Jan 29 AT 10:22 PM Sean Riley 40 Comments

Motorola RAZR Developer Edition coming soon with unlockable bootloader


For everyone that has been complaining about Motorola locking their bootloaders I’m sure this is going to… well let’s be honest this is probably just going to tick you off too.

Motorola has announced via their blog that a new version of the Motorola RAZR will be coming first to Europe and then to the U.S. “in the coming months.” This is a spin on the original RAZR, not the recently released RAZR MAXX, and will be known as the RAZR Developer Edition. The big headling feature of this newest rendition of the RAZR is an unlockable bootloader. While there has been something of a hue and cry from the Android population over Motorola’s steadfast locking of their bootloaders it seems unlikely that anyone’s ideal solution was yet another SKU in the RAZR family.

The full text of their post can be found below as they have subsequently pulled it from their blog. The date on their post was January 30th so someone probably just pulled the trigger on it a bit early.

Motorola is quick to attribute the need for locked bootloaders on their phones to “carrier and regulatory obligations” which is a bit puzzling considering other manufacturers don’t appear to be similarly hampered.

What are your thoughts on this move? Are you pleased that Motorola is at least making a product with an unlocked bootloader available to consumers or do you feel that they are letting current owners down by not finding a way to allow them this same freedom?


Show Press Release

We have some news for the community of people interested in unlockable/relockable bootloaders. Today, we announced a step forward in Europe with the availability of an unlockable version of our most in-demand product: the Motorola RAZRâ„¢ Developer Edition. This solution allows us to continue meeting our carrier and regulatory obligations, but also meets the needs being expressed by our developer community.

In the coming months, we also plan to introduce an unlockable developer device in the United States through MOTODEV, Motorola’s global developer network. Stay tuned to Motorola’s Developer site for additional info.

EU-based consumers can pre-order the Motorola RAZR Developer Edition through the Motorola Shop. Post-purchase, the MOTODEV site will contain all support info for unlocking, relocking and locating build files, as well as access to additional developer resources. The Developer Edition will have all the same great features as the Motorola RAZR: an impossibly thin design, hyper-vibrant Super AMOLED Advanced display, KEVLAR(R) fiber and more.

Via: Droid Life

Source: Motorola Blog

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Jeremy Sheehan

    Honestly, this pisses me off. I have a thing for Motorola phones and would really like them LOTS more if the bootloader could be unlocked like …. hmmmm…. HTC?

    Carrier and Regulatory obligations, my arse.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      My first thoughts at reading the title were, “I wonder how many people this will piss off.”

      Instead of just unlocking everything, Moto is going to sell a device just because it’s unlocked? Dick move.

  • Mrwirez

    Too little to late… My Galaxy Nexus is awesome. Sorry Moto, you lose.

    • Matthew H

      Moto doesn’t really lose if they are acquired by Google, as is likely to happen in the next 2-4 months. Plus, this could be the first part of changing the company to be more open, in anticipation of the acquisition.

      • professandobey

        I hope for Motorola’s sake that you’re right. I just don’t see how they could think that this is an acceptable solution. And I hope they don’t now think of this as “problem solved” instead of the begining of unlocked bootloaders for all.

    • Deter

      i highly doubt that this is NOT a step towards unlocking the bootloader on all devices. when that becomes the case, how will this have been too little too late?

  • redraider133

    I am sure they will use some excuse as to why it can’t be unlocked on verizon when they have a nexus and htc unlocked the bootloaders of their phones. I don’t understand why moto needs to make a new phone why can’t they just unlock it via software like htc did?

  • Dan13

    Okay Moto, enough is enough. It’s bad enough that Samsung has six variants of the s2, and now you’re on the re-release-the-same-phone bandwagon too. At least Samsung has their’s spread out a little more. I wonder which manufacturer is next?

