Motorola: ‘Buy Elsewhere if You Want Custom ROMs’

January 19, 2011

Views: 611

We all know Android is set to be an open platform, but in the end it's the hardware manufacturer that makes the decision to just how open. And Motorola has been pretty open with their strong stance on rooting and custom ROMs on their devices, and now they have stated that if you want to root, "buy elsewhere."

These comments were made on the official YouTube page for the upcoming Atrix ad - first the question/comment, then Motorola's reply:

Even though this phone seems to have the best hardware specs yet, no sale if the bootloader is locked like the Motorola Milestone I have. It’s really upsetting to not be able to put custom roms on MY device…

Please Moto, do the right thing. [For your customers, that is]

"@tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks"

This is a pretty bold move on Motorola's part, and honestly this is not how a company should interact with its users no matter how true the statements are. What do you think about Motorola's stance on rooting and ROMs? Do you think these comments were necessary? Take a peek at the thread started in the Android Central forums [here] and tell us what you think of the situation.

[Via Android Central]

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  • Dave

    perfect time for HTC to come out and say that they encourage custom roms for their phones.

  • FallenCow

    My Droid’s would not nearly be as usable if it weren’t for custom roms. I was excited about Moto’s upcoming Android phones but looks like I will indeed be “buy elsewhere”.

  • mostlyDigital

    Are people upset at M’s lack of tact or their business decision to protect their intellectual property? Considering the small percentage of people who actually modify their phone’s software the business decision is hard to fault. They could be, maybe they should be more tactful, but they are making a statement.

  • drey

    WOOOW..thats kinda funny tho.come to think of it, these phones are selling cos of custom roms and other customizations one can do to the phone..if i have to buy somewhere else then so be it..although i got no motorala phones, im still a fan of their products but that statement they gave on youtube aint cool mann..well i guess imma stay with HTC more love for moto

  • Douglas Ford

    It’s not that big of a deal honestly. I love Motorola’s products as my personal favorite (I’ve owned HTC, Motorola, Garmin/Asus, Samsung, etc), and I think Motorola’s “locked down” Droid X was easy get past their “lock down”. But either way my Droid X when it is unrooted is still the best phone I’ve owned (way better then the crappy Fascinate, and it has its benefits over my old Droid Incredible). Such a solid, well designed, bug free build pushed by Motorola that I still will stand by them. Even if they further lock down their devices!

  • ChaosKiller

    Well they should’ve said this before I got my motorola milestone a year ago. Still no froyo and 2.1.1 is still buggy.

  • Mike

    I had already decided before this to ditch my D2 for something else before I knew of this specifically because of their locked bootloader. Nice to know my decision fits with their business strategy. And yes Motorola, I will be ditching your better hardware for a manufacturer that is more open.

  • Jeremy

    Wow Moto, that’s pretty ballsy for even you. Its bad enough so many android users have shunned you already for locking down the bootloader, but you have to be rude. Yes you have some really nice devices coming out, like the Atrix, Wow that phone blows away everyone else’s, (**At the Moment**), but I, just like so many others out there chose android because it is open source, and because you can run custom roms. I have a D1, my wife has a DX, and these are the very last Moto phones we will EVER own, oh yeah and the people you piss off with shrewd comments and locked out phones, do have friends, who also will probably never own Moto. C’mon HTC, lets see what you got..

  • CJ

    He handled the situation perfectly. A question was asked and an honest answer was given instead of the usual BS. The rep should be commended and promoted up the food chain! Those that don’t like can indeed buy elsewhere. The overwhelming majority of Android users have no interest in modding and it is in Motorolas best interest to try and prevent it. I love custom ROMs as much as the next guy and have run them on all of my Android phones to date. But from a business standpoint, Motorola saves itself a lot of potential warranty related issues from people jacking up their phones.

  • Gilbert

    Your missing the point. That’s just plain ol bad customer service. I have a nexus one and was considering buying motos new tablet but after that comment, no way in hell will i ever buy a moto phone. That’s like Steve Jobs saying “your holding it wrong” bad form guys bad form.

  • Yaktabe

    I feel the same way. I view a smartphone as a small “always connected” PC. I really think smartphones are the new PCs and they are in the same place in history as the PC was back in the late 1990’s. If I want to hack my phone, then I should be allowed to do that to install custom roms ect….I am not hacking my provider or doing anything manevolent to commit any DDOS attacks or anything. I am a long time HTC lover. I guess I will stay the HTC course..My two cents.

  • banon

    LOCKED BOOTLOADER takes away from the value of your phone… No update will be rolled out unless the carrier and manufacturer agree to it. Here you are spending crazy money on a phone that is obsolete in six mounts and there is no way to update the interface. Even if you try to resell it on ebay it would not bring you anything because no one wants it. Even if you dont mod your phone this still affects you. YOU WILL WANT the new better OS, we always do! but now you HAVE to buy new phone to get it… Oh and BTW Verizon canceled new every two… SO YOU ARE SCREWED with outdated phone that you spend hundreds of dollars with no cheap way out…

  • Ronald

    They cleared everything up… turns out the YouTube guy was just crazy:

  • I think that’s OK that they don’t want to open the bootloader to avoid people putting custom ROM and having returns in case of problems. But they could have used a better way to answer him.

  • Alandilo

    as a company taking advantage of an open source software disabling it with that comment, and that for commercial reasons Google should reconsider the open source license …

  • Jay

    Yeah.. the Droid X is for sure my last Motorola device. This attitude is simply unacceptable. It’s not like people are flocking to Motorola because of this “strategy.” Word to the wise: if you’re strategy isn’t directly increasing sales but may possibly be reducing it, and the opposing opinion to said strategy is in no way harmful to the company, device, or community, said strategy should probably be abandoned. You’re alienating a decent portion of your consumer base, but more importantly, the ones who will be recommending your products to others. You may have the strongest hardware, but anyone who asks me will hear that HTC is the best until you go back to the open standard available in the original Motorola Droid.

  • Jay

    Oh, and I didn’t mention, I have every intention of purchasing the HTC Thunderbolt *the minute* it’s available, even though I’ve only had my Droid X for a couple months. Why? Because I refuse to carry around a device made by people who have no concern for my opinion.

  • Motorola preventing user-initiated software upgrades on hardware that user owns is like Dell preventing users from loading Ubuntu or Redhat on their Inspiron that they own.

    Whether or not Motorola thinks that’s what the user wants doesn’t make it right by any means.

    I can appreciate Motorola’s honesty in the situation, though…even if it means they won’t make a dime off me until the attitude changes.

  • bryanp

    I’m in the market for an android phone and was eyeing the atrix or bionic after years of HTC. Thank you everyone for bringing this to light as I thought apple was the only one seriously bending users to their will. That drops one brand off the which phone to buy planning.