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What's DOS?
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎02-21-2010
Message 1 of 70 (284 Views)

A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

I have a suggestion for a possible solution that might leave both  sides happy.

Is it possible to generate an unlock sbf  file that is specific to a single phone's IMEI?  If so, couldn't  Motorola have a page for those of us wishing to unlock where we would  have to enter the IMEI of our phones and download such a one-shot  update?  The advantage to this is that the user could be required to  accept a waiver of warranty in order to download the sbf and the IMEIs  entered could then be used to track those who have waived their  warranty.

If the person then bricks their phone and  tries to return it, they would be on record and can be refused warranty  service at that time.

That way everyone compromises and  hopefully everyone is happy.  It might even earn MotoDev some new  developers.

Just a thought, any thoughts or opinions?
Motorola Admin
Posts: 15,554
Registered: ‎02-03-2016
Location: US
Message 2 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

Sounds similar to what Nexus One has. You have to accept a little agreement having to do with your warranty (can't remember the actual language) to access the bootloader. It is an interesting approach.
What's DOS?
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎02-21-2010
Message 3 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

I think the main difference is that the Nexus One actually has a fuse that burns when the phone has been unlocked which marks it as such for anyone trying to get warranty.  I would assume the Milestone doesn't have that so building an IMEI database of unlocked phones would be the next best thing.

Glad you like the idea, is there any way I could get that idea to the people who make the decisions?

Motorola Admin
Posts: 15,554
Registered: ‎02-03-2016
Location: US
Message 4 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

I did not know that! That is really interesting! Thanks for the info.

I have shared this idea internally.

Motorola Admin
Posts: 15,554
Registered: ‎02-03-2016
Location: US
Message 5 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

I've been Googling around and reading other sites but I can't find any confirmation of the physical fuse. Do you have a source for that?
What's DOS?
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎02-21-2010
Message 6 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

I can't find specific confirmation that it is an efuse that HTC uses but according to this forum thread on xda-developers.com and this instructional page from androidandme.com on unlocking and rooting the Nexus One it appears to be a one-way process that could only be reversed by an actual HTC engineer.  One of the speculations is that an efuse is blown but HTC isn't telling anyone, obviously to prevent people from trying to subvert  the unlock in case they have a problem.

The upshot of it all is that HTC found a solution to keep their all of their customers happy and cover their own rear-ends while doing it.

The IMEI database (or something equivalent) would be a simple solution that doesn't require Motorola to make any changes to the hardware design.  Of course, this is assuming there isn't already some hidden method of unlocking a Milestone like the Nexus One's that Motorola has just decided not to disclose for "business reasons".

Motorola Admin
Posts: 15,554
Registered: ‎02-03-2016
Location: US
Message 7 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

If there are two truths about mobile devices I think I can state with confidence, they are "nothing is simple" and "nothing makes all customers happy."      That doesn't mean that it isn't an interesting idea. As I said earlier, I have brought it up internally.

What struck me when looking through the thread where this was being discussed is how few of these (apparently) hard-core hackers were willing to trade their warranty for bootloader access. I didn't read all 50+ pages but through the first 10 or 15 there was very little interest in making that bargain. I will be quite interested in seeing how owners react to that deal when we have a more significant sample size -- if Google continues to have that on their devices.

Would you make that deal? Pay $500 or $600 for a device with no warranty but full bootloader access? I think some developers might, but not many non-developers. I'd be interested in hearing what people think.

(Some readers will take this opportunity to bash us for the current policies -- understood.)

Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 4,187
Registered: ‎02-25-2016
Location: US
Message 8 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

I don't know if I would do that personally, but that does sound fair to me.
*the search bar is your friend*
-This is a peer to peer support forum, MOTOXPRTs are volunteers, not Motorola employees
What's DOS?
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎02-21-2010
Message 9 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

Matt wrote:

If there are two truths about mobile devices I think I can state with confidence, they are "nothing is simple" and "nothing makes all customers happy."      That doesn't mean that it isn't an interesting idea. As I said earlier, I have brought it up internally.

