locked up tight

It's the question many of us are asking -- will Motorola's upcoming phones have locked bootloaders?  Based on Motorola's previous stance on the issue we all expected the answer to be yes, but there's no harm in asking again, right?  New hardware (the Droid Bionic and Atrix 4G use a different CPU, that doesn't carry the e-Fuse technology) could mean a new protection scheme, and people are curious.

Someone got a bit curious in the comments of Motorola's YouTube video showcasing the Smart docks for the Atrix 4G and got hit with a stunner of a reply by a Motorola employee, and I quote:

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

Sounds like good advice to me, so I'll certainly be buying elsewhere. 

Lock the phones up if you want to Motorola, but I think that money might be better spent training your PR folks how to field questions.  It wasn't too long ago that most people were "buying elsewhere", and with that sort of attitude history could start to repeat itself. [YouTube via Android Central forums]

Update: As many have already seen and commented, Motorola has cleansed the comments at the YouTube video link.  They must not realize that like diamonds, the Internet is forever.

 

Reader comments

Motorola employee confirms locked bootloaders -- and bad attitude

165 Comments

Same. And since Samsung can't seem to update their phones, looks like HTC will most likely be the maker of my next phone!

Yeah... Locked bootloaders really suck. Companies skipping updates also suck.

I didn't like HTC that much, but Motorola, Samsung, Sony, etc. make HTC look like the Android manufacturing god.

If they bring dual core love, game over............ Hoping for that MSM8x60 chipset!

Edit: Why are they locking it anyway? What does it do for them? On top of that, they are being rude about it.

The fact that Motorola hasn't pandered to your wishes is a pretty good indication that they don't care. Droid X, Droid 2, Droid Pro - all locked, yet MOT had a banner year in terms of sales and profits. In other words, there aren't enough people like you to make it worth it to change what they're doing when they're achieving success with the status quo.

Ummm sorry but at least Apple maintains a simple game of cat n mouse with the jail-breakers. You can open it up and they lock it down but they sorta accept it's become the way many prefer the iPhone. This type of reply is the smug nonsense that we Galaxy S owners have put up with since mistakingly buying Samsung phones.

That Verizon iPhone is gonna clean up with subscribers if this type of stuff continues. Mark it down as fact.

Has apple even bothered to respond to the last several JailBreaks?

Seems to me they are going thru the motions, but only half heartedly.

Same for HTC. The carriers, who are their biggest customers, probably insist on some minimal level of effort to prevent root, but HTC doesn't make it too hard.

+1

I can care less about custom roms but I do have my X rooted so I can run wireless tether and some other apps that require it. I do run Launcher Pro Plus but to be honest I didnt really think Moto Blur was that bad.

BKVic

You might care about custom roms if you are stuck with a phone that they carrier/manufacturer won't update anymore...

If your so worried about being stuck on a phone that they wont update anymore then buy with a one year contract. You then sell your old device to pay for the price difference between the two and one year contract, but to be honest if you buy a decent high spec phone you will get alot more out of it then just the difference by someone who wants a nice phone with no contract.

I know I will be, it's that staunch attitude that royally upsets me. Sorry moto, last phone of yours I will waste my money on...

What a *^%*&%(&!!! Nicely pointed out that two years ago Moto was on the brink of extinction. You would think they would remember that fact.

"buy elsewhere" Well, ok then.. I'll do just that Moto. I've not bought a device of yours since the Motorola RAZR and was really looking forward to the Atrix 4G but with those limitations and that piss poor attitude you can pretty much go stuff yourself.

Yep, I totally agree. My last Motorola phone was also a RAZR, but after a comment like that, Motorola can go climb a pole as far as I'm concerned.

Hello,
I'm actively contemplating dumping my Blackberry and switching to this device (so I can get 4G data, use my slingbox again, and because this appears to have the best battery life of the 4g options).

Can one of you experts tell me the benefits of creating a custom ROM? Is this just for those who like to customize to the fullest extent possible? I'd love to learn.

jstanlis,

The benefits of creating a custom ROM are *read the forums* *read the forums* *read the forums* *read the forums* , not to mention the *read the forums* *read the forums*.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention *read the forums* *read the forums* *read the forums* *read the forums* .

That's about it. If I forgot to mention anything *read the forums* , I apologize.

:)

Thank you, and I'm reading the forums now.

