updated 09:30 pm EDT, Sun October 23, 2011
Verizon RAZR only locked version of device
Motorola's Enterprise Mobile Devices GM Christy Wyatt stated this weekend that the locked bootloader on the Droid RAZR was a specific Verizon problem. In speaking with Ausdroid, she said that the international version, just called the RAZR, would be Motorola's first phone since the crackdowns to have the option of unlocking the bootloader. It was up to the carriers, Wyatt said, and Verizon had chosen to disable the feature.
She expected that most of the bootloader unlocking would come after Android 4.0 upgrades. Carriers too have the option of deciding whether or not to upgrade the OS, although the phone's release just before Android 4 is makes it probable that most carriers will at least roll out the patch.
US carriers have historically been more restrictive than elsewhere in the world, often making it harder to unlock phones or for owners to use their choice of apps. AT&T for awhile refused to allow non-Android Market apps under controversial claims of security but later opened up support with no known ill effects. Carriers have also routinely blocked competitive apps like Skype until they too relented with the advent of 4G and faster 3G.
Verizon hasn't explained why it has taken away the option to unlock the bootloader, although it's likely to prevent malware attacks that might modify low-level code.