    • CTown

      Well, at least HTC promised to make less phones! But seriously how do they make money from making a few shipments worth of 20 different devices? How does that math work out?! Isn’t mass producing a few products better?

  • themanwithsauce

    For all those wondering why they had to make another model just for an unlocked bootloader – Enterprise sales. They probably fiddled with the bootloader such that it is different than the standard RAZR. The standard RAZR is meant to be difficult to break into not unlike a blackberry. Via an unlocked bootloader, slightly modified ROMs could easily be placed onto government or major corporation phones that could record and transmit sensitive emails and documents to….unfriendly individuals.

    By making this a separate model, Motorola have effectively separated the unlocked one from the enterprise one by way of a brick wall instead of a screen door like HTC does with their bootloader unlock keys.

    ….Of course this also begs the question (and something I raised) of why they didn’t offer the unlocked bootloader option as an “online-order only” or something at launch such that the customers that were actively wanting the option could have it while the bulk of sales would be of the more secure and “enterprise-ready” version.

    tl;dr – This makes sense from a buisness/security standpoint but it makes zero sense as to why they’re just now getting around to thinking about releasing it.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      I am going to say “sorry” to you in advance, I don’t mean to say the following to you, but to Motorola instead if they are thinking what you described — bullshit.

      If they truly want to protect their enterprise sales, what they can do is to “SELL” a lockdown tool to the enterprise to lock an unlockable RAZR. Think about it this way. The RAZR is now locked, which forces the community to find an exploit to root, and/or install custom ROM. Sooner or later, they will hack it. But what if the phone is unlockable? There will be a lot less people trying to find an exploit! When an enterprise buy their lock tool lock down the RAZR, not only will the phone be locked, but there will be less people spending their time on hacking the phone. The RAZR will actually end up being less hackable.

      • themanwithsauce

        But what you;re assuming is that a business will go through the trouble of buying “unsafe” phones and then going through a process which will make them “safe” as it were. THat won;t happen. 95% of all IT departments want something secure and useable right out of the box. If motorola did what you suggest and *sell* or even just offer a lock-down kit, they;d lose tons of sales compared to out of the box secure phones.

        And if I’m not mistaken, I don’t think the Razr’s bootloader has been cracked yet. You can go on and on about how simple it is but obviously it’s not as simple as banging rocks together if we’ve had a few months and no one has done it yet.

        • professandobey

          I like his suggestion, and your point about enterprise is one I didn’t fully realize. But now I think the optimal solution would be for Moto to make a special “Enterprise” model with a locked bootloader, with the masses buying an unlocked version. This way IT wouldn’t have to do anything extra to it, and it would appear even more secure by contrast to the consumer version.

    • Ivan Samuelson

      There is nothing difficult to unlock the bootloader. It’s encrypted by a key. All they have to do is provide a program that uses the key to unlock it.

      The protection for the Droid X2 is that it checks to see if the new kernel being applied is signed with the correct key. If it is, then it will allow it to be overwritten. If not, then it doesn’t allow it to overwrite the kernel.

      It’s all based on an encryption key. If we were to have the key, we could unlock the bootloader.

      So there’s nothing difficult in doing it. If it were so difficult, they wouldn’t be able to send out Over the Air (OTA) updates.

  • AsakuraZero

    seriously another phone with the same specs and the everything just with an “Unlocked bootloader?”.

    moto you are doing it wrong, just unlock the original sku’s and we all will be happy, i like your desings but no you suck at listening the people.

    only if the padphone looked better i would change my S2 for it!

  • kazahani

    Ok. I don’t like being so crude, but this is the epitome of “shit or get off the pot”.

    You either embrace the development community or you don’t.

    Make up your minds. This is silly.

  • spazby


  • JhonnyQ

    [MOTO]: Soooo… Do you guys want… prepare for this… a… are you sitting right?… AN UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER?!?!?!?!
    [COMMUNITY]: YEEEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!! (people heard screaming and goin crazy in the back)
    [MOTO]: GREAT!!! Then your you’ll be glad to hear you can have one! And all you have to do is BUY A NEW PHONE!!!!! Is that GREAT or what?!?!
    [COMMUNITY]: …….