I'm also chuckling over the irony of your rotten attitude in a comment attached to an article about bad attitudes. If you are looking for a job, perhaps Motorola is hiring?

oh no, it was all in jest, seriously. no harm meant.

also seriously, to read the forums is actually the best possible answer to your question.

and whatever questions you may have, dont hesitate to post in the forums. there a people online practically 24/7 who are more than happy to help.

including me. :)

Generally, custom ROMs offer 3 things:

1. Stability and performance: Often stock ROMs are well, not as good as they should be an incapable of releasing the full potential of the phone's hardware. Custom ROMs can offer that. They also often fix bugs.

2. Battery life: Sometimes, kernels have better battery management and undervolt the battery.

3. New features: Many ROMS often will uncripple the device, and offer there own unique features, such as Cyanogenmod, which offers a ton of new customization options.

I'll never get a motorola because of this. Their features don't go above and beyond any other brands of phone so why would I pick them over a rootable phone?

The irony of them making this comment is that much of the success of the original Droid was because people buying it to root/tweak/customize the hell out of. They seem to have lost sight of how many hobbyists and tech geeks bought those phones.

I also think they might not be factoring in the number of "Tech Geeks" that influence the purchase of phones. I know that I myself have influenced at least 20 individual people into purchasing Android phones, no telling how many friends THEY have influenced.

Only 3 of those people I influenced were influenced into purchasing a Motorola product, the original Droid.

As soon as Moto started locking the boot on their subsequent models, I began recommending other phones to people, and the people purchased the particular models I recommended.

The 3 friends with the original Droid were rooted and running Cyanogen Mod ROMs within 2 days of purchase. They don't have a clue about what custom ROMs do for them other than the fact their phone is smoother, faster, and better battery life than the first 2 days experience with the phones. A mild OC to 900Mhz provides nearly a 50% performance increase, yet better battery life than the original ROM.

They DO understand that they are running the most current version of Android (well, 2.2.1 - 2.3 is too buggy yet.) long before most people had 2.2 on their phones.

Many people have called to ask what the best model of phone currently is on a particular carrier for a spouse, friend, co-worker, employee etc. I do not recommend Motorola products any longer, and will not until Moto unlocks the boot loader or a hack is found to do so.

Yep, I'll be buying elsewhere. My Moto droid1 is my first and my last motorola device. Bye bye Motorola! Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!

That's too bad, the original Droid was (still is) a great phone, and mostly because it was not mucked up by non-sense like this. Maybe a Thunderbolt is in my future after all.

Well, that makes my Thunderbolt or Bionic decision a lot easier! I don't even care about rooting or custom ROMs all that much, honestly, but that kind of treatment (assuming that tdcrooks asked the question nicely, which is not a given on Youtube) is just unacceptable.

In a way their arrogance is hilarious. They think with Android they have another Razor line. F that the competition is alot more fierce now both within Android and from other OS's. Buy elsewhere? Okay will do thanks for the awesome advice.

The Atrix was the only phone that could sway me away from the EVO, but after this I'm definitely keeping my EVO. I'd rather be on a rooted Gingerbread EVO than a stock Atrix

but they should understand that us "geeks/fans" are a lot more loyal than other people who just by a phone based on a commercial or salesperson recommendation

I completely agree with what you are saying, but keep in mind that we, Android geeks/fans, only represent 1% of people buying Motorola smartphones.

And they don't give a f*ck about us, that's a shame.

I think you guys make these bootloader issues bigger than they really are. I'd bet that 95% of users if not more are fine with the out of the box experience. This rep could have said things a little better but in a way he's right, there's plenty of options.

I'll one up you on that bucky -- I bet 95% of Motorola Android users don't have a clue what a "bootloader" is. Of the 5% of those people who do know what it is, 95% of them do not load custom ROMs.

However, I agree, it is a harsh stand -- people who have no clue will *still* not like to be told what they can't do with their phone.

I hope people from Moto are reading threads like this and realizing that they're alienating a decent chunk of their loyal base.

They need numbers, not estimates like "Decent chunk"... Sure a lot of people use roms but how many of them consider roms essential? The carriers sure don't, so there is one strike against roms right off the bat. If you want to persuade them to do anything but stay on course, you are going to need a lot of data (and hint, the plural of anecdote is not data; you will have to leave the forums behind if you want to find what you're after.)

Does it really matter how much a decent chunk is? Why would they intentionally want to alienate ANY group of people. What exactly does Motorola lose by making the phones easier to hack instead of harder?

Besides, it is people like us that other people ask "what phone should I buy". I know I influence the purchasing decisions of DOZENS of other people. Even if they don't care about rooting or roms, they still seem to want to know my purchasing decisions and tend to use that as decent advice for them.

By "decent chunk" do you mean less that 2%? Cause that's what we enthusiasts represent. See my comment down below.

