I am now over 20 days into the #unlockmoto bootloader campaign. I have seen a massive surge in the number of supporters for this petition and have gained a lot of positive and negative attention.
I bought my Motorola Atrix phone at the end of February 2011. When I bought the phone I knew what I was getting into. Motorola has had a notorious reputation for restricting their devices, whether it has been with a locked bootloader or more recently an encrypted bootloader, they have not shown the same developer support since they first released the Original Droid on the Verizon network. This phone launched Android into a stage of phenomenal growth.
When the Original Droid hit the United States market, Android was truly born and no longer needed its training wheels . Motorola blended form with function and offered a completely unmodified Android experience. I very rarely find a forum or Android community that to this day doesn’t mention the Original Droid in a post or comment.
So what happened? Why did Motorola decide to change this approach after such a successful launch? Unfortunately in Australia we never saw the Original Droid so I can’t begin to assume. Even if you come from a country that never stocked Motorola’s flagship device, you will still know how significant it was to the growth of Android.
So if I knew the bootloader was locked for the Atrix, why did I buy it?
Because of this, http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=495971028278
The prospect of the first Dual Core Tegra2 phone being readily available in the consumer market, for a Gadget Nut, that was just too enticing to ignore.
So I got the phone and hit the forums as soon as I could. I started to see an interesting trend though, people were complaining about the locked bootloaders. There were various requests to get some information from Motorola about the topic and all we got in return were breadcrumbs .
I believe that Motorola knows how to make a phone, to this day I am still impressed with the device, but I don’t feel I actually own it. I also wasn’t in a position to return it, because it was purchased on eBay and shipped to Australia, thus not covered by warranty or return periods. I am still hopeful that Motorola will commit to a bootloader announcement shortly.
Sony Ericsson recently announced that they were moving away from locked bootloaders, but are putting mechanisms in place to make sure warranty repairs or returns aren’t a result of a misstep in unofficial modification to their phones. I am really hoping Motorola can offer some similar solutions.
Then on the opposite side of the equation, HTC, who had developed a strong fanbase on the premise of the ability to modify their devices, is now reversing that approach.I have already started to see groups pop up and are now advocating against HTC.
The petition I started on March 10th, 2011 was set up because I am passionate about the openness of the Android platform and believe that Motorola has the capacity to surprise us and welcome developers and early adopters back into their ranks. The petition has gained enthusiastic support from the Android community and others who had turned their backs on Motorola.
I wouldn’t have put in the effort for this cause if I didn’t appreciate Motorola’s hardware and wasn’t committed to seeing them do the right thing by their users. Motorola still has a chance to turn these 7,000 odd petitioners into advocates for the brand that could help them see the next stage of brand growth.
I will keep up the good fight for as long as possible and welcome users in the community who want to champion this in their respective parts of the internet to do so through blogging, tweeting and any other way they can share this.
To be involved and sign the petition, please visit:
To keep updated:
Join: Facebook Group
Some further reading:
Submitted By: Irwin Proud