Motorola's relationship with unlockable bootloaders, and thus with the ROM-flashing aftermarket community, can be summed up as "complicated." While its default approach is to offer a consumer-friendly bootloader unlock on most of its phones, it nonetheless bows to the whims of its carrier masters (Verizon and AT&T) whenever they insist that said feature be disabled, and they don't offer those handy full-price Developer Editions anymore, either. Add Amazon to the list, because the retailer's customized, super-cheap edition of the fourth-generation Moto G can't be bootloader unlocked.

So sayeth the Motorola customer support page here. The Prime Exclusive Moto G (4th. Gen) is not eligible for bootloader unlock codes from either Motorola (which has the infrastructure in place) or Amazon (which doesn't). As a first-party manufacturer, Amazon has the same approach to its long-running Kindle Fire tablets. But those machines run Amazon's customized Fire OS version of Android and aren't carrier unlocked, whereas the Moto G 4th gen sold on Amazon is a standard Android phone with Google services. Amazon's software suite, and the integrated Amazon advertising that makes it $50 cheaper than the retail version, are simply layered on top of Android 6.0.

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That integrated advertising is probably why the bootloader lock is going to stay in place. There's no reason to give your customers a steep discount on a phone simply to have them flash the stock firmware as soon as they get it delivered via two-day shipping. It's possible that developers will find a way around the bootloader lock, but I can't imagine that the Prime Exclusive version of the Moto G will be a priority with the standard version already available for just $200.