A recent poll held by Motorola backfired, and had tens of thousands of people declaring that they want an unlocked bootloader on their phone. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that people are getting quite adamant about being able to do what they want with their Android phone. Motorola has developed a bit of a reputation for creating phones that have been quite difficult to root. Thankfully, it looks like they are starting to listen, and we have discovered some correspondence on this very topic that sheds some light on why manufacturers lock their phones down in the first place. I’ll give you a hint – it starts with a “C”, and has the letters a,r,r,i,e,r, and s.
The internet has democratized information, and has given people an open platform to articulate their frustrations and grievances towards whatever product, service or company they see fit. And so, bringing the focus back to Motorola, we have uncovered the following communication from them that details their ambitions with regards to opening up their devices going forward:
“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.”
Carriers buy many more phones than people themselves, and have the ability in most cases to make a particular device (or line of devices) a huge success or an absolute flop. This is exactly why manufacturers cater to the carriers themselves rather then the people. Still, we can’t completely confirm the legitimacy of the above statement, as it conveniently passes the responsibility of who decides to lock down the phones themselves onto the carriers. However, we do know that Sony has promised to be unlocking their line of Xperia devices in 2011, and so it is likely that other manufacturers will continue to move in this direction.
Does having an unlocked bootloader on your Android phone matter to you? Have you rooted your device already?