Motorola has had a dark past when it comes to bootloaders. Apart from a couple exceptions (most notably, the XOOM), all of the major Motorola devices have had locked bootloaders, and thus, Android customization enthusiasts have been shut out from such tweaks as custom kernels.
If you head over to Amazon's Facebook page right now and press "Like," you'll find the first product in Amazon's ongoing A-Z Sweepstakes, a Motorola XOOM, is up for grabs. Eight of them - to be precise. All you have to do is give Amazon your name, email address, and phone number to enter. This is a US residents-only contest, though (unlike our super-awesome Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi Giveaway.)
Boy Genius Report dropped a piece of information this afternoon confirming a long-standing suspicion that the Motorola XOOM will soon be available on America's most budget-friendly carrier, Sprint - and it'll be packing a WiMAX 4G radio.
The tip came via Sprint store employees, who found XOOM case SKUs in the Sprint inventory system, along with an actual case in an accessory shipment, as shown below.
Pricing has not yet been made public, but expect some kind of subsidy to be available with a 2-year agreement.
In what can only be described as a truly "WTF" moment, an inside source has informed Information Week that Motorola is in the process of developing its own web-based mobile OS. The question everyone is undoubtedly wants to ask is "why?"
The insider cites Motorola's frustration with Google's support of manufacturers, Android's fragmentation problems, and the difficulty of product differentiation in an Android-saturated smartphone market. These things together, says the tipster, have led Moto to believe Google is "shooting itself in the foot." The source of this rumor cites the fact that Motorola has quietly been picking up numerous former Apple and Adobe employees to work on the project over the past few months.
It seems like only yesterday we were watching Steve Jobs reveal the second iPad and wondering how Android tablet manufacturers would react (actually, it was yesterday). Now we have news that the Wi-Fi-only version of the Motorola XOOM will be priced at $539 at Sam's Club.
Previous rumors suggested the price for the non-carrier version of the tab would be $600, so this is a bit of a surprise. Of course, wholesale warehouses like Sam's and Costco are usually able to sell for much less than other retailers (they rely mostly on memberships for profit), but this is more of a discount than would typically be expected.
In an investor call today, Motorola's CEO Sanjay Jha revealed two interesting tidbits: first, that the ATRIX 4G's Webtop app and accessory are going to be made available for more Motorola devices in the future, and second, that Gingerbread updates for all of Motorola's high-end Android devices are in the works.
On the former, it may be hard for some to get excited about more Webtop action, as the ATRIX 4G's has been dubbed overpriced and "gimmicky." However, it's important to realize that if Moto plans on continuing to offer Webtop accessories and software, they will also continue improving them.
That's right, folks. Sending in your XOOM to Motorola while it's rooted will get it sent right back. Motorola will not provide 4G LTE upgrades to XOOM devices that have been rooted, plain and simple.
A forum moderator in the same Motorola support thread indicates that it's not quite as hard-line as the first responder indicated, and that your XOOM simply must be stock in terms of software functionality when Motorola receives it.
As I've said a few times previously here, I'm buying an Atrix 4G. I will be patiently waiting outside the Santa Monica AT&T store on that fateful February morning, Peet's coffee in hand, alternatively staring blankly into the store's glass and fiddling with my Nexus One. I'll probably be one of a few people there, but that's ok - I'm not a big fan of crowds.
But the battle only begins at the door.
If you like buying your smartphones at Costco, have I got news for you. Sounds like the king of giant ketchup dispensers will be offering the Atrix 4G as part of its relationship with AT&T, and for the same $150 on-contract figure Amazon quoted (and then quickly unquoted) yesterday.
Lifetime supply of toilet paper not included
I know I'll be getting an Atrix 4G come launch day, but I think I'll take a pass on Costco as a vendor.