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Motorola Screws Droid Bionic Owners Again



In a message today, Motorola confirmed some bad news for owners of earlier Motorola-made Android devices saying that it doesn’t have plans to include any older devices – Droid Bionic and Droid 3 included – in its unlocked bootloader program that it announced last year.

Motorola has, according to Droid-Life, confirmed the bad news on Twitter today in response to a question from a concerned Motorola Android device owner.

The news comes just a few days after Motorola finally launched its bootloader program in which the bootloaders on the Photon Q, RAZR developer edition, Xoom for Verizon and Xoom WiFi can now be unlocked.

Read: Droid Bionic Ice Cream Sandwich Update Gets Embarrassing News.


The Droid Bionic bootloader isn’t in line for an unlock.

Devices of the future will likely have their bootloaders unlocked as well though it looks like aging devices won’t be included in the program.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to owners who are by now used to having their bootloader encrypted and locked down. And for owners of many of these devices who won’t get the opportunity to unlock their bootloader, this development stings, especially after the long wait for the program.

However, it probably stings worse for owners of the Motorola Droid Bionic who have been let down time and time again by their manufacturer and carrier overlords.

Very quickly, for those taking score at home, let’s run it down:

  1. First announced at CES 2011, the Motorola Droid Bionic is delayed all the way until September.
  2. Motorola and Verizon decided to announce the Motorola Droid RAZR soon after the launch of the Droid Bionic. The Droid RAZR is superior in almost every way.
  3. Motorola promises Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in “early Q3.” Early Q3 comes and goes without a peep from either company about the update.
  4. Motorola does not include the Droid Bionic in its bootloader unlock program which means that owners will not be able to fully customize their device or easily install leaked software. It also completely gimps the Droid Bionic development community.

This is just another sad chapter in a saga that will likely come to an end with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is likely out of the question and the Droid Bionic will be as forgotten about as the Motorola Droid X2.

So while I feel bad that devices like the Droid 3 and Droid X2 won’t get their bootloaders unlocked, I feel worst for Droid Bionic owners who have again been let down by Motorola.

Any Droid Bionic owners out there as peeved as I am?



  1. Zac

    08/22/2012 at 3:02 pm

    As a Bionic owner, I’m not sure if I’ve finally gone numb to the whole experience or what. Day in, and day out, I wait patiently for news, ANY GOOD news to come out concerning this phone and instead it’s plagued with nothing but silence (from both sides). It’s customer service at it’s absolute worst!

    • Kenten Shafer-Olson

      08/23/2012 at 10:40 am

      My next phone is going to be a Samsung

      • John doh

        09/10/2012 at 7:17 pm


    • George

      09/03/2012 at 11:18 am

      I asked about ics on the Droid bionic on their FB page and got a response of Q3

  2. Mai

    08/22/2012 at 3:32 pm

    I’m not that tech savvy but what does this mean? Does that mean we won’t even get ICS (which is so delayed that I truly wouldn’t be surprised). Or just that JB is impossible (which is expected since we still don’t have ICS).

    • Michael

      08/22/2012 at 4:07 pm

      The Bionic not being included in the Unlocker Program has nothing to do with receiving updates for ICS of JB, but Motorola still needs to come through on that end as well.

      • Bionic Man

        08/22/2012 at 8:54 pm

        At this point I’m pretty convinced we’re not even going to see an official ICS from Motorola. It’s been too long since we’ve seen a leaked build or any news at all about an ICS update. Given Motorola’s huge layoffs and the fact that neither Verizon nor Motorola cares about this phone, I think they quietly cancelled the update and aren’t telling anyone.

  3. Bionic No More

    08/22/2012 at 3:32 pm

    iPhone 5 here I come!

  4. Stu

    08/22/2012 at 3:32 pm

    I have been let down too many times by Motorola and VZW with my bionic. I got sucked in by all the pre sale hype only to have a better droid come out days later. Now the constant letdowns. I am a droid fan but I think my next phone will be an iPhone. It’s not my OS of choice but my bionic experience from day 1 has been filled with empty promises causing to consider making the change next time around.

    • leandro

      08/23/2012 at 10:05 am

      just go with a different brand, like samsung.
      i’m not an iphone hater by any mean, but i don’t think your experience will improve since the OS is boring and outdated. siri? there is a bunch of silly things about the OS.

  5. Shua

    08/22/2012 at 3:33 pm

    When I first got this phone I was so excited cause the phone was incredible. Now I hate this purchase because of the crap pulled. This is supposed to be one of their better phones, yet we can’t get any of the updates even basic android phones are getting. Yup I am peeved to say the least.

