Motorola Facebook

Looks like whomever was running Motorola's YouTube page today might have gone a wee bit rogue. To recap, a comment on a video of the Atrix 4G was greeted with a tongue so sharp we had to make sure it wasn't ours. "If you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we'll continue with our strategy that is working thanks." Whoops.

The comment was deleted not too long after we first reported it. But the fallout continued, with Motorola issuing tan apology on Facebook, and saying there may be a compromise for those who wish to do a little hacking:

We apologize for the feedback we provided regarding our bootloader policy. The response does not reflect the views of Motorola.

We are working closely with our partners to offer a bootloader solution that will enable developers to use our devices as a development platform while still protecting our users' interests. More detailed information will follow as we get closer to availability.

There also was this response to a followup on the YouTube page:

So we attempt to answer nearly all comments raised on this channel across over 130 videos and in a timely fashion. Sometimes we make a mistake, and the remark we agree could have been better phrased and more polite. So we do apologise, and that we will continue to monitor feedback on the wider discussion and pass that along. Thank you.

Mistakes certainly do happen, and we certainly understand the ... patience ... required when working in public. We'd cut Moto a little slack here -- but we'll also keep an eye out for any more shenanigans. [Facebook, YouTube] Thanks, Lil' Stevie!

 

Reader comments

Motorola apologizes for YouTube comment, says it's working on bootloader compromise

60 Comments

In all honesty, who is worried about Moto locking stuff down? as someone once said, the best way to get something hacked is to say you're locking it plus its not like they are the rotten apple who actually updates their devices with every release of OS, so in conclusion the boot loader only needs to be hacked once and if we're luck maybe twice. I dont see moto updating a device more than twice.

There are a bunch of reasons, and I'm not sure what makes the most sense for us as consumers. From the other side's perspective:

1) Manufacturers care about returns. People screw up their devices and take them back. This costs them money.
2) Carriers care about charging you extra for services. They can't charge for tethering, etc, if they can't stop you from turning it on yourself with root access.
3) App developers care about piracy of their products. With root, you can copy the app and install it on another phone. Gingerbread (maybe Froyo?) added the ability for an app to confirm purchase on the server side, which eases this concern a bit.
4) Service Providers care about their content. If the user has root access, they can get at any content. Like it or not, the services are under contractual obligations to protect content and I can't see video going the way of unprotected music any time soon.

I root my device so I can back it up, get rid of crapware I don't want, and access anything on the device. I don't use custom ROMS, but my DroidX is running Froyo.. if I had an outdated device I probably would.

But I'd gladly dump root if I could run the Netflix app. I'm willing to bet that Netflix's announcement of "selected devices" means the ones that are locked down. And the same probably goes for tons of other services out there. Being "open" may be preventing us from getting the content we want.

1) The minute you root/mod/ROM your device, the warranty is void. If you brick it, its on you, not them, or their subsidies. So technically even if someone does return the device, the wireless provider eats it, not the company that manufactured the device. Like I said though, warranty = void.

2) This is the only valid argument you're really making here for device lockdown, valid only because it makes sense. Not because its a fair argument. Tethering, as an example, we pay for our 1GB-5GB a month, I realize that most Wireless providers have a tethering option/plan that ranges from $15-30 a month. Why on earth would you pay for that service when the functionality of tethering is built-in to AOSP. Shouldn't it be up to us how we use our monthly data allowance, not be nickeled and dimed for extra services that we should already have the capability for because we're already paying for the data.

3) App piracy is going to happen, regardless of this, the only way of preventing this is by eliminating side-loading apps altogether, like AT&T has done with its Android lineup. There are ways around that however, like the AC Sideload Wonder Machine. That being said, its not as simple as copying the app from one device to another, unless that device is associated with the account that originally paid for the app, the authentication service for the license on the app will expire and it won't work. Believe me, I tried to do that to get crush the castle on my brothers OG droid whenever I bought it for my Incredible. This can also be bypassed by cracked apps, which have nothing to do with the rooting/modding/ROM process, just people who make it their mission to get paid-for apps and crack their authentication so they work on any device.

4) Goes along with my response to #3 These are our devices what we choose to do with them legally or questionable is our responsibility, none of that liability falls back on the carriers if someone decides to start downloading torrents on their Android phone. Stupid to do so though, since they can trace it quite easily.

All in all, it comes down to the original reason we Android fans chose this OS over iOS, WebOS, Blackberry.. its open and free, giving us choice to do what we want. The locked bootloader that Motorola has used since the GSM Milestone is really against this ideal. You may not use these things, but lots of people do. That is what Android is about, make it your own, your mobile space your way.

Why should rooting or rom-ing void a warranty?

It should be as easy as re-installing the original OS, which should be available for download.

Why should it be possible to brick it? Put microsSD loader in Silicon, problem solved.

Rooting does not void the warranty or destroy the phone. It might mean that your provider isn't going to help you debug any problems, but they all have recovery options (.sbf file, anyone?) and ways to get your phone out of the brick death.

I've changed the software in phones and had to return them. It wasn't the fault of the upgraded software, but a hardware issue. And I never got a chargeback.

