For many Android fans, tinkering around with devices is one of the most fun advantages of the platform (rooting, ROMs, etc.). This is why locked bootloaders have always been a problem for true believers of Android’s open ecosystem. Even after many months of debate, this problem is still very prominent.
But whose fault is this? Many tend to blame the manufacturers; they take a lot of heat from consumers. We must remember that they’re not the only ones making decisions, though. The carriers play a big role in locking these devices. Verizon is one of the biggest advocates of such practices.
Motorola recently announced one of the best devices to come in the near-future, the Motorola DROID RAZR. This super-thin smartphone is not only among the best-looking, but it carries some awesome power under the hood. This means nothing to the unlocked bootloader fans, though.
Motorola has stated that the DROID RAZR will, in fact, be locked down. Sadly, this is not their decision (or so they say). They claim the decision was made at Verizon‘s request. We’ve seen HTC attempt to unlock their devices, but it’s still not possible for Big Red or AT&T customers. Sadly, the DROID RAZR will fall into the same prison, but only in the US. Most carriers outside the States will probably allow unlocked bootloaders and keep their customers happy.
This brings us to our biggest concern – the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Verizon customers are having the time of their lives, knowing that a Nexus device is finally coming to their carrier. Not only is this the first Nexus device to come to Verizon, but it’s also the first to come with Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest and most revolutionary Android update available. We wonder if Verizon’s philosophy will affect the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Nexus devices are meant to be pure Google, completely unlocked phones. We do not know the details yet, but we sure hope Verizon will keep their hands off of this one. Many customers would probably not mind a locked bootloader, since the Samsung Galaxy Nexus would still be an awesome phone. Locking down a device like this would be morally wrong, though, due to its nature.
So, there you go, guys. Let’s remember to also bother Verizon and all the other carriers, so they may someday give us what we ask for. They play a huge role in these decisions and most times don’t have to deal with complaining customers. As for the DROID RAZR, will you guys still be purchasing it? What about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Would you purchase it if Verizon ends up changing Google’s Nexus line traditions? We sure hope that Google will not let that happen.