Fresh off the news that HTC will be unlocking their Android handsets going forward, a backlash against locked bootloaders has once again sprung up against Motorola over at the XDA Developers forums. After a similar outcry last year Motorola promised to unlock its bootloaders by the end of 2011. They were quick to point out at that time of course that this policy hinged on carrier approval. For awhile this seemed to have satisfied the critics and the blame shifted to the carriers, specifically Verizon. But now that HTC and to a smaller extent Asus have unlocked their bootloaders, Motorola has been tight lipped, and their position that the carriers are to blame has been significantly weakened.
From “Operation: Make Ourselves Heard” on the XDA Developers thread:
Motorola Mobility Inc. has become famous for its lies, slanderous ways, and tendency to flat out prove time and time again that it cares not for its customers after they walk out of that store with their Motorola-branded device. Since the early days of Android, post Droid 1, we have sat down and took our locked bootloaders like a man. There came to be a boiling point - and a full-out war was launched on their social media sites. Sound familiar? The same thing that worked with HTC and now with Asus. We received a generic "second half of 2011" timing. Guess what! It's now Q1 2012, and not only have they missed their deadline, but they have IGNORED all bootloader-related questions, given NO official announcement of their plans still being in motion, and thus must have forgotten that we are a core, dedicated community that wishes nothing more than to enjoy the phones we were given. Let's make ourselves heard yet again, turn the heat up, and make Moto (like HTC) get off of their asses and DO SOMETHING. Everyone counts!
The thread suggests emailing Motorola, signing a petition, filing an FTC complaint, as well as making yourselves heard on social networking websites.
@Motorola - How about those unlocked bootloaders you promised second half of 2011? @HTC cares, do you? http://moto.ly/icsboot
TRY POSTING ON THEIR FACEBOOK WALL:
@Motorola - I'm a faithful Motorola customer, and I'm starting to have second thoughts. Honor what Android stands for, openness, and give us the bootloader unlock tool that you promised "second-half of 2011". http://moto.ly/icsboot #OPMOSH
Locked or unlocked to most users it isn’t a big deal. But there are many who argue that the end user should be in control of what software they can run on a device they own. This is especially important when the company abandons the device and the software updates stop. Another way to look at it is that even though the group of developers and hackers that this is important to is small, they are making significant additions and in the end are a big reason why the Android platform is so successful today.
A quick peek at the Motorola Facebook and Twitter pages confirms they are being inundated with people that support open bootloaders. Lets hope this thing has the legs it needs to make Motorola listen.