Bummer: Verizon won’t be getting a developer edition Moto X (2nd Gen)



When Motorola revealed the Moto X last week (be sure to see our early Moto X first impressions) we learned they’d be allowing folks to buy a customized developer edition / bootloader unlocked model through Moto Maker. Pretty big deal, that, considering you couldn’t customize last year’s model. Unfortunately one group of folks are already confirmed to be left out of the developer edition train.

In a casual response to a consumer question on Google+, Motorola VP of product management Punit Soni confirmed that there would be no developer edition Moto X for Verizon Wireless consumers. Soni didn’t go into grave detail about the whos, the whats and the whys, though he did cheekily confirm that it wasn’t their decision to snub Verizon customers. He responded to one angry soul saying he loved his profile photo:

verizon sickle and hammer

The hammer and sickle is a common symbol of communism, FYI. That makes it pretty clear who Soni is pointing the blame at, we’d say. So what does this all mean for folks on Verizon looking to buy the Moto X? For developers and rooters, it means getting custom ROMs loaded up onto this thing won’t be easy. In fact, it might not ever be possible.

Motorola bootloaders are notoriously difficult to crack and there’s no guarantee that even the most talented developers will be able to make any progress on a third-party unlocking solution. Root and ROMs based on the Motorola firmware might still be possible, but if the DROID phones from last year were anything to go by don’t expect much in the way of development.

Whether this is enough to drive you to another carrier for the new Moto X is obviously up to you to decide, but at least there won’t be any guesswork about the issue early on. Start preparing those exit strategies (we hear T-Mobile’s making it pretty easy these days). Will this be affecting your purchase decision when the device launches starting later this month?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Shocking.

  2. Looks like this is another job for Justin Case, since he cracked the first Moto X bootloader. It’s a shame this has to be done this way.

    1. I thought Dan Rosenberg or whatever his name is actually discovered the vulnerability. Was it JCase? Either way, I’d bet that gets patched up real quick and wouldn’t count on something like that working again.

      1. Doh. You’re right. JCase provided root first and Dan Rosenberg unlocked the bootloader. My bad!

  3. Verizon is such a joke. Only carrier without the Nexus too.

    1. I’ll never understand the logic behind the decision to not carry the Nexus either. You’d think they’d want to give consumers what they want since that’s how you make money off of them.

      1. Pretty sure it’s not Verizon’s decision that they’ll never get another Nexus again.

  4. aaaaaand communism is once again mis-used.

    1. It’s funny how communism is used as a synonym for pure evil in the US.

      1. I economically and philosophically disagree with communism, and yet, I agree 100% with you. It’s absolutely hilarious to me how often it’s abused and misused.

        1. So do I. Still it’s too complex a matter (e.g. real existing communism vs. the theories of communism) to use it that way. Combined with the pure and uncritical enthusiasm for capitalism prevalent in the US this makes for a too simplified world view of good vs. evil. Oh well..

          1. *enthusiasm for corporatism*
            FYP, but still, semantics. Verizon’s more of a… Fascist than a communist.

          2. I’d argue unregulated capitalism is worse than communism, but that’s a discussion for a different place.

      2. Pretty much anything is misused. Everyone is Hitler, everyone is a NAZI and everyone is socialist.

        Basically its the standard argument of “Have nothing to say? Compare them to someone nobody likes.”

        Being said, screw verizon.

      3. It’s even funnier how “SOSHULISM” is derided in the US, especially by the tea-bagger retirees on social security.

        Fact is that socialism will have to be expanded (and made more efficient) going forward as jobs are increasingly taken over by robotics and AI. If the wealth gap gets much wider, there’ll be hungry barbarians at the 1%ers gates.

        1. Dumbest comment of the day go to you. Congrats!

          1. I’d stake my life on the FACT that jobs are in fact becoming increasingly scarce, and that the solution isn’t more dog eat dog capitalism.

          2. I’d agree that jobs are becoming scarce, but I’d argue that it isn’t because of capitalism. Jobs are becoming scarce because you have a government who is looking to punish job creators in any way possible. Forcing them to provide something that should be earned (benefits) is not a job-friendly market.

            Whining that you want to raise the minimum wage isn’t job creation friendly. Telling business owners that they need to pay more & more taxes makes them less likely to create or expand their businesses.