    ….so this is your solution to the locked bootloaders issue? Really? If the previous models couldn’t be unlocked, if it’s hardware related, you could’ve just waited until the next phone release. Or even delay the MAXX and do a 2×1 product upgrade… If i liked moto, I’d drop an old phone in exchange for an unlocked bootloader and better battery hands-down, and I bet a lots of folks would also. But having to choose between battery or unlocked bootloader?… Its a no-go for me.

    • JhonnyQ

      …still, at least they are trying =/. Better than nothing i suppose.

      • delinear

        Maybe next time they should ask the community before releasing the phone, rather than releasing it with what they must have known would be an unpopular “feature” and then hoping the community backlash wouldn’t be too big. The more companies get punished by this kind of move the less often it will happen in the future – hopefully they have learned from this…

  • oregon_tony

    The real problem is that the ‘speed-of-change’ in the wireless industry is moving faster than what certain companies can keep up with. ‘In the coming months’, the industry will be in a completely different place. “My roof is leaking, I’ll wait until Spring before I fix it…..”

  • Syraz

    If they release it in next 4 days I will get it
    if not Gnex.. so odds are Gnex will be mine

    • professandobey

      Just get the gNex. You’ll be so much happier.

  • NegativeOne13

    Another fail from Motorola. Seriously…. three fricking phones when you could have acheived all of this in one phone? Think about the people that bought the Razr…. oh shit the MAXX is coming out after my 14 days is up. Oh whats this a new Razr… developer edition… le sigh. Oh shit…. another Razr coming out with a build in razor function. :|

  • h0ruza

    There was a time when buying a phone sim free meant that you owned it fully unlocked and fully featured.

    Bring back those days please!

  • Owain

    You guys are given a choice and you complain and whine about it… Seriously, have a cup of coffee, take some deep breaths and say to yourself “It’s going to be alright!” twenty times…

  • Anderson

    Droid razr super ultra maxxx dev with kevlar and stuff is gonna be released right after dev..
    for more information about any moto devices you can visit http://www.motoask.com/

  • Vyrlokar

    If HTC can provide unlock methods for their phones, why can’t Moto? if you got your phone subsidized, then I understand that the carrier has something to say (but once your contract ends, it’s YOUR phone, and at least you should be able to debrand it without losing warranty)

    Never liked Moto phones, personally, but that goes back to when I used their dumbphones…

  • Dragonithe

    Well, It’s just the ROM that’s different I guess because I heard the phone is just the old RAZZR
    So my guess is just flash the RUU from the developers edition and you got a DE.

  • Nate B.

    Another excuse to come out with the same phone. Just come out with a software update or some type of tool to unlock the one on the original. As much as I love Android, the manufactures make it’s success hard to come buy media wise.

  • userx

    thank god i bought a samsung..

    • professandobey

      Thank God I bought a Nexus.

  • SGB101

    simple solution would be to release both at the same time (or even separate) but call one the Razr business/enterprise (or the like) , no one would blink an eye then if it was locked,

  • Darkseider

    LOL! Failarola. I can’t wait for MWC! At the rate they are going they will announce the Droid KRZR for Summer 2012.

  • yankeesusa

    This doesn’t help anyone but major developers that can pay full price for the phone. For most of us who sign 2 year agreements and want an unlocked bootloader this is just a slap in the face. They just need to set up a system like htc otherwise people are going to continue to buy other phones like samsung and htc.

  • smeghead68

    Any changes to be being more open is good. But it still P/O’s people.

  • Jeremy Shankman

    This is just motorola’s way of getting rid of all the stock of og razr’s now that there is a maxx so soon after the original release; unlock the bootloaders and call it the special edition….