Share this Story

Motorola Finally Ready to Unlock Bootloaders, Starts With the Photon Q

I promise you, that title is correct. Motorola announced this afternoon that they have been “working closely with our developers and carrier partners” and are ready to start unlocking some bootloaders. The first device to receive such glory is the Photon Q, which I we just mentioned as a device that should have been released in place of the DROID 4.

The Motorola blog did not mention details of the unlocking procedure, only that they had found a “solution.” They also mention that other products “will have this option too in the future.” I can’t imagine that includes (or will include) any of Verizon’s phones with what they have done to the Galaxy S3, but hey, at least we are finally seeing Motorola do what they said they would do over a year ago.

Is it bad that I’m thanking Google for this change?

Via:  Motorola

Cheers roland and Tenaj!

  • xoom poo

    Xoom 2 is poo never buying motardrola ever again.
    Motardrola is going down the pan.

  • FlipCpt45

    I think it’s too late for Motorola.. I think many people are leaving for other Manufactures.. Isn’t the Mobility division now owned by Huwuei now or something? I just upgraded to the Galaxy SIII and I’m loving it so far.. Even with the locked BL on the Samsung, development has been more active than the Bionic has ever been.

    Now, before anyone says I’m just a Samsung / Galaxy Nexus fanboy.. Before this Samsung, I’ve owned an Motorola T720, V710, E815 (free upgrade when Verizon lost fight against false advertising of BT Profiles), Droid OG, and a Droid Bionic.

    • moe6

      Stating you’re a Galaxy Nexus fanboy guy and not knowing Google now owns Motorola Mobility is strangely hilarious to me.

      • FlipCpt45

        … I know Google owns them now.. I thought I’ve read that Google planned to sell them, as they were just using them for the patents they owned?

  • Gary Patrowicz

    They have not unlocked anything yet and will probably not unlock it til it is outdated! There is a big difference between ready to and doing ask any xoom fe owner who bought the ics ready tablet in nov!!!

  • Mike

    Not holding my breath….

  • devator22

    Motorola has become so irrelevant to the modding community, with the gnex lte bringing prime developer support to Verizon. Look at all the people who bought moto devices knowing full well that the bootloader was locked. That obviously isn’t enough to offset their superior hardware. If this was truly a big deal, there wouldn’t be a bunch of people on this site rejoicing, there would be people on this site saying “well, now I will consider Motorola phones again.” Moto is throwing you a bone to keep you quiet, just like HTC did. I would feel dirty accepting their handout. If they want my businesses, they have to do better than begrudgingly full filling promises 8 months late.

  • Mario Mendez

    Motorola please unlock the Droid X bootloader

  • Bharath Ramesh

    Well lets see if they unlock a device on verizon.

  • It’s never bad to thank Google for a change to Moto’s SOP.

  • Sporty

    Duh, WINNING! Well, at least Moto is or ‘will’ be. Verizon will be the loser here. If Moto unlocks and Verizon stays opposed, I’ll be marching off to T-Mo next contract. It’s time for TRUE open source!

  • Kyle Cummings

    show my photon some TLC please! i would like CM9 AND 4g

  • Akashi_Raikoh

    “Is it bad that I’m thanking Google for this change?”

    Everyone knows you hate Moto, you can just get over it already and stop posting Moto stories.

  • JagoX

    What the F*** does “found a solution” mean? They built the damn things…of course they know how to unlock the bootloaders! I bet there were employees there with unlocked Droid X’s the entire time :-/

    • Sporty

      The ‘Solution’ they found went like this….Google boss came to Moto and said ‘Unlock their friggin BL’s or it’s your job!’ WALA! Solution found! Amazing ain’t it?

  • kauthor47

    Nice try Motorola, but last time I checked, December 2011 was 7 months ago.

  • balthuszar

    and you left out the part where HTC was allowed to unlock the rezound

  • TheWenger

    The fringes of Hell have frozen over. It would all be an igloo if Verizon started unlocking bootloaders.

  • Prime7

    Until they actually do it, they can say whatever they want and be “ready” to do it forever.


    What about my MAXX?

  • James Hill

    I really thin the Xoom Family Edition needs to have a unlocked bootloader.

    • Gary Patrowicz

      no carrier nosupport from moto no updates from moto just a bunch of false promises!! Only reason i have not sold is i waant a piece of the class action suit against them for selling this POS tablet as ics ready!!! They still have yet to unlock the bootloader they just said they are ready to just like the xoom fe was ready for ics

  • Jim McClain

    Can you post pictures on here anymore?

  • Jim McClain

    Guess they didnt have much confidence in number 7 so they sent number 8 with it

  • Bionic

    Now all the moto haters can stop birching and buy a quality device with unmatched radios

  • S_T_R

    “Is it bad that I’m thanking Google for this change?”

    At this point, does it matter?

  • Akashshr

    Awesome news! No kidding, been awaiting since almost an year now!
    Kudos Motorola, Kudos Google!!

  • Jim McClain

    Sometimes ya just wonder about bjg red, I told everyone on here about how I had Gnex number 7 on its way after number 6 could not hold a signal, there was a slip on my door yesterday saying I missed my delivery and another on there today,so I drove to fedex to pick it up and here is what I got, not only number7 but number 8 also lmao

  • Xyboard/Xoom 2 please!