            I graduated with a degree in the IT field at the end of 2013. I’m still not employed in my field. I know first hand that, while there are plenty of job postings out there, not everyone can land those jobs, especially when there are way more candidates than there are positions.

            But, given your take on socialism above, you are likely to disagree that the problem is caused by the overreach of government seeing as you seem to indicate the need for even MORE government than we have now.

          3. the top corporate federal tax rate hasn’t risen since the 90s… the top rate was over 50% in the 50s… I may be looking at the wrong data, if so, point me in the right direction…

          4. Breaking News: I never mentioned the corporate federal tax rate. The taxes I am mentioning, which I should have been more clear about, are the individual tax rates. Even with the corporate tax rate, it is still higher than most of the corporate tax rates throughout the industrialized world, otherwise companies wouldn’t decide to merge with international businesses and relocate their headquarters overseas for tax reasons.

            Small businesses make up the vast majority of employers in the United States, see below. The “fantastic government” that so many people love to praise wants to, and has already, increased taxes on those very people who create businesses in the small business sector. Small businesses include your local McDonald’s and Wendy’s restaurants which are franchised out only wearing a corporate name and employing maybe 40-50 people a piece, give or take. Increasing the taxes on these business owners? Yeah, that’s anti-growth. Forcing them to provide benefits? That’s also anti-growth.

            Benefits used to be earned. Now the government is forcing it on businesses. How long before they mandate a month’s worth of vacation time for every employee?

            As of 2011 Census Bureau data: “there were 5.68 million employer firms in the United States. Firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses, and businesses with less than 20 workers made up 89.8 percent.” — Snippet from Google.

          5. Right on! I can’t believe there are Socialists and Commies posting on this website! Lets get off of politics and back to tech. Socialists and Commies pretend to win every argument (even though they are always on the wrong side of history). Communism hasn’t worked ANYWHERE.

          6. save the political bullshit for yahoo answers comment page.

        2. I think you are mixing socialism and social democracy. Still, I like the picture of the hungry barbarians.

          1. ‘I think you are mixing socialism and social democracy.’
            Not sure how familiar you are with US politics, but the tea party routinely conflates the two – that’s the context.

    2. Yeah, because Communism has worked out so well all over the globe! Cuba is doing gang busters!

      1. regardless of how communism is doing, it was still mis-used in this case.

        Their are no true communist countries, but some that call themselves communist.. Cuba may be struggling, but China seems to be ready to kick our ass economically…

  5. Sprint & T-Mobile making it easier, in most cases, for folks to root & install ROMs on their phone.

  6. Darn it. I was looking forward in picking up a developer edition on vzw…I guess that’s out of the question….I guess I’ll be keeping the Note 3 for another year…

  7. i was planning on making due with the OGmotoX anyway. however, verizon is making it tougher and tougher for me to stay with their network

  8. I left Verizon years ago for freedom from overbearing policies & practices, restricted device features, forced bloatware, etc., and I saved money in the process. The absence of a Developer Edition is just one example in a long list of Verizon’s anti-consumer practices. In my area, AT&T’s coverage is on par with Verizon’s, so I feel bad for those in areas where only one carrier offers decent coverage, and I feel even worse for those for whom that one carrier is Verizon.

  9. I would say not to buy this phone, but I don’t think it’s Motorolas fault that they aren’t releasing a dev edition. Verizon probably sold more dev editions than they wanted to last year or something, so now they’re pulling the plug. Will be interesting to see if another dev ed phone gets released on Verizon in the future.

  10. Of course not. They’d have to open up some of their code if they did. VZW will stay locked down until they are forced to do otherwise. I wouldn’t hold your breath!

  11. Help us Dan Rosenberg. You’re our only hope!

  12. That’s the difference between Motorola owned by Google and Motorola owned by Lenovo .

  13. Funny. However, I wasn’t the one butthurt about the locked bootloader. I was laughing at the guys that had their panties in a bundle over this. I’m in a few Hangouts with most of these girlymen and periodically jump in like a ninja and troll em. They’re all my online friends but they were definitely butthurt about this news. I left Motorola last year for the G2 and now have the G3. Unlocked? Nope but rooted and Xposed. Only thing I miss is TWRP for backups cache wiping.

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