Motorola makes some user-friendly changes to Developer Edition policies, but is it enough?
Motorola has had a bumpy relationship with the dev community. It locks down the bootloaders on its Androids, but it eventually got around to offering an unlock tool. And while it’s made available Developer Editions of many handsets, even those saw their warranties fly right out the window the second you went to unlock them. Today we learn of a welcome change to that latter policy, but we also wonder if it’s going quite far enough.
Backtracking on that warranty issue, Motorola has now decided that Developer Edition models will retain their intact warranties even after users request bootloader unlock codes. This policy will be retroactive, restoring warranties on already unlocked models. The company is also making available factory images, to let you restore your phone to a known good state.
All that: awesome stuff – wish it happened a long time ago. But Motorola is continuing to invalidate warranties for non Developer Edition smartphones legitimately unlocked through the company’s online tool. There’s a pretty big disconnect between that policy and the DE one; if reflashing a DE model doesn’t put the phone’s hardware at risk (as has been essentially admitted with these new rules), then how can Motorola justify nullifying the warranties on non-DE devices, which only differ from DE models in terms of their software?