ball and chain

A lot of you have been waiting to hear about the status of the bootloader in the Moto X - after all, if this is Motorola's new standard, how do they intend to go forward? The answer is a bit anti-climactic: according to this developer-focused page on the Motorola website, the Moto X for Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Rogers in Canada will be unlockable, along with "two models just for developers."

What are these two models? Motorola's Vice President of Product Management Punit Soni took to Google+ to clarify.

Moto X on the Sprint, US Cellular, Rogers and T-Mobile networks will have an unlockable bootloader, and in addition, we will be offering a Verizon Wireless Developer Edition and a general North American Developer Edition.

That "general North American Developer Edition" will likely be just for AT&T (including its LTE bands), which likes unlocked bootloaders about as much as a lactose-intolerant diner likes the sneaky cheese layer in a casserole. And of course, none of this includes the Google Play Edition of the Moto X, which will forego Motorola's many software additions to 4.2.2 in favor of an AOSP build. The Moto X GPE will almost certainly have the same worldwide, AT&T, and T-Mobile bands as the One X and Galaxy S4 GPE.

ball and chain

Let's be honest here: it sucks being a Verizon or AT&T customer who wants to customize his or her phone. These companies have shown downright contempt for modders and custom ROMs, and developer editions are barely a solution (at least not on Verizon, where they are frequently late and available in extremely limited quantities). This is particularly frustrating for the Moto X, because these developer editions are unlikely to be available from the Moto Maker website, and may not come in a 32GB version either.

But the percentage of consumers who insist on relatively open hardware is small enough that it just doesn't matter to them. Those of us who fit into this small segment are going to have to suck up and deal with it, or move to a less restrictive cellular provider. Of course, that doesn't help customers who are locked into a contract, or (like yours truly) live in areas where only one carrier is a viable choice. It is, as a wise man once told me, a bugger.

Source: Motorola, Punit Soni

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Jerish Brown

    Fuck you, AT&T and Verizon.

    • Reginald Spence II

      I wish I would 1 trillion upvote this.

  • PhineasJW

    Yup -- Nexus or nothing.

    • César Augusto Ramírez Franco

      My first smartphone was a Motorola, I was so dissapointed of the
      unlockable bootloader I swore never to buy anything from them again, I
      regret nothing

      I have a personal policy, only nexus devices :)

    • Aleksey_US

      Especially Verizon... which missed the Nexus 4 train completely... I have a bad feeling the same thing will happen with Nexus 5 :(

      • Hideaki

        There' basically zero chance that the Nexus 5, or any future Nexus phone, will arrive for Verizon.

  • mystilleef

    Looks like I'll be sticking with Nexus devices.

  • Sean Donovan

    this pretty much sums up why im leaving verizon in december

    • wideopn11

      Me too!!!

  • AdamSelene

    I've been with Verizon for over 10 years. I'll be terminating my contract when the next Nexus drops.

  • InvaderDJ

    I have resigned myself to reupping my Verizon contract and Verizon is doing everything in its power to make me change my mind. It's like they get a sick sense of pleasure from how bad they screw their customers.

    • rick

      Im waiting till the next iphone comes out so I can get it via subsidy, sell the iphone to some crazed apple fan. I will likely then be getting a dev version of a phone I want.

  • Swoosh

    Typo...... et's be honest here: it sucks being a Verizon of AT&T customer. Should be Verizon OR AT&T.....

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Thanks, fixed.

      • Matthew Fry

        More: "The Moto X GPE will almost certainly have the same worldwide, AT&T, and T-Mobile as the One X and Galaxy S4 GPE."

        If I'm understanding it correctly it should be "...worldwide, AT&T, and T-Mobile *bands* as the One and Galaxy S4 GPE."

  • Steve Giralt

    The general North American version - are we thinking this will have the AT&T LTE bands? How about T-Mobile HSPA+?

    • Robert Macri

      The T-Mobile X will already be unlockable.

      • Steve Giralt

        Right but if you want to change carriers etc...

      • Zachary Morris

        Good luck with that one as the Sony Xperia Z on T Mo is not unlock-able. Seems to be a trend recently.

        • Kanaga Deepan N

          T-Mob Moto X UnLockable as per Punit Soni (Motorola VP Product Management)...

          • Zachary Morris

            I bet its not just like Sony.

  • lensgrabber

    So if I jump ship and go to T-mobile from AT&T I'm still stuck with a 16gb device. Damn that sucks. I want a 32gb phone unlocked w/ the Moto additions and carrier free bloat. I doubt I'm going to get what I want from the sounds of things.

