In case you missed it, the Motorola Moto X was announced today. It’s a mid-range device with some great new features, but it’s not the wide open smartphone that we hoped it would be. It is launching with a locked bootloader, and will be locked to each of the four wireless carriers that will stock the phone. If you’re a developer or if you like to tinker with your smartphone, this is bad news. Don’t worry though. Google and Motorola are working on a Moto X Developer Edition for those of us who like more freedom over our devices. Phandroid found this out for us in a conversation with Google and Motorola reps at today’s Moto X unveiling in New York City.
There will be multiple versions of the Moto X Developer Edition. This could just mean that it will launch on each of the four U.S. wireless carriers in the same way that the locked device is launching. It could mean that there will be different color options for the Developer Edition Moto X. There could be version with different internal storage options as well. We don’t have all the details yet, but we do know that a Developer Edition Moto X is coming soon.
Like other Developer Edition Android devices, these should come with a bootloader that is unlocked. This allows users to install a custom recovery, replacing the stock recovery and allowing for the installation of custom ROMs, among other things. The GSM variants of the Moto X Developer Edition should also be SIM unlocked, allowing them to be used on any GSM carrier that is supported by the devices radios. Developers and consumers who just want a SIM unlocked device will be happy about this.
The phone will probably not be subsidized or discounted in any way. That means that we can expect to full price for the phone. While it’s priced at $199 on-contract with each carrier, it will probably be $600-650 at full price. We don’t know that for sure, but the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Edition smartphones are $649 each.
The Moto X Developer Edition will not be available at launch but will be coming soon. Whether you are a developer or just want an unlocked device, is this one that you are likely to pick up?