I'd say at least: "Members: 3,307,263"

Afterall, people don't go do XDA to ask how to change the volume of their handset.

So, Cyanogen compiles stats on their install base:

http://cyanogenmodstats.appspot.com/

And according tho their numbers, there are over one hundred thousand installs of Cyanogen out there. And if you just look at popular Motorola devices, they make up like fifteen thousand of those. I am not sure how many devices are in the average production run, but 15,000 customers sure seems like a lot to me.

The thing that irks me the most about manufacturers and carriers locking down the devices is that they are no longer just phones anymore. They are little computers that fit in your pocket. They should be just as agnostic about software as the average PC. But since it's all about money, it is more profitable for them to shorten the product lifecycle, forcing you to purchase the next update in a new device.

Google gets it. They offer up a device directly suited to "hacking", which is really more like customization. I do not understand why the other manufacturers want to have such a stranglehold when the core piece of the software was free to them to begin with. And they must know that Android started out as a niche product; the hacking community has largely contributed to its success. There is always going to be a number of people that like these phones precisely because the software can be modified.

One thing I will never understand is why companies are so insistent upon keeping the hacking community out when it has been shown, time and time again, that they are better at making quality software, responding to bugs, and making updates available than any one company's engineering department will ever hope to be.

15000 is nothing. Motorola shipped out 1.05 million Droid OG units in the first 74 days of release alone.

I love how all the custom ROM crazies here are proclaiming their financial clout over Motorola when in reality they have none. It's amusing that all you people feel so entitled that you think Motorola should bend over backwards to appease you when you make up less than 0.5% of their customer base.

Besides, what do you EXPECT Motorola to say? "We're keeping locked bootloaders, but if you don't like it, buy our phones anyway"? Motorola's recent quarterly earnings reports were spectacular with record revenues and profits, you actually think you make up any kind of population that's going to dent that? It's a free market out there - you don't like Motorola, go buy a Samsung, LG, or HTC. You won't be missed.

So, Motorola - NO. SE - NOOO! Samsung - HELL NO!

We got HTC and LG left (with, maybe, Dell and Asus catching up)..

(Sigh)

I was really rooting for your next gen devices Moto. My Droid X will be the last one until you change your locking policy. It's a shame us enthusiasts are such a small percentage of the ACTUAL population who buys these things.

Of the 10 people or so I've seen with Droid Xs, I am THE ONLY ONE, who's actually changed the stock launcher!! Let alone the ROM.

(Sigh)

hmm. I really want the XOOM! hasn't the moto phones that have been locked down been hacked anyway?

I'm sure the XOOM will be rooted at some point.

there is just one thing I can't figure out: how are they making money of a locked bootloader and if they don't why lock it?
<-- still on my G1 looking for an upgrade, thanks for the tip moto I'll def buy elsewhere

If you root your phone, you can wifi tether for free. Carriers are now making a ton of money by selling this feature. This for starters.

Okay, let's remember a couple of things here.

1) Probably 99% of Android buyers could care less if the bootloader is locked or not. The Droid X sold VERY well and it was because of build quality and that 4.3 screen. The whole bootloader thing specifically appeals to modders and hackers.

2) Motorola phones overall do have outstanding build quality.

3) The CS rep reply was uber rude, and if it were my shop would have gotten the rep written up at least and possibly terminated.

Wow, how rude and unprofessional. I don't mind the locked bootloaders and was looking forward to purchasing the Atrix, but the fact that they made such an immature comment like that makes me think again...

Yeah, I love my Evo... but I was very interested in adding a Xoom. Now I feel far less interested.

Shame. I was really looking forward to the Xoom. Maybe I'll just have to jump ship to HPalm for my tablet needs. Motorola, you just keep digging your grave deeper and deeper. I'm so glad that despite HTC's shortcomings, they have never let me down in the long run. Seems they're the only Android OEM I can trust to not treat their customers like crap.

How many average people realize what the specs of the Atrix are vs any other top of the line phone? Motorola's image, build quality, customer service and how they treat average people is what will get people to buy their products. Us geeks get boners over the specs but average customers think about that after the fact. They want a phone that works, looks good and is easy to use which is why Apple Products do so well even though spec wise they can be quite inferior for the price. If the attitude of this prick on youtube is how the average person comes to think of Motorola's attitude then they will have problems.

It is us geeks that purchased the D1 and showed it off to our friends and got people talking. It's lockdowns and attitudes like this that will have us happily showing off different products.

