyone in the 95% of people who have never even heard the term bricked cause Moto phones work well, good call quality nice design a great signal strength, Droid 3, Bionic, Razr, and(yet to be seen) 4 are all excellent phones if you don’t care about bootloaders Roms overclocking etc.

        • Ghanjnijas

          This is false. Moto, thanks to blur kills what would otherwise be solid hardware. Look at the Motorola Forums and see how many complaints there are about Blur features and how they make otherwise great devices, unusable.

          • Anonymous

            I have no complaints with the current Moto UI.

          • Anonymous

            This was true in the past, but the new Blur-not-Blur is a different ballgame. I feel dirty saying it, but I actually prefer it to stock Gingerbread.

          • Thats cause Gingerbread is a more hardware intensive incremental underwhemling upgrade to Froyo.  Whereas ICS is an -actual update- Gingerbread needed a skin to look good.  And I hate skins, especially Sense.

    • Ulovebeingassraped2

      While this is partially true, it is less true now than it was a few years ago. While Motorola makes great hardware, their software division kills it. Their MotoBlur is atrocious, and slows down what would otherwise be fast phones. Motoblur is behind, probably 80% of the problems Motorola Android phones have. Look at the Motorola Forums for the Droid Bionic, Droid X, Razr, etc, and you will see that almost everyone has the same complaints, wifi dropping for no reason, random reboots, phone restarting on its own after being shut off. All are hardware problems that Motorola has, and which can be attributed to their Blurring of Android phones.So yeah, while their hardware is excellent, their software actually hurts their name.

      • Granted

        Yeah but once again being in bubble, you fall to realize that even though to you it looks like a lot of people complaining on forums, they are absolutely a small percentage of the people that buy those phones. You’ll start to suffocate if you never step outside to get some fresh air and touch another persons genitals.

  • Anonymous

    Motorola’s software is the worst thing to ever happen to Motorola’s hardware.

  • John

    2012: the year motorola still doesn’t do anything about bootloaders

  • Private Tucker

    They can keep on with their practices. I’m voting with my wallet by not purchasing bootloader locked devices

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Moto is just hoping that the Mayan’s are right and they won’t have to give an official answer nor actually unlock the bootloaders. 

    • PC_Tool

      If the Mayans were actually any good at telling the future…there’d still be Mayans.

      • EC8CH

        all the best fortune tellers ripped the hearts out of their still living human sacrifices

      • Sp4rxx

        not to pull you off topic, but is this PC_Tool from BN? 😛 just checking – same name and all

        • PC_Tool

          Just click on the pic by my posts, man.  That’ll give you a run-down of what sites I am active on.

          tl;dr – Yeah, it’s me.  *wicked grin* 

      • Anonymous

        There ARE Mayans….

        • PC_Tool

          Different mayans.  😉

      • B Diggs82

        I’ve been saying that for years. They thought the Spanish were half man half beast gods cause they rode in on horses. I’m going to throw a farewell party to the Mayans on Dec 22 cause hopefully ill never have to hear about them and there calander again

        • Really

          Actually, they did not. If you read some of the literature addressing this myth, the Mayans correctly described the Spaniards as men riding on animals. The reason they aimed their spears at the horses was to bring down the Spanish conquistadors to the floor to fight on an even keel.

          The whole myth was propagated by the Spanish as a way of showing that the Mayans were savages and uncivilized, and is a relic of the racism that still pervades much of Latin America.

          • Anonymous

            It’s also a myth that the Mayan calendar says the world ends in 2012; it was just the last date they had on their calendars. There are still Mayan priests around who will tell you that the calendar can go farther, but that’s hardly rumor generating.

          • And let’s not forget that Mayan calendars were dynastic. Since the Mayan leadership dissolved, the calendar never updated beyond what was already calculated.

      • Anonymous

        They were great mathematicians, astronomers and many other things.  If you had any knowledge of Mayan history then you would know they never predicted the end of the world. 

    • Granted

      Despite the fact that only retards believed in this Mayan garbage, new studies came out and said they further deciphered what they were postulating and it was about a new beginning and not apocalypse. The internet breeds uninformed morons that think Wikipedia is a good place to find reputable information. That and it helps bring together people that enjoy molesting their no-no spots while watching some naked person cut up steak with their feet.

  • Stating El Obvious

    Wait you mean the awesome devs were never able to crack 256bit encryption??? Shocker.

    • EC8CH

      Wait you mean dickish El Obviouso posts a snide remark on DL??? Shocker.

      • Anonymous

        u mad bro?

