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Motorola to change bootloader policy, release software update later this year


Motorola Mobility has been going through a sort of self-induced rebirth of late. Only a week after stating they would drop the Motoblur branding that has been doing more harm than good to their weakening public image, they may be ready to change their contentious stance on secured bootloaders.

While a select view devices have been released with unlocked bootloaders, for the most part Motorola has taken an unfriendly view to Android developers and their need to tinker. Tonight, however, a tweet from one @ibproud who started a campaign five months ago called “Unlock teh Bootloader” (sic) claims that he sat down with Chris Wyatt, a VP at Motorola and the company is deriving a scheme to unlock all existing and future bootloaders.

Current locked phones will be unlocked via a software update, and pending carrier approvals, available in late Q3 or early Q4 of this year. Why such a long wait? Even regular Android updates seem to take ages to be approved; releasing one that could potentially open up their devices to potential security threats will take a bit more scrutiny.

There is nothing official from Motorola itself just yet, but you can be sure that if this is true, the company, whose market share in recent quarters has been steadily ceded to HTC and Samsung, will try to use this good grace to its fullest advantage.

Source: Phandroid via AusDroid

  • LifeInAnalog

    IF they do have a change of heart about the bootloader, I think they will still leave the final power to the carriers

    • Rick Anderson

      As soon as Motorola releases the keys in any capacity, the modding community will find a way to unlock the boot loader and create aftermarket Roms.

      It would only be a matter of time. And Motorola has to because they have been spun off from the rest of the company, and are a small cell phone company.

      They are facing huge competition from in a crowded android ecosystem, the large handset makers such as Nokia, Samsung, and even other platforms from Apple and RIM.

      They have to do this to stay relevant.

  • Sam Wesbell

    So does this mean I could potentially install a port of Cyanogenmod 7 to my Milestone XT720 by the end of the year?

    That would be amazing, it would be like an entirely new phone after a full year of ownership. Which along with my $40 dollar unlimited Talk/Text/Data plan on Wind makes me very happy I left Rogers.

    Looks like Motorola might be back on my shopping list along with HTC and Samsung. It’s a win/win for everyone!

    • GuiSim

      This is a great news, but let’s not get too excited. I’m still waiting for an official statement by Motorola.

    • bob

      Forget support on the XT720. It’s a low end device that never received marketing.
      They are obviously talking about the Atrix.

    • cybik

      i got one i can toy with and make it asplode. I’ll see if 2nd init can work on it.

  • caplin

    *sheds a single tear

    • MulderFoxx

      …which turned into a jellybean all colors of the rainbow! And suddenly, he wasn’t racist anymore.
      So they sat in the cave (the cave!) And ate bubblegum pie

  • craps

    +1 for MulderFoxx

  • EraqEE

    Seems like a step in the right direction. I’m more interested in Blackberry and Web OS though.

  • shanghei

    Atrix dock went from $500 to 200$ in less then 4 months, they cancelled the release of the ruggedized case, the price of the phone is now $99 or $50 with contract, Motorola’s strategy doesnt seem to be working.

    Anyone remember that tweet from a few months back,

    “if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks.”

    Looks like the consumer did go elsewhere, now Motorola doing damage control saying they will unlock future boot loaders to stop the massive blood leak the company has endured.

    I hope they do unlock the bootloaders, I am not holding my breath and will sell my atrix very soon.

  • Jonathan

    “an unfriendly view to Android developers and their need to tinker.”

    FUCK that. That is BULLSHIT.

    This isn’t about a “need to tinker”, this is about running the LATEST version of Android WHEN I FUCKING WANT IT, longer battery life, and having control of my OWN FUCKING HARDWARE.

    This is about not having Carrier IQ and other obscene unacceptable vulnerabilities on a VERY personal computer.

    You sir, are full of s**t for downplaying the importance that users should have control of their extra-personal computers.

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