They are dumb and that's why I don't mess with Motorola. If it's open source then why "close" it. It's stupid and wack. Just void my warranty but let me root without blowing my phone up. Thanks HTC!!!!!!!!!!!

by the way, im REALLY getting tired of this Captain Cha guy making me input mysterious codes after i comment for no apparent reason.

Hit the road, Capt. Cha! You suck!

Captain Cha is way better than the prior Gestapo Stopo, which just kicked you ass out with no recourse.

I guess Motorola will never have to worry about receiving my money for one of their phones. I will stay right where I am, rooted and happy with my Samsung Epic 4g running Truly Epic Rebirth v1.2! Bye now :)

too bad, the bionic was a nice looking device. I have been impressed with motos build quality, but thats not worth having a locked down phone. Honestly, as it was said above, us rom dorks are what 2% of the market buying these phone? so whats the big deal if 2% of their customers hack their phones? Not to mention, I know I, and im sure many of you buy phone way more often then the "every 2 years" or whatever the upgrade periods are.

Was about to say that.

When picking I pick new phone it should not be hard know

NO Moto

No SE

No Samsung

Us nerds might represent only 1 or 2% but we have friends and family that ask us for recommendation all the time, I personally will not contribute hundreds of dollars on a xoom to a company with this stank ass attitude and will obviously preach to anyone that I know, not to either. Motorola, I hope you fall harder than before the Droid launched when you guys were almost died.

The nerve Motorola has to be saying this. This coming from a company that was nearly going out because of their garbage feature phones. They only came back because of the original Droid which ran simple vanilla Android. If the Droid had blur it wouldn't of been a success. They really need to realize that vanilla Android saved their ass because the Droid looks wise was horrendous. I am really been upset with their cockyness. This pushed me over the edge. I honestly think we should keep voicing our opinion as too how much we hate them restricting an Open platform and calling it their own. I hope Motorola see all their customers so unsatisfied with this. So keep commenting.

That was uncalled for, and for those saying that an unlocked boot-loader is not important (Mr.Motorola Himself!), the boot-loader is extremely important for me. I am the end customer and i will choose what i will do with my money and obviously Motorola will not be getting it. I don't care if 95% percent of users don't mind, if i'm in that 5% i do care. Congrats Appl-...erm...I mean Motorola.

Yeah ill be going with the htc thunderbolt after moto giving out that advice. Thanks for helping me decide

It isn't so much the locked bootloader as the attitude that miffs me here.

I will not be buying another Motorola phone because I have had three D2s that are completely crap (hanging, random resets, calls being hung up, etc.) I have a DInc now, instead. And will be getting the Thunderbolt.

what a rude comment! I sure wont be buying Moto. Atrix is a nice phone with some nice specs...but all it does is it connects to a over sized dock that looks like a laptop. I'm sure more phones will be out in the future that will have similar functions. Maybe some of the current phones out there might get laptop docks as well. (wishful thinking)

I'm not sure why motorola is choosing to take this stance with their hobbyist fans, but like many on here I'm going to be looking at HTC for my next phone. I'd have loved to pick up the bionic but it looks like they are going to shove that up their butt.

And I was looking forward to the Bionic.
Oh well, guess the X is my last Motorola phone. The thing is, I don't even use a custom ROM and I have no interest in one. I do, however, care about OPEN SOURCE and keeping Android free of egomaniacs.
With an attitude like this Steve Jobs wannabe has, I'll stay far away from Motorola.
HTC here I come!

As someone who sells these phones, I can tell you that Motorola is making a mistake. I am not going to try to talk someone out of a Motorola if that is what they want but if a customer is asking my opinion, I am going to steer them towards another phone.

Fact is, the people who are taking the time to learn how to modify their phones are less likely to come into my store because of a problem with their phone. They are going to come here to read and learn how to fix the problem themselves. Because, like us, they enjoy that sort of thing. The developer community is essentially a free tech support service for the manufacturers and carriers. It's about time they recognize this.

What does he mean by "Strategy that is working"?

Has Moto (or any manufacturer) ever published number about devices returned under warranty because they were bricked by Root access?

If the rumors are true that the next Nexus successor is going to be a Motorola device, then they're going to *have* to give up bootloader control. I highly doubt Google will want the "Nexus Stupendous" (or whatever they'll call it) to be burdened with such a strong OEM position on hackability.

I guess I don't get all the b!tch!ng about locked bootloaders...I can root & flash custom ROMS on both my Droid X & my wife's Droid 2. What's the big deal?

I'm not saying it is as easy as it would be on a device without a locked bootloader, but it's not like people haven't found a way around it.

