Motorola responded to fans today and revealed that the Droid RAZR’s bootloader would stay locked and prevent customers from loading their choice of firmware. In a pre-made statement, it claimed that it had to lock the bootloader due a request from Verizon. There were also “security, safety, and regulatory guidelines” that had to be met, it claimed.
The new statement is a slap to the face of those who heard Motorola’s official promise from the spring, when it said phones would start arriving with unlocked boot loaders in late 2011. As the Droid RAZR and its international RAZR counterpart may be the last new Android phones Motorola ships in the year, it will have at least delayed and at most completely changed its mind on the policy. Phones on other networks and other countries, such as Sprint’s Proton 4G or the XT860 4G (Droid 3), have also remained locked.
Its attitude towards bootloaders is unusual given Google’s planned $12.5 billion buyout of the company. While Google has claimed it will take an arm’s length approach to Motorola, its attitude towards Android openness could make Motorola ship devices with unlocked bootloaders if the deal is approved.
Update: It appears that Motorola may be sticking to its word on their bootloader policy. According to the, the European version will come with an unlocked bootloader. So, I guess the real question is: Why Verizon? Why?