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Bionic, Thunderbolt, Revolution, Galaxy Tab 10.1 unlikely to get ICS, but will get mild upgrade

Top Android-centric blog Droid Life has picked up an interesting tidbit from "Redditor" "DroidTosser", who posted screenshots purportedly from Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD).

America's top carrier appears to be preparing Ice Cream Sandwich updates to three phones -- the Motorola RAZR, RAZR MAXX, and Rezound by HTC Corp. (TPE:2498)-- as well as a tablet, the Motorola Xoom 3G/4G.

One might suspect that Google Inc. (GOOG) who has almost acquired Motorola, might be playing a bit of favorites, upgrading its soon-to-be-subsidiary to Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" first.  That may be the case, but at least one major Motorola handset -- the Bionic -- appears not to be getting the ICS bump.

ICS updates
Some VZW devices -- mostly from Motorola will get a May ICS bump. [Source: DroidTosser]

VZW reportedly has milder Gingerbread updates in testing for the Bionic and for other handsets.  Those handsets also include the Revolution from LG Electronics, Inc. (KSC:066570) (aka, the LG Esteem), HTC Thunderbolt, and Xperia Play from Sony Corp. (TYO:6758).

In a move that's sure to raise some eyebrows, VZW is not giving the Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- which was long reported as the best-selling Android tablet -- an Ice Cream Sandwich update yet, despite giving one to Xoom -- a notorious sales flop.

Are Google and Verizon Wireless giving Motorola "favored nation" status?  You decide.

But for the lucky recipients, the testing should be complete by 5/17, with the Rezound's testing being finished early (5/7).  Thus users can expect within three weeks or so to be sporting the hot new ICS OS, which features a slew of improvements in terms of user interface and core apps over Android 2.3 "Gingerbread", the prior phone release.

Source: Reddit via Droid Life



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By StevoLincolnite on 4/28/2012 3:30:29 PM , Rating: 1
Sad part is, companies aren't capatilising on the OS upgrades, they could charge people for an upgraded OS. - Just ask Microsoft how many Billions they made from that plan in the Desktop space.

I doubt many people would be upset with a small fee in the firm knowledge that their device will be supported for much longer.


By Rukkian on 4/30/2012 11:30:47 AM , Rating: 1
Because there are a bunch of people that think they deserve free upgrades for as long as the have a device, whether that makes sense the company or not.

I would be fine paying a seperate fee if I bought a locked down phone and did not like tinkering, but it would be difficult to figure out how much that fee would be. It takes a like of resources to customize the os for each device and make sure it is near perfect when it goes out. If it is not very good, then support calls would go through the roof. They also have no idea how many would actually pay the fee.

There is a high % of phone buyers that would never have any clue what os a phone has or why they would want to upgrade. Obviously the more that pay the fee, the lower it would be.


By geddarkstorm on 4/30/2012 4:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
No, because Android is a linux distribution, open source, and free (for most intents and purposes). Hence why third party ROMers/Modders can make all these derivatives for phones without getting into any sort of trouble. Don't see anyone making custom versions of iOS or WP7.


By Rukkian on 5/1/2012 12:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
No what? No paying the company that makes the phone to release an upgraded OS? You always have the option to ROM (I am currently running AOKP Milestone 5 on my GNEX), but for those that do not want to install custom roms, I think an option to buy updates would be nice.


By geddarkstorm on 5/2/2012 2:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
There are so many things wrong with your post.

For instance, the companies that make the phone hardware -do not make the OS-. Only Apple makes both the hardware and the OS. And what about the cellular carriers who have to distribute the OS and customize it for use on their network? So, to whom do you pay?

And why would an option to buy upgrades be nice when you get upgrades for free as it is? Companies that are slow to upgrade devices usually are thus because it's -hard-, due to all the diverse hardware platforms. Any ROMer will tell you that. It's very rare to have a ROM that gives the full functionality of the phone. Even official OTA updates/upgrades botch that at times. Every phone has to be addressed individually, and that's a lot of effort, time, and resource that companies that make the phones have to put in to tweaking the OS's they licensed to ensure a good experience on their product and proper functionality on a carrier's network.

Finally, the cost of "upgrading" your OS is -already included in the cost of the phone- you bought. When you bought the phone, you also bought any upgrades that would be ported to it. So why would you pay again an additional amount over what you already paid? It's part of the consumer agreement. But the company retrains the right to no longer support a device--and that's where competition between companies and carriers comes in.


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