July 14, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
So you’re in love with the Motorola Droid X and want to buy Moto’s next mammoth device. Great, just don’t plan on rooting it to flash custom ROM’s or you’ll be in for a rude awakening. The Droid X uses the same bootloader as the Motorola Milestone, which still hasn’t been cracked. Getting to the bootloader is crucial to the process, so the lockout makes it unlikely that the Droid X can flash custom ROM’s.
Sorry, but them’s the breaks, according to a Motorola blog post. In response to people asking why Motorola purposely prevented them from being able to hack their devices, Lori Fraleigh of the MOTODEV Blog had this to say:
We understand there is a community of developers interested in going beyond Android application development and experimenting with Android system development and re-flashing phones. For these developers, we highly recommend obtaining either a Google ADP1 developer phone or a Nexus One, both of which are intended for these purposes.
At this time, Motorola Android-based handsets are intended for use by consumers and Android application developers, and we have currently chosen not to go into the business of providing fully unlocked developer phones.
It’s not just developers, Ms. Fraleigh. There’s a large number of consumers who want custom ROM’s, evidenced by the more than 100,000 people who downloaded popular ROM’s like Buggless Beast and CyanogenMod last week. Plenty of people believe phones should be open to modding, especially since Android is open-source, but Motorola makes it clear that their phones are intended for regular consumers, not adventurous people looking to tinker with the phone.
I’m the type of person who believes if I spend money on my phone, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. However, I also acknowledge that Motorola is free to do whatever it wants with its products. You as consumers are also free to not purchase anymore Motorola phones if flashing ROM’s is something you desire.
As one person points out on Twitter, the Motorola blog post quoted was written in February. We’re writing about this now because the issue has reappeared in light of the Droid X having the same bootloader as the Milestone and to add information to why that is so people can decide if they will purchase the phone.