Update 2: Apparently, there were Moto reps spewing false information at the Sprint event today, because both Android Central and Droid-Life have received word that the Photon 4G will not ship with an unlocked bootloader. The statement that Motorola released was still rather cryptic, however:
Motorola has recognized the passion around this topic in our communities. As we’ve previously communicated, it is our intention to include the unlockable/relockable bootloader in software releases starting in late 2011, where operator and channel partners will allow it. However, this feature is not included in the software found on PHOTON 4G.
Droid-Life went on to get a second statement:
It will not contain the unlockable/relockable feature; additional details beyond that will be available when the product comes to market. As you mention, our intent is to enable this feature on devices later this year and we will share updates on that as they become available as well.
Although it says that the Photon 4G will not ship with an unlockable/relockable bootloader, they didn't provide a definitive definition as to what unlocked means in this scenario. We'll make sure to keep you posted as the saga unfolds.
---Original post below:
Out of all the exciting things we learned about the Motorola Photon 4G today, this one probably takes the cake: according to Android Central, the 4.3-inch beast will ship with an unlocked bootloader. While we're not sure if this information was confirmed by Motorola or Sprint, AC seems to be pretty confident that, upon release, this device will not be locked down.
Hopefully this is the direction that Motorola is going to take with future devices - at least in my eyes, that would put them back in the game in a big way.
Update: It looks like the Android and Me crew got confirmation from a Motorola rep.