  6. Bryan

    08/22/2012 at 4:01 pm

    Unbelievable!!! I have watched and waited as people who got lower standard phones than me get upgraded OS. WTH!? I really am frustrated by constant promises that Motorola makes that they can’t live up too. And to top it off you can go in, get a new phone and have Verizon take away your unlimited data!? From the frying pan to the fire. Doesn’t seem like either company cares about loyalty!? Give us your money and go away. Really nice. No wonder Motorola is losing to Apple. Step back and look at the big picture guys!

    • Mike

      09/02/2012 at 7:55 am

      Do some research. Apple has nowhere near androids market share. They are only winning in the ehes of the media and stupid sheep like yourself!

  7. OldSlowOne

    08/22/2012 at 4:01 pm

    For me it’s simple. I will speak with my wallet.
    I am done with Motorola and if I can find another carrier with coverage in my area Verizon is gone too.
    I am tired of being bent over.

  8. Bill

    08/22/2012 at 4:23 pm

    we have been with verizon for over 15 years. this is not good for the company. a class action suit will surely arise if they let us all down. sprint and samsung are waiting for this failure.

  9. Bionic Merlin

    08/22/2012 at 4:33 pm

    I don’t think I will ever buy another heavily hyped smartphone the day it hit the streets. The unlocked bootloader program was announced before the Bionic was released, it was simply expected. Motorola is having a very hard time breaking even on phones, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Motorola Mobility rides off into the sunset in a year or 2.

    I was Bionic before the Bionic was ;)

  10. Chris

    08/22/2012 at 4:46 pm

    I’m pissed!!! My wife & I have Bionics that we received earlier this year. No more Motorola devices for us!! The next phones will not be made by Motorola!! Absolutely not!!

  11. sdm

    08/22/2012 at 5:36 pm

    They should allow us to change phones before our contract is up. The Bionic had been dissapointing.

  12. Tyler Cutler

    08/22/2012 at 6:07 pm

    At this point I am just so disappointed in Motorola and will soon be switching to the new iPhone this fall.

  13. Mark Hammond

    08/22/2012 at 6:48 pm

    My Bionic will be the last Motorola I ever own. Looking forward to the iPhone 5 or next Google Nexus phone. That is unless it’s made by Motorola..

    • james

      08/22/2012 at 7:00 pm

      But doesn’t Google officially own Motorola now? Wouldn’t that mean better hardware in the upcoming years?

  14. john

    08/22/2012 at 7:14 pm

    My first droid razr headphone jack failed about 2 weeks after purchasing it. My 2nd droid razr headphone jack failed again about 6 months later. I sent my droid razr back to verizon wireless after going into a verizon reseller who reset my razr and connected me to a verizon wireless phone csr. I just got an email saying the hdmi port has corrosion and is not covered under warranty. They refuse to r?eturn my old phone to me. I contacted motorola and they said.they will repair the phone if they can get it. Verizon wireless refuses to return my phone though and want to charge me $299 unless i return the refurbished phone and i will not have any phone whatsoever. I spoke to a person in the attorney generals office today and they will be following up with me tomorrow.

  15. skullie

    08/22/2012 at 9:55 pm

    I don’t understand. You guys make a awesome phone and there are so many phones out there. Why can’t you make your customers happy and love there product that there in a two year contract with. Knowing now we are screwed. Because someone can’t make it happen. All this hype all month long and to hear this. I got this phone because they said it was awesome and did so much. ? Guess not

  16. Jim

    08/23/2012 at 5:24 am

    I’m not peeved at all. Anyone that buys a Moto phone on the VZ network expecting an unlocked bootloader is fooling themselves. I bought mine assuming it would never be unlocked. Now, if they lock down root I will be peeved, very peeved.

    • mistermorphinealt speed

      08/25/2012 at 11:04 pm

      If you’re concerned about them locking down root just get on an ICS leak and make sure your OTA path stays broken. The only point to having the bootloader unlocked would be the ability to flash kernels, and the kexec folks have (fairly successfully so far) circumvented the bootloader to flash kernels.

      There has never been anything wrong with the bionic hardware, If you don’t believe that flash an ICS leak.

  17. phil

    08/23/2012 at 9:20 am

    Asurian insurance just replaced my bionic with a razr. I guess their even tired of the problems

  18. Jeanné M. Tatro-Toohey

    08/23/2012 at 10:32 am

    Phil, how did you get asurion to replace your phone with a razor? What did you tell them? My bionic had been having battery issues and overheating issues and am hoping to get a replacement with a different phone, even if I have to pay. Did they make you pay to get a razor?

