AT&T’s Motorola Atrix HD will ship with a locked bootloader

Though Android manufacturers have made strides in becoming more developer friendly, the politics of service providers have gotten in the way on more than one occasion. So seems to be the case with the newly announced Motorola Atrix HD for AT&T. Motorola confirmed via their official Twitter account that the phone will ship with a locked bootloader “to meet requirements,” a phrase that seems to indicate AT&T requested that the device have certain safeguards in place to prevent tampering with its software. For those that are hoping to do just that, Motorola followed up by saying they plan to issue tools to unlock the phone’s bootloader at a later date.

It’s a tricky situation for manufacturers and carriers attempting to please the widest audience as possible. Reality is that hackers and modders make up only a small portion of the Android userbase, so it’s easy to see why their requests for more hackable devices are often ignored. Still, most major players in the industry have opened up to the idea, understanding that a major draw for some is Android’s large community of dedicated developers looking to create customized experiences for all.

But that won’t change the fact that the Atrix HD will ship with its bootloader locked. We imagine it will only be a matter of time before a workaround is discovered.

[via TheVerge]

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  • bakdroid

    I can’t seem to shake the feeling that this is somehow all Verizon’s fault…

    • scoter man1

      Its gonna be on att though…

      • bakdroid


  • bmg314

    Those of us that want to root, rom, mod, etc DO make up a small percentage of the consumer base. That means that the majority of buyers probably have no idea what a bootloader is, correct? If that assumption is correct, then why would it matter to att, or any other carrier or oem, that the bootloader is unlocked? (Especially since the majority of the time the small percentage IS going to find a way around the lock down, as it always does.)

    • Butters619

      Not defending carriers, but they do it to try to dissuade people without the know how or motivation. By locking the bootloader and forcing somebody to go through a bunch of steps and read a crap ton of forums, they are insuring that (mostly) only the dedicated alter their devices.

      • bmg314

        I guess it also ensures that those who use whatever unlock tool is provided officially void their warranty.

        It all sounds logical enough, but when do we honestly associate logic with carriers in the states?

  • Anthony McKay

    Ever since I bought my GNex off the Google Play store.. I dont think ill ever buy a carrier branded phone ever again.. That AT&T logo on there makes it so ugly..

    • JSYOUNG571

      +1 Agreed.

  • mgamerz

    Hmmm, where have I heard this before?
    Oh yeah, straight from Motorola. Motorola will never release the tool, this is a device you can pass on people. They’ve said they’d do this before, and no fruit came to bear. This is like saying the Android Alliance is still functional.

  • Marc Selwan

    Hey locked bootloader isn’t bad if there isn’t any bloat and a more stock android experience….wait….

  • scoter man1

    Darn, I honestly was hoping this thing would be good. No removable batter (small to begin with), and a couple other factors just killed it…

  • effApple

    When will carriers learn that if you want to sell a “high end” device, the bootloader needs to be UNLOCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Michael Quinlan

      They’ll learn this when a locked bootloader has an adverse impact on device sales. Apparently this hasn’t happened yet.

    • Craig Hawkins

      Doesn’t the Atrix brand bend its target market towards businesses? At least that’s what I see every time I hear about the Atrix. I’d argue having a bootloader is a good thing in this case.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    EPIC FAIL, no long lasting battery like Droid Maxx.

  • Jeff

    I agree. Probably is Verizon’s fault. My D2 is still waiting for an unlock so it can update to ICS and not that themed crap.

    • Aslan Bollin

      why would this be verizons fault? because of the S3?
      people are acting like this is the first time moto has ad a locked/encrypted bootloader on their device. theyve been doing that for along time now even after saying they wouldnt.
      no suprise here. only surprise i see is people thinking moto wasnt gonna do this…

  • Cipher Zero

    …and this surprises anyone? I am guessing that it is encrypted as well. Pretty much all phones, even the Nexus line, come with locked bootloaders. The difference is some are easy to unlock, others aren’t so easy, and encrypted as well, like Motorolas post-OG Droid phones.
    Once, just once, I’d like to see a true successor to the OG Droid, I’m not holding my breath though.

  • Butters619

    This isn’t surprising at all.

  • WhoaManWtF

    I personally wont ever buy a Moto product again till they open up their android devices. The only Moto product in my house is my cable box, and that is only because there is not another brand to pick from.

  • JulianZHuang

    90% of the people dont even know what is a bootloader.

  • Joe

    This is proof how full of crap Motorola was last year when they said they would unlock bootloaders.

    Not only have they not kept their promise but they continue to release ALL new products with it locked.

    They never had any intention of keeping that promise. So as a result I say F you Moto

    • ntegrit

      Unfortunately, that presents an integrity issue for Moto’s ownership – Google!

  • pupu

    What is downloader? Explain this!

  • Aslan Bollin

    only thing that surprises me about this is the number of people who actually believed moto wasnt gonna do this….. o_O
    Its not like they havnt been doing it with nearly every single one of their phones or anything….

  • schitzengigles10

    won’t dissuade me from gettin’ it

  • Big Rich

    A matter of time huh? Well, the Atrix 2 shipped with a locked bootloader too and here we are nearly a year later and it’s still locked. It’s locked hard! I hope those who want to unlock it can but as a former Atrix 2 customer who bought the device on the same premise….don’t hold your breath!