Motorola’s ICS schedule highlights Android’s biggest weakness

Forget patent trolling – Android’s biggest weakness, and most daunting obstacle to overcome, is its complete and utter lack of updates. Motorola has detailed its upgrade plans for Ice Cream Sandwich – and it ain’t good. If the company Google just bought can’t even update its phones properly, what can we expect from the rest?

The list of phones and when – if ever – they’re going to get their Ice Cream Sandwich updates is depressing, indeed. Other than the US version of the Wifi-only Xoom, the Motorola ICS rollout is going to start in the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest, with another group of devices planned for the third quarter. By far the largest group of devices are in the “Evaluation & Planning” phase – meaning, Motorola has no damn clue whatsoever.

“Thank you for being a Motorola Mobility customer,” thanks dude, “We know you value having the latest and greatest technology on your device. We are working very closely with Google and our carrier partners to bring you the best possible experience on each of our devices powered by Android. This means ensuring that all upgrades and updates enhance device functionality and provide an overall improved experience.”

Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG – none of them have begun their Ice Cream Sandwich rollout. Everybody knew it was going to be a long road, but this long? None of them have even started rolling out ICS yet? I knew I had to expect a little delay in getting ICS when I bought my Galaxy SII a few months before ICS’ official release, but we’re halfway February now, and still – nothing.

In the meantime, both my iPad 2 and my old iPhone 3GS (currently loaned to a friend who got sick of his crappy Xperia X10) are running iOS 5. My HTC HD7 is running the latest and greatest Windows Phone 7.5 release, receiving updates on the same day Microsoft releases them. Yet, the flagship Samsung Android device is still not enjoying an Ice Cream Sandwich, almost 4 months after its release. And because the CM9 team needs code from Samsung, CM9 for the SII is held up as well.

I can accept (and expected) a month, maybe even two months. I cannot accept (and certainly did not expect) four months. This is disgraceful for a €600 high-end device. I love this phone – but I don’t get the idea it’s loving me all that much.

Forget Apple’s and Microsoft’s patent trolling – this utter lack of updates is Android’s biggest problem. The only attempt we know of of Google trying to address this issue was the update alliance, announced back in May 2011. Sadly, this has resulted in absolutely nothing at all.

Like I said in my Android review – Google, fix this. Do something.

80 Comments

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