Motorola Customers Reach Boiling Point – Public Outcry Over Still Locked Bootloaders


While the average Android user hasn’t the slightest clue on what a “bootloader” is, the Android modding community, however, is very well versed on the subject where having one “unlocked” opens up a wonderland of almost limitless tweaking and modding to one’s device. And it’s these disenfranchised Motorola customers that have taken to XDA where a mass protest is being organized by way of social media, petitions and mass emails — all in regards to Motorola’s announcement last year that bootloaders would be unlocked on their devices sometime during the second half of 2011.

Well, if you haven’t noticed, 2011 has officially come and gone and there hasn’t been a single announcement or acknowledgement from Motorola regarding the issue. It’s this silence that has Motorola customers in such an uproar. If you find yourself in this camp, grab your pitchfork sign the online petition and head on over to XDA where they’ll have all the info you need to help make your voice heard.

[XDA | Online Petition | Via DroidDog]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. It is moto we all know they are full of shit. Keep blaming the carriers moto maybe someone will believe that is the case since other manufacturers can unlock boot loaders for all carriers.

    1. Exactly! HTC unlocked their bootloaders for phones on Verizon. So, if HTC can, so can Motorola. 

      Now it makes me wonder if it’s been Motorola all this time and NOT Verizon?

      1. Its always been moto blaming the carriers yet samsung and htc unlock their bootloader and verizon has a nexus so def isn’t verizon.

  2. C’Mon Moto! You can do it

  3. I don’t know anyone that buys their phones, anyways….

    Hey, Chris, do you know when I should expect the funds for the Galaxy Nexus to be transferred? I spoke to the contest coordinator, who said Tuesday, but nothing yet. 
    Thanks again so much for the contest!

    1. You must be kidding about not knowing anyone who buys a Motorola phone right? Motorola and the Droid branding on Verizon practically put the entire Android revolution in high-gear.

      1. No, honestly… I’ve certainly seen their advertising, but I can’t think of more than one person that owns a Motorola. And they have the Cliq…..

        1. You must not have very many friends then.   I can think of over 100 people who have Motorola phones off the top of my head.

      2. lol! As I recall, Samsung and HTC have sold more Android units than Motorola. I once had a Motorola Cliq… never bought a Motorola again

    2. Oh yeah, regarding the GNex funds I’m not sure when it’ll hit your account. A few people already received theirs and we’re just waiting for the developer (who donated the money) at this point. Hang in there!

  4. International models of Motorola phones launched in the second half of 2011 have unlockable bootloaders, but you can blame Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint for keeping the bootloaders locked for their phones.

    1. The “fastboot oem unlock” capability is disabled on ALL Motorola devices released since they made the announcement. Worldwide.

      1. not on my Atrix or Xoom, easiest unlocks since my Nexus One

        1. Atrix isn’t officially unlockable, and the Xoom is a Google Experience device (plus was made before the announcement was).

    2. No they don’t. I have a retail version of the RAZR, its locked 

      1. I said, unlockable. I didn’t say unlocked. Contact your carrier or your local Motorola branch to request information on the unlock key. And you do need an unlock key because you have to decrypt the bootloader before using fastboot to unlock it.

  5. Congrats to Motorola.They design, build, market and sell the phones. They can do what they want with them.
    Why don’t all you great “developers” design, build and sell something of your own? No, it’s easier for you to complain when you don’t get what you want.

    1. Stop trolling.
      If they borrow me the phone it’s OK, but if I pay for it I can do whatever I want with it. Even if that means voiding my warranty.

      1. how would they borrow you something? you can borrow and they can lend, but i don’t know how what you said can happen.

        1. Thanks for contributing.

        2. “Borrow me…” was phrase I discovered was prevalent in the Midwest. I was confused too the first time some one asked  me, “hey, borrow me a quarter”.  It may have to do with the German/Norwegian/Swedish to English translations of the early settlers. Sort of like in Wisconsin where you might hear “borrow me that once”. Which I am told would make sense if it was said in German.

          1. Um, I’m from the Midwest and “borrow me” ain’t never appropriate. In case you’re axin’.

    2. You are a tool and sound like you should own an iPhone…once someone buys a phone, its THEM that should be able to do what they want with it…not the manufacturer. Go buy Apple if that is what you want.

