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DROID X, DROID 2 Won't Allow Custom ROMs

Various reports are indicating that both the Motorola DROID X and DROID 2 smartphones will ship with a locked and encrypted (aka digitally signed) bootloader. This will mean that owners will not have the ability to flash custom ROMS that are not officially approved and signed by Motorola. This will also put a strain on developers who sell ROOT-only apps on the Android Market.

So much for the "open" platform.

Although the original DROID isn't locked, the move follows similar actions taken with the internationally-launched Motorola Milestone. Apparently Motorola didn't like the idea of consumers flashing the DROID with custom ROMs, and thus locked out owners and developers with the next smartphone release. The Android modding community was outraged, however Motorola felt justified in its move.

"Securing the software on our handsets, thereby preventing a non-Motorola ROM image from being loaded, has been our common practice for many years," explained Lori Fraleigh in this Motorola blog back in February. "This practice is driven by a number of different business factors. When we do deviate from our normal practice, such as we did with the DROID, there is a specific business reason for doing so. We understand this can result in some confusion, and apologize for any frustration."

Naturally hackers will find a way to modify the DROID X and DROID 2--it may take longer than seen with the DROID, but it will eventually happen. Still, the modding community has options, as Motorola apparently suggested the Nexus One, the T-Mobile G1 or the HTC Dream as platforms for developing unofficial ROMS.

The Motorola DROID X will be available online and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores Thursday for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. 

  • joytech22
    It's like mototola are going BACKWARDS.. why the hell would you give up freedom? oh yeah..
    "Securing the software on our handsets"

    who cares.. so you don't want your software to be removed or improved upon..
    Reply
  • shura4ever
    Boo!
    Reply
  • scook9
    Now I feel even better about the HTC Incredible that is in the mail.....glad I did not wait for the Droid X
    Reply
  • DAK_59
    Motorola makes the device. They can lock it if they want. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
    Reply
  • house70
    DAK_59Motorola makes the device. They can lock it if they want. If you don't like it, don't buy it.+1

    besides, moto is encouraging us to get other devices, like the N1 and the others... We better listen.
    Reply
  • tramit
    One step closer to Apple now....
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    I don't get it. Is Motorola blind? By using Android you signed up for the Open Handset Alliance. It's exactly that, OPEN. Not closed, you numbnuts at Motorola...
    Reply
  • fiduce
    Ok, I was sold ... but this has changed my mind.
    I will NEVER by ANYTHING from a company that acts that way.
    Reply
  • NeeKo
    Locking things works pretty good for Apple, they are giving a shot. Sadly their consumers arent as blind as Apple fanbois are.
    Reply
  • nicklasd87
    I think this is because by rooting the phone you can bypass some things you would normally need to pay for with a Verizon contract, specifically tethering, which would normally cost an extra 20 bucks a month. Rooting the phone allows users to tether without the extra cost. I was totally going to take advantage of that with the Droid X too...
    Reply