    • Honestly, I’m surprised they used 256-bit AES encryption. They could have just used 128-bit AES. It’s equally uncrackable and doesn’t take as long to generate signed firmware. Motorola will be stepping it up to 512-bit or 1024-bit AES this year for some inane reason.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to know what percentage of Android users actually care about an unlocked bootloader. It was important to me when I owned an OG Droid, but now I don’t care.

    • Quite low, really. But that percentage is the one that colors the perceptions of the rest, since we’re asked a lot about technology. They don’t want to alienate us, because we’ll give a bad word about them to everyone else.

    • I used to be on the side of “there are so few that care, that they will never change it.” But then look at HTC and Asus and everyone else. They understand that the developer community is actually pretty important. Motorola and Verizon as a pair just can’t seem to realize it.

      • Anonymous

        I agree. The people that care, however small the percentage, have shown the ability to create a sh*t storm of epic proportions on these OEMs’ social media sites. Hell, any time Motorola puts up a FB post, 90% of the comments are people crushing them over the bootloader situation. If there were no social media sites, this would probably go mostly unnoticed.

      • Lgreg64

        it seems Moto stop talking around the time Google started the acquisition. i think when everything goes thur things will change on this front. 

      • Anonymous

        I would go as far as to say that the developer community is vital. Without the developer community can you honestly say that ICS would be as good as it is? They essentially do free work for users and Google. (Plug – Support your developers where you can even if you don’t always have to). Some of the best features of CM7 have made it to ICS. Developers can attempt things a manufacturer could never do because they can release something unstable to the public and then they happily beta test it for them.

        It really boils down to the fact that an open community is great for innovation and obviously it’s worth it for the parties involved (average consumers, power users, developers, manufacturers, Google) because it is still growing at an alarming rate. Which is why I will always do my best to purchase an open, developer friendly phone.

      • Sphinx

        I agree with you to a certain extent. HTC and Asus are a non-American company that seeks to be on the cutting edge of technology and innovate, they are accustom to change and perception considering their youth in the industry. Unlike Motorola who is an American company that has 80+ yrs of baggage that has a lot of loyal followers and has made name/brand for itself solidified in the American public. Unfortunately, they also have the other traits us Americans have and that is stubbornness to listen to the consumers be it large or small the demographics are to change and innovate unless it is the utmost last thing that happens before the company is practically burnt down to the ground.

        Similar to our American auto manufacturers in Detroit who didn’t make enough changes and focus on innovation and listen to the general public decades ago before the foreign companies stole the market with more innovated designs, features, MPG, and costs.

    • DroidzFX

      The percentage that does care is probably the same percentage that buys more than one phone every two years. 

    • Anonymous

      It’s very low – which is PRECISELY why they should unlock them. If only a small % of users want it unlocked, then allow them to be unlockable like HTC has done.

    • Mack

      I know the majority of Android users don’t care, but I think more people care than we realize. Not everyone who wants an unlockable bootloader is a developer. 

    • It’s pretty low.

      But it’s a very vocal group. People with no clue what a bootloader is will still ask their phone-savvy friends what phone to get. When asked, I told people “anything but Motorola”, and which specific phone I was buying (Samsung Galaxy Nexus). In my own local circle, If I’d been as excited about the HTC Rezound, a few people would have followed me there, instead.

      The nerds run the show. “Normal” people don’t care about web browsers, but their nerd friends said “Hey, install Firefox”, or just installed it for them. And now Firefox is the most popular browser (And Chrome is right there, too, for the same reason).

      We aren’t going to sink Motorola by any stretch. So long as carriers still carry the phones, people will buy them. But people aren’t going into stores asking for them by name like they did with the GNex.

      I didn’t care (or know) about bootloaders until I got the OG Droid. Watching the community over the last two years, my friend with a DroidX was extremely jealous of how active the OG Droid community was compared to the DX. The DX is a superior phone from a hardware standpoint, but without the community, it just doesn’t fly. Apart from obtaining root access, so far I have had no need for the unlocked bootloader on the GN. But the fact that you CAN unlock the bootloader made the phone more popular, and as a result, the community is more active. Things may change in a year, and I like the flexibility of being able to do what I want with my phone.

      • Anonymous

        “…the fact that you CAN unlock the bootloader made the phone more popular, and as a result, the community is more active.”

        X2 this. This is really important to me. The more open the phone is, the more people will develop on it.

    • Anonymous

      If people don’t care about locked boot loaders then why lock them in the first place?

      • Anonymous

        +1 sir

      • Darthseph23

        Two reasons from the company’s perspective:
        1) Stability – It becomes harder to brick a phone with a locked bootloader since you can’t get to the files.
        2) Safety – This is more of a corporate side touch, but its still holds true.  Locking down parts of the phone can make it much more difficult to get into parts of the data.  Granted, it isn’t a 100% fail safe, but, its an answer and makes it harder for the average thief to screw up the phone.

