Motorola lashes out at bootloading question, apologizes

Motorola’s brazen response to the question of why it doesn’t allow users to root its phones caught many off guard, and now the company has officially come out to apologize.

It may have been a new hire at Motorola’s PR department, or maybe even someone in a different department entirely, who logged into the company’s official Youtube account and posted a lashing comment in a video discussion. In response to a legitimate question about why Motorola “bootloads” its Android handsets, someone behind the held of Motorola’s Youtube account shot back:

“if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks.”

Although it was in the middle of tons of comments on a Youtube video, people latched onto it because of its harsh, seemingly anti-customer tone. It grew into a big story, especially among the Android fansites.

Bootloading is a term used when the manufacturer essentially puts a giant padlock on the phone’s software, making it completely inaccessible to creative programmers and mobile enthusiasts. Other manufacturers leave it unlocked, but put in special security measures to ensure no one takes anything too far.

Now, Motorola is playing damage control. On its official Facebook page, it wrote a special note entitled “Bootloader Feedback Policy,” which reads as follows:

“We apologize for the feedback we provided regarding our bootloader policy. The response does not reflect the views of Motorola.”

However, it continues, “We are working closely with our partners to offer a bootloader solution that will enable developers to use our devices as a development platform while still protecting our users’ interests.”

That’s quite a different reaction than the rogue Youtube commenter. Clearly there are varying opinions on the policy within the company itself. And that’s why topics like this are so difficult to address.