I also think that they should sell you laptops and desktop computers that you can not use to download movies, incompatible with all routers and overclocking should be banned. My desktop is not mine it is the property of HP and they can do whatever they want.

that is quite interesting... their planning on opening up the boot loader??

Well that'll all but secure a purchase of the Atrix if thats the case...

they sent me an apology on twitter for the comment after i tweeted that im about to dump my DX for a DInc, and posted the link to the fb apology. i love my DX, even with the locked bootloader, but damn, that dude should be suspended at least. thats just bad PR period, apology or not. after this, if they continue to lock their bootloaders, i will definitely be going htc with my next purchase.

On the other hand, they did reach out and apologize to you personally. What was the last company that did that?

i get the typical (required) 'im sorry sir for (insert situation here)' anytime i call a company with an issue/complaint. but NEVER have i been told 'if you don't like our product don't buy it' & with an attitude at that.

Its called damage control. Moto damn well knows that, that twitter was going to be on the front page of ever tech blog in a matter of hours. Moto doesn't give a flying crap about you, or your feelings. As long as they make a sale, and it results in higher profits they are happy.

Um. It would be easy to release a util to patch the ROM and shut off the TPM module if they chose to do so .. so release or not released has nothing to do with it.

They could do the same for the current Moto Droid's ... again if they chose to do so.

This is PR backpeddling. I will believe it when I see some real actions. There is a rumor that Motorola will make the next Nexus device. That will be the one to buy so you can have Motorola's build quality without the Motoblur and locked bootloader.

Yeah, Motorola build quality is top knotch. I can see them making a big debut with the next Google phone.

The only way I can see moto letting you unlock your bootloader is if your a registered developer which I'm pretty sure you have to pay for.

You don't have to pay to be a registered Moto Developer.

But, even if you did, and it bought you all the tools to make sure you did not brick your phone it might be worth $25 just as insurance.

I'm still going with HTC for my next device. But I do really like that we (the dev community) were actually important enough to moto that they felt obligated to give us an apology. Unfortunately, once my trust is lost, it must be sincerely earned back. So moto better keep their word on what they said today, and perhaps maybe two phones out I'll consider them again.

Again: Its called damage control. Moto damn well knows that, that twitter was going to be on the front page of ever tech blog in a matter of hours. Moto doesn't give a flying crap about you, or your feelings. As long as they make a sale, and it results in higher profits they are happy.

hahah, seems Motorola got a tad bit nervous over the feedback they received over their initial statement release....

Still wont purchase their product... Don't trust MS, just as bad as Apple.

I'm going to wait and see .. I plan on going HTC next and dumping my DX because I don't even CARE about loading 3rd party ROM's but I am opposed to DRM on HARDWARE I purchase. It's mine ... I am not renting the phone from Motorola. If HP, APL or whatever PC I buy had this ... I wouldn't buy it and I'm kind of pissed off at myself for talking myself into thinking I would be OK with this eFuse crap.

omg. a nexus phone with motorola, no motoblur or locked bootloader and dual core (quad? nah im getting ahead of myself)

that would be a gift from god.

and if it was on verizon....... no way! that just crazy thinking. WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING?!?!

Wow, so it seems that the phone manufacturers are making the decisions for the customers on what to purchase. Moto says buy elsewhere, and Samsung is just straight up disappointing everyone.

Moto is realy screwing up here. People loved the OG Droid because it was PURE ANDROID. Sure they have turned their backs on Verizon over the iPhone. BAD MOVE Verizon! But if I wanted everything locked down I'd have an iPhone!

I was thinking about a Droid X but Maybe the HTC DINC may be my next phone!

The first droid was groundbreaking, I owned one. It saved Motorola. Even today, it can match the highest over-clock setting from any new phone. Today, in the other hand, phones are very similar. I currently own a drod X, rooted, running liberty v1.0 ROM and loving it. Next up grade in sight, many phones are now jumping for my attention. At least my selection is smaller than most, since I at least want a 4.3" screen. Moto Bionic, or HTC Thunderbolt....
Have you seen the video of the Bionic? It has motoblur, and even with the dual core, it can't push that thrash around. Dual-core is promising, if we do what we want with it, and it wouldn't include Motoblur. Lock that bootloader and Moto would be capping its capabilities. Have you seen HTC phones?

Everyone that I talk to have already rotted their phones. I have not met a single person since December 2009 that have not rooted their android phones. People whose eyes would roll over and pass out if you mention a command prompt or a terminal window, are rooting their phones!

Point is, by now, with these awesome phone releases, the bootloader is going to be THE deciding factor.

PS
Simple request, work something out so we can watch netflix? thanks

I've been to Motorola HQ here in Illinois and even took a tour and believe me, the DROID did not save Motorola, it only made them a viable contender in phones again. Everyone thinkgs Motorola lives off phones but its not so. It has been in business for the better part of last century and it has been doing so on Radios and other telecomunnication technology.

Cell phones are only a small part of Motorola and although its growing, its far from their cash cow.

You missed my point, we are in an android forum, so when "saved" is stated, it refers to this industry, not to calculators, or any other industry. I challenge you to tell me which other industry Motorola is involved in that has the potential growth that smart phones has, thus becoming the cash cow.