I am almost certain the bootloader will get unlocked through much hard work from the community. They should know this by now. Its fine that they try to protect their hardware obviously but the rude comments really makes me see Motorola in a different light.

Even Sammy who can't seem to update their software doesn't answer like this.

By making it hard for people to root. Its the looneys that brick their phones and then go crying to Motorola for a new one that makes them lose money..which is why they try to prevent rooting as much as possible.

Or, they could do what Palm did and just GIVE OUT root access *and* make the phone "unbrickable". You can restore a Pre or Pixi very easily, no matter what you do to it. Just boot into rescue mode and reload the stock firmware which is posted on the web.

What a concept.

Bing Bing! Give the man a sucker! I totally agree. After coming from the Pre, I got spoiled by the ease of rooting. PreWare was a dream.

The Motorola Milestone was my first and last moto device. I followed their advice and dumped the Milestone to buy a Nexus One instead.

If the Nexus continues to be a developer product Moto will have to bite the bullet and make the potential phone unlockable. A more likely outcome is that Google will not ask Motorola to make a Nexus product. They've already expressed that they believe locked bootloaders to be contrary to the spirit of Android and more likely to spur hackers to break such locks.

Nonetheless, even if hell were to freeze over and Google and Moto announced a partnership for the next Nexus and it was unlocked or unlockable I wouldn't buy it. I just don't trust Moto to have my interests as a customer at heart.

My first Android phone was a Motorola Milestone, my second phone was never going to be Motorola because of the slow updates and phone locking. I went for a HTC Desire HD :-)

My first and current Android phone is also the Motorola Milestone. Even though the phone is pretty much identical to the original Droid in the US, I'm still waiting for Froyo, whereas the Droid got it in August...

My first Android phone was going to be the DROID, but I'm glad I chose the DROID Incredible because that reply moto posted is downright rediculus. I hope somebody at motorola reads the comments on blogs like these, so they can tell that they really pissed a lot of people off. I certainly will buy elsewhere

So Moto has removed their comment that this post is about and saw fit to delete every comment in reference to it! My comment was highest rated for a couple days now and now it's gone! I watched the number of comments spiral up past a hundred, now it's down to far less than that. Real classy moto...

CENSORSHIP ALERT! Motorola removed nearly all of the comments that were left by many of us. I'm done with Motorola for goooooooood!

If anyone is interested, this is what tdcrooks wrote on Motorola's YouTube page:

"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]"

tdcrooks 2 days ago 24

Oddly enough, Motorola's response, the same in this post by AC, has been removed from the page.

I really don't understand the big huss. If I'm mistaken, the droid x had special security on it to, right? It was a big day when the bootloader got cracked. This will get cracked just the same. No big deal.

6 months in with my Droid X and I have it rooted for easy screen capture and free wifi tether. I did love my stock vanilla Droid, but Ninja Blur is pretty much widgets. What I don't like in Ninja Blur I don't use or find a workaround. No phone is perfect, no skin is perfect, people with bone stock vanilla use custom roms and others don't. All I know is, if you don't like it don't buy it! I don't like that one individuals tone but he is right, and you have control of your pocketbook so buy the NS if you want the Google experience or any other you like. It's your money just don't trash others who still buy Moto. Now bring me my Bionic and Xoom! Oh.......Flame On! :-)

That response was uncalled for, but, it makes no difference. If the locked bootloader bothers you, then you won't get the Bionic or Atrix. For me though, having a Droid X with a locked bootloader puts things into perspective. I can still root, run themes, roms, overclock, etc. So I could care less about whether they lock the bootloader. I'm more concerned with whether or not I have the 1X/3G fluctuation issue that I've had for so long with the Droid X.

I will be forgoing the Bionic. Thanks Motorola for looking out for my wellbeing! That comment was enough to make me want the HTC Thunderbolt over the dual core bionic. Screw Motorola.

Un-Proud Owner of a Droid X

It was pretty interesting today... I went into my local T-Mobile store to buy a new case for the myTouch 4G. Got into a conversation with the sales staff around Android 2.3. Since they all were using 4Gs their collective comments were that they are waiting for the upgrade like everyone else and can't wait. Then I made a comment about "Rooting" and ROMs. Wow... what a response! One of the salespeople said they are "sick and tired of having people bring in Andriod phones that are "killed" due to Rooting and they have gotten to the point where they will not replace the phones". Not sure if they ever took them back when someone bricked an Andriod device after Rooting it.. but whatever. She also said that they are seeing literally dozens of phones a week that are bricked because the owner messed up Rooting the device.