    • Kanaga Deepan N

      Right now T-Mobile is NOT offering X (for some time) afaik. You have to get 16GB from Moto's store (T-Mob subsidized) or 32GB FULL Retail (GENERAL NorthAmerican Version from Moto store) both with Unlockable BL

  • PamelaLibrarian

    I want that wallpaper, Jeremiah. Is it a Moto X stock?

  • AshG

    Let me pull out my BS-to-English translator here. Dial turned to 'Wireless Carrier'... BS-o-Meter set to Maximum... and here's what gets spit out:

    "We really don't want customers to have the opportunity to remove any of our value-added software," said a representative from AT&T. "Even though the value is only added for us, actually making our app quality and app-based program prices comparable to similar offerings available on the open market just isn't a priority right now. If you can't remove our software, we still have the chance you'll open it by mistake and be too lazy to find a cheaper, better alternative."

    Representatives from Verizon concurred, but with a different spin. "So long as we keep the bootloader locked and continually patch root exploits, we can forcibly obsolesce phones far earlier than the customer would like. Their desire to have a phone that runs well paired with their inability to do anything about it forces them to either void their warranty and remove themselves from being our responsibility to help, or purchase a new handset ahead of schedule and prevent their turnover to another carrier. Either way, we profit."

    Duopolies suck.

  • Superparakeet

    After the whole Atrix 4G fiasco with AT&T and Motorola, I'm pretty sure I'm not buying this either after Motorola cancelled the ICS upgrade for the Atrix 4G, left a bad taste in my mouth

    • Brian Koppe

      You realize Motorola is under new ownership now, right?

      • varun

        The top layer has changed, as you correctly noted, but almost everyone who was directly responsible for that fiasco is still there. Like Superparakeet, I too am skipping on the Moto X because of my previous experience. What was most offensive about that move was that they had completed development of the base, and held up the update in order to port Blur, a worthless skin, and Webtop, a never used laggy waste of space.

        So no, never Motorola, ever again.

        • Zach B.

          When the top layer is changed, changes do "trickle down". Motorola has been completely revamped into a Google company.

          • swallowingled

            Actually, the decision not to release the ICS update came from this new top layer you speak of. It was Google's new management team that decided it was best to move forward rather than fulfill current obligations to existing customers such as releasing the ICS update they had previously told Atrix users was in the pipeline. I'm sure the Moto X will soon find it's way to Google's spring cleaning list, proving once again that Motorola nor Google can be trusted to support their products.

          • Zach B.

            Since when has Google NOT supported their products?

          • Kanaga Deepan N

            Cool bro... I am International OG RazrMAXX user to whom Moto+Google denied JB update. But now I am using European JB leak without any issue even with Locked Bootloader.

            You said "Neither Motorola nor Google can be trusted to support their products".. Atrix as well as OG RazrMAXX is PURE OLD Motorola Product, so we can give them a chance with X, because GOOGLE ALWAYS support THEIR products...

          • varun

            I would like to believe that completely. However, I think what I'm going to do is what a lot of people who were burned by Moto previously will do: sit this one out and see how it goes. If come KLP, Moto supports the X and pushes an update, then perhaps consider buying the X2 or whatever comes after. Until then, we'll continue to buy Nexus (if the program is continued) or a brand that does have a reputation for supporting their products beyond a single software generation, or at least one that is well supported by third-party ROMs.

  • someone755

    Wait, so because *most* people don't need an unlocked bootloader, the rest of us have to suffer? Then why not just release ome single version with an UNLOCKED (not unlockable, but unlocked) bootloader. Root would be nice as well :P

    • symbolset

      Your issue seems to be that people who don't care get a locked bootloader. But they don't care. If you care, get the one that's unlocked. Choices... aren't they grand?

      • someone755

        No, I was saying that because most people don't care, the devs have to suffer. And why would you have a million versions of the same phone, why couldn't they release the developer edition first? And not release anything after that, 'cause it's all the same to everyone else.

  • Matt D

    i deliver pizza to the motorola/flextronics building twice a week. I've been following this phone since the first rumor, I think I am destined to have the moto x... Thanks Motorola, Google, AT&T, and Marco's Pizza. ;p

    • someone755

      So you agree with the locked bootloader theory, then.

      • firesoul453

        Just go with sprint. Their cheaper and have unlimited data

        • someone755

          I'm in Europe. So glad I don't have to stand this BS and do whatever I want with phone :D

  • faiq

    I want to unlock my Motorola Atrix Hd Mb886 can someone
    suggest me a good code provider? I found codes at safeunlockcode.com any advice
    about them? or any other suggestion for me?