Australian Motorola Atrix 4G owner Irwin Proud quickly discovered that it’s bootloader was locked after his purchase of the device earlier this year. In response, he formed a “Groubal” page to attempt to get the attention of Motorola and convince it that there is a large subset of users who wish to develop for the Atrix and cannot due to the immutable security.
The Groubal page has grown quickly, currently at over 8800 signatures since it’s inception on March 31st. Motorola has since taken notice, and has issued a response: “…It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, where carriers and operators will allow it.”
This follows Motorola’s earlier statement that it is “working closely with our partners to offer a bootloader solution that will enable developers to use our devices as a development platform.” It remains to be seen which carriers will actually allow the unlocked bootloaders on their networks, as Motorola remains subject to their ultimate approval or denial.
Proud promises to maintain contact with Motorola and continue pushing towards a firm release or announcement. Motorola may be feeling increased pressure over the issue of bootloader security after Sony Ericsson launched it’s bootloader unlocking site for the Xperia line of smartphones. With this announcement, HTC remains the only major Android OEM with locked, signed bootloaders who hasn’t addressed the issue of unlocking for developer use.