By now everyone with even the slightest interest in Android or smartphone tech knows that Motorola has been pretty pugnacious about locking and encrypting the bootloader on their Android phones. There have been numerous community-driven calls for action to try to convince Motorola to change this policy, and it looks like the current one could be the straw that broke the camel's back. Motorola has responded to Irwin Proud, a gentleman who started a Groubal complaint about the bootloader issue, with the following:
In terms of your question – we completely understand the operator requirement for security to the end user, and as well, want to support the developer communities desire to use these products as a development platform. It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, where carriers and operators will allow it.
Don't break out the bubbly just yet though, the last bit there is pretty telling. Carriers and operators aren't going to be chomping at the bit to sell unlocked developer phones, especially Verizon -- which happens to be the major player in the U.S. for Motorola and Android. It's possible that it will see the value in this, but so far it has remained silent about the entire issue. I also wouldn't be surprised if this policy is in effect for new phones only, and not applicable for the Atrix or upcoming Bionic.
But something is always better than nothing, and this may be the first step to a future where Motorola Android phones are friendly to developers. We can only hope. [Ausdroid] Thanks everyone who sent this in!