So I am not surprised that the manufacturers are pretty feed up with all the Rooting stuff going on out there. Granted, it is supposed to be the foundation of an open system, that you can customize your phone... but obviously the manufacturers don't see it that way.

I have never rooted a phone or loaded a different ROM. I took a few programming classes way back in college, but still honestly, I'm only a wannabe nerd.

However, I still don't understand that attitude from the manufacturers. They are certainly within their right to void the warranty and refuse to take back a phone that has been bricked by abuse. (If I take my phone and test it's durability by coming down on it with an axe, I don't deserve a replacement.) But I that shouldn't cause them to block people who know what they are doing or who are willing to take the risk. So why not sell the device locked by the default, but give the owner the option to unlock with a clear disclosure that the warranty is no longer valid if you take that option.

If they did not lock the bootloader or put other 'problems' in the way flashing new BIN & ROM would not cause BRICKING.

Exactly!
And look at WebOS- you don't even HAVE to root those phones. Root is just "put it in developer mode". And it is IMPOSSIBLE to "brick" a WebOS phone, because it will just boot right from a USB connected image and restore happily to factory defaults.

Wow... what a response! One of the salespeople said they are "sick and tired of having people bring in Andriod phones that are "killed" due to Rooting and they have gotten to the point where they will not replace the phones".

Do they KNOW this, or are they simply blaming every thing on suspected rooting? Just because a phone is bricked doesn't mean it was a rooting attempt.

You "customizers" are the minority. The world of Android doesn't revolve around you. If locking the bootloader works best for Motorola from a business perspective, that's fine...the MAJORITY could care less. Could they have answered better? sure. What's wrong with a company protecting their assets? I'm sure there are MANY reasons beyond your closed-minded comprehension on why Motorola locks their devices. Don't want to buy from them? Fine...that still leaves millions more that will. :)

Thanks to rooting my year old eris is more up to date then thegalaxy s phones if I can't root it I dont want it.and its only a matter of time until the percent of rooters increase everytime I talk to someone with am android I mention rooting

I realize that customer service is the “face” of a company…therefore a company should be very wise in who they choose to represent them (see Tiger and Gillette). However that being said, some of these comments are pretty funny, as so many ascribe the attitude of one employee to the whole company. I really doubt moto’s senior vp called up the youtube guy and told him to say that, or even word it just that way; they are in the business of making money, not alienating people. Guy was probably having a bad day, getting sick of being asked the same question over and over again, and responded in a manner that right now I’m guessing he wishes he could take back.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the whole “locked bootloader” thing; I just think the attitude represented by one person is not necessarily the attitude of the company in general. Now, if none of you are going to buy an Atrix because of one guy, that’s fine; less time that I have to stand in line waiting for one! :)

At the end of the day, he was still a Motorola employee and he made that comment while acting AS a Motorola employee. You could say the same thing for the guy that left the iPhone 4 at a random bar. "He was just having a good time! He made a mistake that he probably shouldn't have!" At the end of the day, he was still an Apple employee and his carelessness reflects negatively on Apple as a whole. And if I remember correctly there was a bit of an uproar about a comment an HTC employee made regarding the locked framerate on the Evo last year. All it takes is one employee with a "bad day, getting sick of being asked the same questions" for it to become news.

It's the responsibility of a company to take control over the way their employees handle their valued customers. Years ago when people would call customer service for Sprint and they'd get nothing but bad attitudes and crap, Sprint developed a reputation for being cold and uncaring towards their customers. Sprint is still trying to rid themselves of that stigma. I understand what you're saying in that it does not mean Motorola does not care. However, a company cannot afford to have employees that just say whatever they want, however they want (especially Motorola, who owes their recent success to the original Droid customers) simply because they're "having a bad day".

They already deleted all of the evidence. If this story blows up to the bigger websites like Engadget or Gizmodo, I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola decides to address this formally. All it would need is a screencap and Moto would have dipped themselves into hot water yet again.

Motorola has always made things right with me. I know the boot loader is locked, but I worry that comment may stem from a certain atmosphere threr. I am shopping around now...

I think I know why Moto feels like that. I have a day 1 G1 that I ran stock for a year and a half. It's still running fine, rooted and on CM6. I replaced it with a used Nexus One from Craigslist, also rooted and runrunning CM6. If I hadn't been able to root, I would probably have bought a new phone somewhere in there.

Moto has obviously decided they'd rather sell extra phones to 98% of the world, and piss off the 2% that roots. They're smart people and I'm sure they've got market research that shows our business and recommendations aren't worth earning, compared to the money they make selling to the great unwashed.

