Yes, Motorola’s Xoom may be priced at a hefty $600 with a contract, and an outrageous $800 without. Still, the Android Honeycomb-powered tablet offers some sweet specs, and yes, it is now confirmed – an “unlockable/relockable bootloader.”
As Liliputing’s Brad Linder points out, devs and modders can leverage the unlocked bootloader to gain “deep access” to the device, thereby facilitating the coding of custom ROMs and alternative apps for the Xoom.
“The reason this is exciting is because it’s kind of the opposite of what Motorola has done with pretty much every Android smartphone the company has released over the past few years,” wrote Linder.
“While modders have figured out how to do some pretty amazing things with Motorola Droid products, they generally don’t have kernel-level access, which limits the changes they can make to the OS on those phones. It sounds like the Motorola XOOM tablet, on the other hand, will be much more open to hackers and third party developers.”
My take on all this? It seems as if after much internal deliberation, companies like Motorola and Microsoft (hello hacked Kinect!) have finally realized that allowing modders easy access to mobile devices helps build an alternative, yet comprehensive ecosystem.
This, in turn, increases the popularity of a given device and boosts sales.
Besides, jailbreaking – much to Apple’s chagrin – was recently declared legal in the land of the free and home of the brave.
So, if you can’t beat ’em, why not join ’em?
Sony – please take note!