The Moto G4 is already a device that targets budget-conscious buyers as soon as it ships out of Lenovo’s production facilities. For buyers looking to squeeze even more of a deal out of their purchases, Motorola struck a deal with Amazon to make a variant available through the retailer at an even greater discount at the expense of buyers putting up with advertising and Amazon content and apps. To help ensure that relationship stays the same, it appears Motorola locked the bootloader.
Motorola has been inconsistent in the past with regard to locking bootloaders. At times, they have sold “Developer Edition” versions of devices that came with a premium price for the ability to unlock the bootloader. In other cases, even normal Motorola devices were eligible for an unlock code if a consumer went through the trouble of tracking one down. In yet other instances, the company locked the bootloader.
In the case of the Amazon Prime Exclusive Moto G4, Motorola’s support page indicates the bootloader cannot be unlocked. Neither Motorola nor Amazon come out and say it, but the reason for this is almost certainly the need to ensure buyers are exposed to that Amazon advertising instead of flashing their own firmware onto the device as soon as it shows up on their doorstep.
If you were interested in a bootloader unlocked version of the Moto G4, it looks like you will have to at least spring for the $200 cost of a non-Amazon Prime version. That is not a very steep premium for someone who is interested in digging into and modifying the operating system on their device.