Until you have solid market research that refutes their belief, they don't want to hear from you, and they don't care what you think. Anyone want to fund that study?

Anyone?

idk where people are pulling out these percentages of "99%" or "95%" of people don't know how to use custom roms.

if anything its AT LEAST 70% of people don't. I'd love to say 50% but who knows.

anyone willing to make a survey?

Ok what's the big deal?? Can someone post a bootloader for dummies 101. I have a dx and find nothing wrong with it. With a unlocked bootloader what will be the big difference? My 2 friends have htc and one has his rooted but he's constantly having issues and resetting his phone. Im not trying to do all that for just minor things. Please explain

My post on Moto's smarter docks vid. I doubt it'll get approved.

"You guys sure pissed off a lot of your customers. I personally will stick with HTC. That one thoughtless comment not only cost you the small percentage (insignificant to you, I'm sure) of modders, it also cost you their recommendations. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. And one asinine comment by a mediocre employee will cost you dearly in the long run, as well as this aberration that's being done to the Android platform.

You want to avoid customers rooting and installing a custom ROM? Listen to your customers feedback, and make a device that not only looks nice, but one that actually works. When that happens you eliminate the need for most, if not all, customers to even desire to install a custom ROM. And this applies to all the other manufacturers as well."

I love my MT4G! And thank you Jerry for ripping them a new one!

To me, the ability to root has two advantages: it lets me take full backups of everything on my phone, and it lets me update the OS after the manufacturer and carrier have decided my phone is too old to support.

In both of these, my interests as a user are in conflict with the people who make and sell what I use. Full backups mean I could redistribute paid software to others (I don't). An extra few months of updates (or longer - I plan to upgrade my G1 to Gingerbread, three major OS releases and nearly a year after the last carrier OTA) means it may take far longer for me to buy a new phone - and extend my contract - than the carriers have planned. That means I'm a less profitable customer than the average, to both my carrier and some phone manufacturer. In this business, profitability is all about ARPU - average revenue per user - and carriers will do things that seem crazy to those outside the industry to raise that number. Folks who root and mod their phones don't help raise that number.

By making rooting and upgrading hard to do, the folks who have an interest in making as much money as possible make sure that the vast majority of their customers believe that danger lurks there. Keeping the customers in line allows them to control that ARPU.

If Microsoft had to bless every OS upgrade to my computer, Dell and HP would sell lots more computers. Fortunately for the users, they didn't think of that in time to train us into the idea of manufacturer-authorized upgrades. Computers come out of a hobbyist/build-your-own tradition, even if very few people build their own anymore. Cell phones come from a very different tradition, one where "buying" hardware doesn't imply you'll actually be able to use it.

For the carriers and phone manufacturers, that's a good thing. For the rest of us, not so much, but most people are OK with it, so life goes on. The people who post to forums like this are just rounding error. The tech from Motorola who posted on YouTube isn't guilty of anything but honesty.

Who really cares? Whatever scheme Moto dreams up will get cracked and most people who buy these phones won't care; I'm in that boat. When I get my next phone the only thing I'm really looking for is a way to root and share the wireless data via WiFi. It it ends up being a Moto or HTC I won't care.

I will never buy a smart phone that I am locked out of.

And a lot of people ask me for recommendations. So my advice now will be to steer clear of Motorola.

If all of the manufacturers follow suit. Maybe I'll go back to WebOS or other platform.

Don't worry. The devs already have a work around to boot custom kernels. Let Moto say what they want for now, and when it's upgrade time, I'm moving to a more "open" android phone

Guess I will have to wait for the Moto Nexus instead of getting an Atrix. (Really want the higher res screen, but rather stick with N1 if I can't customize.)

I don't really see the point of rooting a phone. If it is such a big deal, why would manufacturers lock them up? I have a feeling the majority of consumers don't know the difference anyway. Love the site though. My wife went on the computer and I had left androidcental page up. She said I was total geek if I was like the rest of the people on here. I guess I am. Why is rooting such a big deal?

If you know what you are doing, and research about rooting, it isn't a big deal. If not, you can brick you phone. If you are doing, and have the right tools, you can unbrick.
What I'm guessing the problem is, is the ones not really knowing what they are doing, bricking it, getting another through warranty, and continuing the process. Don't get me wrong, when I got my Droid 1, I had no idea what I was doing it. and bricked it within a few hours, but literally stood up all night to get it running again.
If rooters went to the forums for help, or searched the internet instead of going trying to go through warranty or Moto tech support, it may or may not have been a big deal to them.