What struck me when looking through the thread where this was being discussed is how few of these (apparently) hard-core hackers were willing to trade their warranty for bootloader access. I didn't read all 50+ pages but through the first 10 or 15 there was very little interest in making that bargain. I will be quite interested in seeing how owners react to that deal when we have a more significant sample size -- if Google continues to have that on their devices.

Would you make that deal? Pay $500 or $600 for a device with no warranty but full bootloader access? I think some developers might, but not many non-developers. I'd be interested in hearing what people think.

(Some readers will take this opportunity to bash us for the current policies -- understood.)

I don't think that thread is a reliable sample group but you're right; there are probably quite a few people who when faced with the fact of voided warranty will choose not to.  The important thing to take away from it though is that they are able to choose.

Personally, I would take that chance.  I have had the phone now long enough that I am confident the hardware is sound.  Generally, with as few moving parts as the Milestone has if something is going to physically break down, it will do so fairly quickly.  Most of the other problems people would have are likely not to be warranty issues anyway.  Also speaking for myself; I have come to the Milestone from an HTC Dream which I had rooted and had been running a custom rom roughly two months after I purchased the phone.  I have enough experience and confidence that I wouldn't brick the phone, especially considering I don't particularly care about custom roms; I just want root so that I can run a couple of programs that require root.  I don't need to overclock or anything that would risk  the hardware itself.

I believe there are probably a fair number of people who are likewise willing to take that chance.  Not to mention the fact that after a year, there would be no warranty to void anyway and thus the whole argument of "we're trying to protect your warranty" becomes moot.  If this is really concern over warranty will Motorola allow people to unlock the phone once that warranty has naturally expired?

Regardless of the technical details of it all I think the underlining tenet of all of this is choice.  All that we are asking for is the freedom to choose what to do with the hardware we have purchased from Motorola.  Most of the reasonable people are not asking for anything proprietary.  We don't need the source code to proprietary applications or drivers.  The drivers themselves are sufficient; provided adequate drivers can be provided for current versions of the AOSP code.

If, as the Nexus One does, the Milestone wipes the memory during unlock leaving us to install only the Android operating system and drivers and none of the Motorola specific apps like MotoNav I'd be happy.

Finally, as I said elsewhere, this could lead to a number of benefits to Motorola.  Given the freedom of choice yes, all of your customers would be happy; at least on that topic.  Anything else that makes them unhappy with their Milestone is between them and Motorola.  People would stop spamming this forum and the Motorola Facebook pages with the angry vitriol that is currently flooding your valued social media.  And Motorola's developers would get the help of developers in the community who are otherwise unwilling to contribute to Motorola's code base because of the current restrictions.

The big point to hammer home is choice.  Please ask the powers that be at Motorola to give us one.  Otherwise, many of us will make the only other choice that is left, choose not to purchase Motorola products.

What's DOS?
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎01-12-2010
Message 10 of 70 (284 Views)

Re: A Possible Solution to the Unlock Situation

Matt wrote:

Would you make that deal? Pay $500 or $600 for a device with no warranty but full bootloader access? I think some developers might, but not many non-developers. I'd be interested in hearing what people think.

Even if users that are not ready to do it now, once the warranty runs out (1 year, according to my contract) or even before that if Motorola decides to discontinue releasing patches (say, they decide not to release 2.1 for Latam Milestone), you can bet that 100% will take the bargain, as it is a win-win situation (no support vs a possibility for self support). As things stand now, we are locked with no alternative support for a phone whose hardware is excellent, but depend solely on motorola to be able to keep the software up to date.

That's assuming Motorola doesn't go under for appaling customer support . I hope that someone will release an open bootloader if that happens.

BTW, you should do your homework. The processor motorola uses for the phone has eFuse support, every modder already knows that:

http://focus.ti.com/general/docs/wtbu/wtbugencontent.tsp?templateId=6123&navigationId=12316&contentI...