    • 4n1m4L

      What is that? 😛

  • teng247

    too little, too late. Ive already stopped buying Moto phones. The only time now i would consider a Moto phone is if it was branded with a “Nexus” logo

    • Bionic

      If the bootloader is unlocked what is the difference between this and the nexus? Nothing.

      • Pedro

        JUST an unlocked bootloader isn’t a guarantee that the device will be dev friendly or dev popular.

        But it’s a way better start than locked and encrypted for your telephony pleasure.

      • …its not a nexus. meaning not being supported directly be Google. but yea i agree moto radios are great. and moto has great build quality. finally maybe they will return to the days of being the top dog and release some quality phones again.

  • OhAaron

    Awesome! I’m so excited to see that fantastic Google hardware totally accessible to the hacking community. 🙂 Go Moto Radios & Build Quality!

  • RoadsterHD1


  • Meister_Li

    I am happy. This will be finally put european Motorola phones back onto the map of interesting phones.

    • I sure hope their upcoming European QWERTY slider will be the GSM Photon Q that will come with an unlockable bootloader… It will be a no-brainer for me then.

  • Buy This


  • ideas

    What they should do to make everyone happy is, when a device is released lock it for carrier then when its reached its end of life cycle or the replace it with a née device unlock it so developers can keep the phone up to date sucks but a compromise might be what’s needed

  • Sp4rxx

    Plz let there be RAZR love!

  • Randy

    That’s it I’m leaving Verizon. Since I have no more unlimited data I’ll be switching carriers now. CDMA sucks also, every GSM phone that I know of always gets more support. There’s a lot of at&t coverage he in LA so it won’t really matter.

  • Before the real bitchy people get here: Motorola promised they would work on finding a solution, and unlock bootloaders when and where they could once that solution had been reached. There was never any timeline attached to it.
    I’m very much encouraged by all of this, and have been looking forward to this day. While I agree that Verizon customers will probably get shafted still, at least they can offer a VZW-enabled “Developer Edition” (please, Moto, please) ala the SGS3.

    • Tony Allen

      On the contrary, they specifically said we’d have a solution by the end of 2011.. they infact DID attach a timeline to it.

    • hackthis02

      If you recall they said they’d give us something by the end of 2010. Way over due.

      • OhAaron


        • hackthis02

          True. Either way, their timeline as lapsed.

  • droidarmy


  • Morlok8k

    Droid 4… come on…
    (I’d like my Droid 2 Global unlocked as well)

  • Brian

    1st! Finally!!!

    • Brian

      Darn, not first. Stupid refresh! Anyway- It’s about time.

  • Way to go, Moto…. Way to go, Google….

    • michael arazan

      WTG Moto/Google, I hope Google can bring Moto back to the Good side and steer them away from Darth Verizon’s dark side.

    • LiterofCola

      Hopefully this means that the bootloader queens will finally calm down.

      • sonicyoof

        Hopefully the people who complain about the people who complain about the locked bootloaders will calm down.

        • balthuszar

          and the people who complain about the people who complain about the people who complain about the bootloaders too

  • Kristen Vidal

    this might suggest we can possibly get an unlocked bootloader on verizon ”
    been working closely with our developers and carrier partners to provide users a way to to unlock the bootloader on their Motorola Mobility device while keeping the networks secure and satisfying carriers’ requirements “

  • T4rd

    Yeah, this doesn’t really change much. None of Verizon’s Moto phones will be unlocked still and they’re the only phones that matter from Moto (in terms of high-end phones).

    • The European RAZR HD matters more.

      As does the upcoming European version of the DROID4 which according to some rumours will actually be the European GSM version of Photon Q with Tegra instead of S4.

      Because, well, there’s no Verizon in Europe and Japan!

      • Well…. there’s Vodafone… but they’re not as evil afaik.

        • It’s not about carriers.

          It’s about availability.

  • s23

    Its a good start. Past devices will remain locked. Moto is a new company from here and forward. Unfortunate they chose the worsr possible phone to unlock first Oh Moto…..

  • Jeff Tycz

    Patiently waiting for the “Locked by carrier request” in response to a verizon phone

  • You left out the part where they were actually kidding 😛

    • moelsen8

      could imagine if you got this phone next month, and their bootloader unlock tool takes you to a rick astley video? haha.

      • fixxmyhead

        oh man another good one

      • Mack

        Ultimate. Rick roll. I would literally rage on the first Motorola employee I could find if this happened haha.

        • Droidzilla

          And then buy them a beer. Epic trollery is still epic, even if it leaves us a bit pissed.

    • fixxmyhead

      i LOL’d so hard

      nice one

      but seriously its all LIES

  • chris125

    Didn’t they say this with the bionic and those devices? Doubt those would have an unlock but if they do something like HTC does I could see them making a lot of “nerds” happy

  • Dima Aryeh

    Just 8 months later than they promised.

  • Greg Morgan

    I agree that this most likely won’t happen on VZW. But then again I was planning on switching anyway so doesn’t matter. lol