You're wife was lying to you. Geeks don't make stupid comments based on totally ignorance. If you were a geek, you'd be curious as to what rooting is actually about. You'd be curious about custom ROMS and overclocking your device. You'd be curious enought that you'd figure out how to do so and then be pleasantly surprised at the new speed, look and feel of your phone. So don't worry my friend, you don't in any way shape or form need to be worried about being a geek. You fit right in with that "majority of consumers" of whence you speak.

I hope the community response about this has sent a message, both about the representative's poor conduct and about consumers' desire for open access to the devices they have purchased with their hard-earned paychecks.

I've loved my Droid 1. I've run custom ROMs for many moons. My QuadScores consistantly beat my wife's stock D2 and daughter's DX. I'll look at the Droid Bionic when my renewal time comes up. I won't buy it if it's locked down. I may make the switch to T-Mobile anyway. 42Mbps 4G sounds pretty amazing.

If Moto thought that so very few people cared about custom ROMs they would not spend the many hundreds of thousands of dollars locking it all down.

After all, if only a few care who cares about the few?

The opposite is true. Moto is scared that the devs will come up with software that is far better than what they can make and that EVERYONE will want it and use it shoving Moto off to just manf. hardware.

Hmmm, as I write that that sounds like the exact RIGHT solution!

Hey Motorola: If locked bootloaders are such an irreplaceable part of your manufacturing procedures, how about you put Windows Phone 7 into all of your upcoming and future phones instead of Android? Android is an OPEN SOURCE operating system. It was meant to be tweaked to death if the user so chooses. Want closed bootloaders? Get a closed OS. Want an open OS, then show respect to it and its users!

Oh and Android Central: I too am fed up with this capcha nonsense. On my first comment on your site, it was undestandable. On my second post it was annoying. On my third post is disrespectful. Please, fix that.

Everyone that says that rooting isn't that big of a deal is right. I myself feel that it is. I want to do what I want to with my device, not what they say I can. A huge uproar has hit the moto Facebook page about this and moto claims they are "looking into a safe way to root," like I told them believe it when I see it. One of the things that these companies are seeing is geeks don't always sit quietly, piss us off enough better watch out. Hell knowith no fury like a pissed of geek. Its us that are pushing articles like this out to places like Facebook where the uneducated 95% hang out. God forbid they find out about this crap. Eventually they will have to learn or lose customers.

There *is* a safe way to root. It is called, give the users root from the start! Palm does it with WebOS. Want root? Just enter the developer code. If you mess up hacking the phone to death, then just reflash the stock image from the web with WebOS Doctor. Done. No big whoop.

If Palm can do it, then Motorola and the other phone makers can, too.

I have the Droid X and think it is a damn fine device. I am now planning to replace it with an LTE phone on Verizon. The locked boot loader, and now this response from Motorola have convinced me to buy my next phone from someone other than Motorola.

Why y'all making a big deal outta this?

I actually reed that in Motorola's YouTube channel 2 days ago
Although the Motorola rep guy was kinda straight forward (or rude) , but I understand that he had enough of ROMs & Bootloader related comments , If any of you opened Motorola (especially Motorola Europe page) in facebook , you will see that everything Motorola postes have at least 100 comments about the bootloader , Custom ROMs & Froyo !!! Now imagine that you are the rep guy who have answer to all these comments !!!! I'm surprised that he didn't grab a gun & ...

Even there YouTube channel is filled with these comments & if the guy who asked them bothered to read 2 comments below, he would've found his answer

Beside : wasn't both the Droid X & Droid 2 Were hacked within a month after they were released ?????
So whats the problem with the locked bootloader ? , even the unhackable MileStone is running custom CM 6 rims now !!!

Honestly I razr have a locked bootloader that some random Dev. ROM (no ofince) , its safer especially if your phone have NFC (nexus S)

Thats just how I see it

Wow. Hey Phil or Jerry....is this a record number of comments for a story? If not, please post a link. This threads a keeper!

Motorola seems to have complete crap people skills, they don't support the non-US market and abandon most of their non-US phones after release. I haven't even given their Xoon tablet any thought, I'm in Canada and I've used Motorola phones since the early 90's up until smartphones and their attitude with their smartphones changed my mind.

And mr Motorola employee that attitude cost you a sale.

I'd never buy from someone who employs someone who treats a customer with that attitude.

Hmmmm all this crying makes me want to leave android all together. All these cry babies whining and moaning. So let me get this straight, guy is a prick and you all think you are so deserving or it's so detrimental that you would not buy the best phone on the market? Get a life and stop crying.