Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th May 2012 17:55 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This is fun. The number one iOS carrier duking it out with the company behind the world's most popular smartphone operating system. Last month, Google's lead for the Android Open Source Project, Jean-Baptiste Queru, more or less blamed carriers (see comments) for Android's upgrade woes. Yesterday, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson retaliated, blaming Google for the delays. And yes, Google already responded to that, too.
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RE[2]: Excuses, excuses
by phoehne on Thu 10th May 2012 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Excuses, excuses"
phoehne
Member since:
2006-08-26

See my comment above for a phone specific analysis, but what you're suggesting won't work. The economic model is called 'monopolistic competition.' The phones are slightly different, but 95% the same, like laundry detergent. If you walk down a laundry detergent aisle you see "new improved" on several products with very minor differences in formulation or packaging. If you like, it's the physics of the market and the manufacturer that didn't come out with a model every few months would be seen as "stale" by the market. They would only lose market share.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Excuses, excuses
by Alfman on Thu 10th May 2012 13:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Excuses, excuses"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

phoehne,

"If you walk down a laundry detergent aisle you see 'new improved' on several products with very minor differences in formulation or packaging. If you like, it's the physics of the market and the manufacturer that didn't come out with a model every few months would be seen as 'stale' by the market. They would only lose market share."

Haha, that reminds me of shopping at CVS for toiletries I've bought for years. The products never change (which is what I want), yet just about every single item is always labeled "new and improved". It's totally meaningless marketing drivel.

It makes me wonder whether the population really is so fickle as to react to the presence or absence of the "new and improved" label, or if it is just the result of corporate employees who are desperate to justify their jobs by changing formulas by a few parts per million and collecting their paychecks.

Edited 2012-05-10 13:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Excuses, excuses
by Neolander on Thu 10th May 2012 17:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Excuses, excuses"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I do not say that phone manufacturers need to be forced to stick with "pure" Android here, but that unmodified Android should work on all Android-compatible cellphones out of the box, in a reduced functionality mode, just like OSs do on x86 PCs.

Imagine for a second what installing a Windows or Linux distro upgrade would be like if the x86 ecosystem was anything like the ARM ecosystem.

First, you have to find out how OSs are installed on your specific computer, since there is no standard Esc, Del or F1 key that you can hold pressed to boot from an external storage medium. It is at least manufacturer-specific, and often model-specific. No indication displayed at boot will help you.

Then, you have to acquire the full documentation of the SOC that inside your computer uses, and spend weeks tweaking the source code of your freshly bought OS until it merely boots and displays a crappy command-line shell.

After that, you will finally be able to install hardware manufacturer-provided drivers (the OS manufacturer cannot include all of them, since due to ARM fragmentation, the result would be waaaay too big for an embedded NAND chip), praying that these have been adapted to the latest OS ABI. If not, you will also need to write wrappers, and spend hours debugging them and optimizing their performance until they behave reasonably well.

And at the point, all you have is a working install of the vanilla OS. OEMs still have to port all their customizations to the new OS, making use of the new APIs etc... Under these circumstances, is it so strange that Android updates take so much time after Google have released the latest source ?

Edited 2012-05-10 17:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2