    • phil

      08/24/2012 at 5:53 am

      My first one fell in the lake. Then the replacement they sent me the ear phone jack wouldnt work and the speaker buzzed when people talked to me. When i called about getting it fixed they said they had to replace it with the razr. Now im having to wait for them to send me a sim card that will fit.

      • phil

        08/24/2012 at 5:59 am

        Ohh and it cost me the initial insurance claim. 90 i think. But the razr appears to be new it wasnt in a refurb box like the bionic i had recieved.

  19. Dirtdawg57

    08/23/2012 at 1:16 pm

    Aging device? It’s not even a year old and it is nearly the same as a razr! I actually like it better than the razr! And I thought Google wanted devices supported for 2 years!

  20. Bill

    08/23/2012 at 8:08 pm

    like our politicians, lies lies and constant let downs. bye bye motorola and verizon for letting them get away with this. shame on you 2 companies. we will not soon forget.we can surely hurt you in the pocket.

  21. Joe Reese

    08/23/2012 at 8:59 pm

    I now own a Motarola because I was tired of being screwed by LG, so now what should I buy? I’ve had my fill of paying out the nose for mediocre service and malfunctioning equipment, how do these companies get away with it?

    • dahobbs

      08/23/2012 at 10:18 pm

      EVERYONE needs to give multiple feedback to Moto AND Verizon. Same crap here to, verizon blames me and claims on every tech support call that they have never received ANY complaints and know of NO issues with the Bionic! Ha Ha there best answer was to wipe my phone and start over! Or file an insurance claim. I did the latter at $90the deductible and got a return with worse issues and had to pay another $90 deductible two months later to finally Beth there garbage refurb replaced. That’s $180 plus monthly $$ for insurance and STILL do not have a reliable phone! Best best would be to start a CLASS ACTION and ATTORNEY GENERALS combo attack. Only then will Verizon and Motorola (google) stop screwing there dwindling customers and take action to backup what they push. Were now down to an 8 months EOL and non user replaceable batteries. So they both know how to treat there few “stupid” customers they have left whom pay for a new device only to be forced to shell out even more $$$ to replace it now when a defect or (software) is not fixed OR now when the battery goes to crap with less than a years use. BOTH Motorola AND Verizon KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT THERE DOING and that there’s NOTHING THE CUSTOMERS CAN OR WILL DO ABOUT IT EXCEPT GIVE THEM SOME MORE $$$ LG is crap so other than iphone what’s reliable, rootable and has custom rom support? Oh and isn’t a piece of buggy unsupported crap?

  22. SWAT F/A

    08/26/2012 at 12:08 pm

    Verizon has be hyping this up for sometime anyone know why they are not following though on the original plan?

  23. tom f

    08/29/2012 at 6:45 pm

    I now have to reboot my Bionic every day or so to start up gps and other radios. Verizonand Moto could provide a cheap upgrade path for long suffering Bionic owners. Fat chance they want to make customers feel good about purchasing their products.

  24. george

    08/29/2012 at 9:21 pm

    No problems with my bionic even was running latest ics. Will probably go with either a Nexus or samsung S3.

  25. fuverizon

    09/01/2012 at 4:45 am

    The only reason I will keep this piece of shit is 1. It’s rooted.
    2. I have an unlimited data plan.
    3. I am fucking verizon up the ass by using it as my mobile hot spot-FREE OF CHARGE! Averaging 12GB per month!

    • tim

      09/01/2012 at 6:16 am

      How does one do that?

  26. fuverizon

    09/01/2012 at 4:47 am

    And yes, I do have an iphone.

  27. w

    09/02/2012 at 12:10 pm

    It is not the phone but the maker of the phone, that is the problem. If a company wants to foster good relations with their customers they actively work to keep customers by creating value added features for their products. Obviously Motorola only wants to try to force owners of older devices to purchase new devices in order to get these value added features. News flash…Motorola is not the only maker of mobile devices, so I will take my business to another manufacturer, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

  28. scott

    09/02/2012 at 2:22 pm

    What have I done to deserve this? So many platforms have the upgread? Why not us? I have actually seem communication saying its still 3Q but we had word of early 3Q not hanging by the fingernails 3Q. And 3Q was already too laye for a platorm that is already getting outdated. Pathetic at best.

    • scott

      09/02/2012 at 2:23 pm


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