Jan 19th, 2011

Whoa. In what I’m sure is a very uncharacteristic PR blunder by someone sitting behind the YouTube account at Motorola, a question regarding Motorola’s newest phones and the possibility of a locked bootloader was fielded. The answer – while appreciated – was rather blunt and almost, well, rude. Here’s what they had to say on the matter:

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

I have no problem with the bootloader issue – it’s their product, they can lock it down if they want. And while I’m not a “the customer is always right” type of person, this response just reeked of an inexperienced public relations representative. (Though this is social media, so we’ll cut them a bit of slack.)

And before you say it was taken out of context, this was the comment in question:

Even though this phone seems to have the best hardware specs yet, no sale if the bootloader is locked like the Motorola Milestone I have. It’s really upsetting to not be able to put custom roms on MY device…

Please Moto, do the right thing. [For your customers, that is]

And that same user later expressed his excitement for the Atrix, despite bootloader issues. It’s no surprise that Motorola’s original comment is now nowhere to be found.

But as far as that bootloader issue goes, I can’t imagine Motorola’s going to be losing much business over this. It was all doom and gloom for the DROID X and DROID 2 when those were released, wasn’t it? Wait, no, those devices are still actually quite popular.

The truth is, Motorola’s right: their strategy is working, and the minority who calls foul at Motorola’s resistance to opening their phones up will and should go elsewhere if they’re unhappy. Things aren’t going to change just because you want them to, so it’s best to expend that energy on doing research on a phone that you can hack to no end.

A majority of their customers won’t hear of this story, but Motorola is playing with fire regardless. They have amazing Android products – arguably the best in the market. But this was simply the worst way to handle a simple, sincere comment by someone who is a big fan of your stuff. Other social media representatives should take note, because whether you like it or not, you’re seen as the face of your companies to those who spend a lot of their time on the internet. [via Android Central]

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