        • Anonymous

          Really?  My friend just had his Galaxy S Verizon edition (whatever it is called) get bricked from a failed OTA update. If it was not for the fact that we could unlock the bootloader and fix him his phone he would have had to wait a few days to get a new one.

          It makes no difference.  If a user does not know how to use an unlocked bootloader then user will not be playing around with it.  Set it up like the Nexus phones or original Droid.  No one is asking for it to come unlocked from factory.

          I don’t know how many of the readers here can remember when overclocking CPUs was all the rage.  At first companies tried to prevent it and now it is embraced and even advertised.  Why, because that small percentage of people who were doing it at the time were pushing the market that way.  The same way that so many original Droid owners have jumped to the Galaxy Nexus.

          Shit..If I had the funds to start a new phone company then I would make all the phones unlockable and be happy with my little niche market that will just keep on growing and growing.

    • Anonymous

      Whether or not most users care is not the issue.  Android is where it is today because it is OPEN.  If the OG Droid had a locked bootloader like the X and later devices, I would feel comfortable in saying that you would be posting this on widowsphone-life.com and Android would be lower than RIM.

      Look at how many community sourced features (or based on them) made it to ICS…  Development helps the entire platform.  

      • Anonymous

        I can say with 95% certainty I would have gotten an iPhone when it released on Verizon if the OG was a locked device.

    • Anonymous

      As someone with both locked AND unlocked devices I do *NOT* care. Im happy with my daily driver Bionic and dont see myself getting anything else for at least another year. I have 7 Motorola products right now, Will I buy another Motorola? Depends. I may not even like where Moto goes by then. 

      I will say one thing though, I will NEVER, *EVER*, buy another Samsung phone or device. Got burned by them hard. Id go back to using a Blackberry before being forced to use that stupid korean piece of crap. 

  • PowerofPicture

    Complain to Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.

    • 6ball

      Why? EVERY one of them have unlocked phones. Its a Moto policy

  • Jon52772

    motorola might build good quality phones but they dont follow through with what they state thats for sure

  • Anonymous

    Typo – January 2011 at the end should be 2012, right?

    •  lol. And when 2013 hits, we’ll just change it to end of 2013, right?

    • Anonymous

      Its been fixed…


    You ALL Mad bro?

    • John

      lol..you created multiple accounts to like your own comments. sad..


        you mad bro?


        you all mad.

  • Jeff

    The only hope for Moto is when Google gets control….

  • I LOVE locked Bootloaders

    You ALL Mad bro?

    • Usuckitwithyourface

      I hate your face

      • PC_Tool

        I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.


          you mad tool?

          • PC_Tool

            Stark and raving, bro.

  • Nerdy Desi

    I’m hearing many say its Verizon that forces Motorola to lock their bootloader. For instance, I’ve heard the non-U.S versions of the RAZR have an unlocked bootloader. If this is the case, why are LG and Samsung’s devices on Verizon still open? And now HTC is also unlocking their bootloader on all devices going forward? Why is only Motorola being a puppet to Verizon?

    • Verizon treats the DROID line differently from all others. Verizon has Motorola by the balls because if Verizon lets them go, then Motorola will collapse in a heap. No other carrier in the world is so predominantly Motorola. Sprint used to be, but they are not anymore. They are an HTC groupie now. T-Mobile is the Samsung and LG groupie. AT&T is the Pantech groupie, though they are slowly becoming a Samsung groupie too.

      • QtDL

        You think things will change once the acquisition of Moto Mobility by Google is complete?

        • Anonymous

          No. Motorola is just going to be wholly owned subsidiary. 

        • No. Google is standing by their word that they will leave Motorola Mobility as an independent running division of Google. They don’t have a choice really. Google’s word to the government is binding. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google turns around and puts out 30% of Motorola Mobility as an IPO to give it some additional independence for funding and such instead of maintaining it as a wholly owned subsidiary.

          I would be surprised if Google strips Motorola of its patent portfolio and then puts out 70-80% of Motorola in an IPO. Though, that would allow them to be free in buying more than 20% of T-Mobile USA because Google won’t be the majority owner of a phone maker and influence them unduly.

          • QtDL

            Got it. Didn’t know all the details of the deal. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          Nope, it only matters in the courtoom

    • Pcraig87

      And the GNex is unlockable, also on Verizon.

  • Rich

    There not going to… They won’t listen to use, “The Consumer” who buys their product…

    Tho I hate HTC with a passion, I at least have to say they listen to us when it comes to bootloaders…  Now if they would listen when it comes to skins, then were golden…

    • Anonymous

       If they unlocked the bootloader who cares what skin it shipped with. You will have whatever you want on it.