      1. You’re absolutely right. Once you buy it, you can do whatever you want, but you can’t expect Motorola to make it easy for you by unlocking the bootloader. They sell it locked. You know it’s locked. If you buy it that way, why complain?

        1. “all in regards to Motorola’s announcement last year that bootloaders would be unlocked on their devices sometime during the second half of 2011.”

          Because they bought them being told it would be unlock able, that hasn’t happened. That would be what this whole story is about…

          1. wow. you actually believe a phone manufacturer when they promise something on a given date? Say hi to the Easter Bunny and the Big Bad Wolf too. Apparently you’re a big believer in fairy tales.

          2. Now you are argueing for the sake of argueing. That is completely irrelevant to what you stated above as well as our replies. Also, I would love to know why I shouldn’t expect a company I do business with, to follow through with their side of the bargain? That is silly.

          3. Please go die in a fire… or play in traffic…

          4. Ok do u not understand android is OPEN source n we expect the manufactures to keep their word. Meaning do what u say ur gonna do. If u do not understand our frustation then shut up n go back to the icrap u know u have n stop trying to act like u know or love android like we do.

          5.  Stop.  You sound like a whiny five year old girl.

  6. Shame on moto

  7. Have an motorola android phone once and i swear to myself that i will never get an motorola phone again.Thats how bad Motorola customer policies is.

  8. The best protest is to NOT buy their phones. Money talks. Intelligent companies like HTC and Samsung encourage phone modding. Motorola wants to follow Apple’s restrictive anti-freedom business model. I say let them have the customers who enjoy living in a sanitized walled garden.

    1. Except Apple’s only restricting their native apps – they’re 100% wide open when it comes to HTML5, and even encourage developers working on lightweight stuff like content aggregation to use HTML5 instead, and not pollute the AppStore with a bunch of boilerplate trash, like the Android Market is.

      You, like pretty much every other churlish little Android fanbot, get way too overemotional and irrational when it comes to Android vs iOS. Get over it.

      1. What is a bootloader?

      2.  Because an unlocked bootloader has so much to do with the market and the browser? Damn Isheep making arguments that have nothing to do with the topic. At least phandroids stay on topic, even if some of us go a little crazy :P

  9. I was once told, “If you don’t like it, then don’t cone back.”

    1. Yup… Never came back to Motorola after buying the Cliq

  10. Here’s hoping that the Google-Motorola merger will put an end to the locked bootloader nonsense…

    I suppose they may need to ship locked to satisfy content providers (movies, etc.), but at least they can provide a universal unlock tool like the one provided by HTC.

  11. I think they’ll get the picture now that their Facebook Wall, Twitter, and email inboxes are full, and now they’re asking to file to the FCC? Yeah, this is what we want, and what you need to do. Now do it, you promised it already. I love Motorola products, but this is garbage. 

  12. If people were so bothered why buy a moto in the first place?everyone knows htc and moto come locked. VOTE WITH YOUR MONEY PEOPLE!
    Those who just bought a razr who hopedmoto would unlock soon are fools since it came out what right end of 2011. I laugh at you.

  13. Yeah they needa stop bowing to carriers. Android has enough weight on its own now. Time to fight!

  14. I can’t wait for the Asus Padfone. Then I’ll have a device that is fully supported by its manufacture and unlockable bootloader.

    1. Well, assuming it doesn’t take another wave of user threats to get Asus to keep it unlocked.

  15. As far as Android users go Most everyone I know has Moto or HTC. At one point most everyone had Samsung, but most of the say “never again” because of all the hardware issues. Seems common to go through 3-4 samsung devices before getting one that works right.

    1. Oh bull. Every samsung I’ve owned has been terrific. 

    2. I totally agree with this. Samsung has been nothing but trouble for me. My HTCs and Motos have always been good. I does depend on the model somewhat though too

  16. Seems like everytime I turn around, theres one sect of the Android community up in arms about something. 

  17. There’s no reason to have it locked.  The vast majority of consumers have no idea what a bootloader is.  For those of us that like to play, let us play.

  18. The physical build quality is great. I have no protection for my Droid X and have given it more than a few accidental drops onto hard surfaces without any damage. They feel great in the hand. You feel like you actually have a piece of hardware, not some disposable fluff.

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