Here we go again...

Believe it or not the VAST majority of people don't care about root or custom ROMs or unlocked bootloader. People really need to stop inflating their own importance all the time as it makes it harder to be objective.

As to Motorola, take them at their word and wait and see what they do. They have very valid reasons to lock the bootloader, and any solution they provide is going to need to pass rigid security muster. That is because one reason not mentioned here for bootloader lock (and the RSA encryption) is enterprise use of the phones.

Motorola wants to get more into the enterprise market, and those two elements (the bootloader lock and RSA) are part of their pitch that their phones are secure (obviously they still have a security issue in that their phones can be rooted).

Side note: rooting and flashing ROMs to give yourself services (like tethering) without paying for them is not really in line with the "openness" ethos of Android (and I'm sure Google would agree).

Motorola does not want to lock them down, the carrier(s) are forcing them to. I have inside info from a dev about this, and I've argued with him about it at length angrily. Unfortunately, their hands are tied, it's the carrier's way or the highway.

If you want to be upset at anyone, be angry at e.g. Verizon. People need to fight the carriers on this, it's about our freedom!!

So, if Moto builds the next Nexus, it will be released around January 2012? Plenty of time to shop in the meantime. Time will tell if they are sincere about the bootloaders. It would be very good PR if they choose to unlock all bootloaders with a 2.3 update. I would consider sticking with them as it would show that they are serious about keeping my business.

Im sorry, If you dont like the product, leave. This whole thing about fighting a carrier over a boot loader is just plain dumb. I personally do not care if they lock the bootloader. I do not believe it is the carrier forcing them to do it. We are always seeing posts about people bricking there phones because they wanted to load some type of software that voids the warranty and cry because the bootloader is locked, get over it. I hope they give the intern or whoever he is a raise and a promotion. They are tired of hearing the same old bs excuse, I dont know what happened to my phone it no longer works, I want a new one. This does nothing but increase cost for the consumer in the long run. When you buy the phone and service you agree to a tos and if you void it, your screwed. The mentality of I should be able do what I want with my phone. Your right, you should but that does not mean the manufacture has to pay the price when you screw it up. The bootloader is a safe guard and hope they keep in place.

Some teenaged brat on his lunch hour just got fired. Good riddance. The idiot didn't think before he typed that crap and realize how much sales that would cost his former firm. Said idiot will end up on the fry station at McDonalds, where he can't interact with the public.

This is the number one reason why i'll keep buying HTC phones.

Your [Motorola] policies suck.

If i buy a piece of hardware, it is mine and i want to do with it as i see fit.

With Steve Jobs stepping down. is Motorola the new "jobs"

Hate to say it but I told you all so... This will have a security measure of some sort. Just because Moto is doing a backpedal doesn't mean they will give the devs a completely unlocked BL or easy way around it. I'm guessing the lockdown will still be there, but like always they know people will find a way around it.

MOTO continues to show its arrogance.

The Droid X, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, and Droid Pro - all advertised as business ready - have broken MS Exchange functionality.

I can't believe androidcentral has failed to report on this. I started this thread way back in September (the problem started with the DX in July, I think).

https://supportforums.motorola.com/thread/40791?start=0&tstart=0

The thread now has over 600 replies and ~50k views. Seriously, AC, pick up this story.

MOTO refused to acknowledge the problem at first, but responses have been overwhelming. MOTO then promised a quick fix more than a MONTH ago - but MOTO has kept us in the dark since mid-December.

We have all those running with our Exchange and have ZERO issues with the phones or exchange. Not saying your problem doesn't exist, but I'm confident it is not a common occurance. We add new phones weekly and I never have an issue with any android phone. We also run blackberry servers which seem to be more prone to issues than our Exchange<>Android.

My problem is this: I want my phone to work as well as it can..... The ROMs that the phone communities put out seem top run better..... When I had the blackberry storm the only saving grace was that RIM leaked half of their test builds that the phone groups took the best modules from the leaks and assembled OSs that just worked better.... It made the time stuck with that phone bearable.... Same thing with my Droid with Sapphire works better end of story.. So when the stock software runs as good as the enthusiast software I will stop caring about rooting.

The workaround will likely be an app that you download and accept permissions. Then you can't cry like a baby and act all innocent and tell VZW that it just died. That way they don't have to replace anything under warranty. Expensive mistake, but not as common as some people in this post would have you believe.

Frankly, I don't know what all the fuss is about. The person who made the comment should have said it 'better', but he/she was NOT wrong. If you don't LIKE the phone, as is, you don't have to BUY the phone. Don't misunderstand me, I like changing my phone, getting rid of cr@pware, etc, but whining about the phone as I bought it seems silly.

My boss said something similar at work when she announced our office was going non smoking, and someone complained that they 'didn't have a choice' about it. She said, "you do have a choice-you don't have to work here".

I don't know if Motorola was 'sincere' in their apology, but I do hope that the most the person who made the comment gets is a MILD scolding about not posting EVERYTHING they are thinking. The comment was not worthy of them losing their job. Now excuse me while I go put on MY flame proof suit-LOL