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BLOG: Android upgrade fail list: Which companies made promises they couldn't keep?

JR Raphael | Jan. 7, 2013
Another year's behind us, and that means it's time to fire up our magical truth-seeking missiles and see which Android manufacturers are writing checks they can't cash.

Another year's behind us, and that means it's time to fire up our magical truth-seeking missiles and see which Android manufacturers are writing checks they can't cash.

The arena of broken dreams? Upgrades, of course. With Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean release out in the wild since summer, the software is slowly but surely making its way to devices 'round the world. But while phone- and tablet-makers love to spend time talking about their plans for keeping gadgets up-to-date, some of them don't seem to spend quite as much energy making sure those promises come true.

keep a close eye on the status of Android upgrades, and that gives me a front-row seat to what companies say and what they actually do. Sometimes, the level of disparity is disheartening.

So gather 'round, boys and girls: It's time to keep 'em honest. Here's a look at which Android manufacturers failed to keep their word for device upgrade promises in the fourth quarter of 2012.

HTC

HTC's broken promises actually stretch back to the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich release -- yup, the one unveiled way back in October of 2011. HTC's been promising ICS for its Thunderbolt and Droid Incredible 2 for more than a year now, but aside from the occasional vague "it's still coming!" remark, owners of the phones have yet to see a thing.

HTC originally said the Thunderbolt would be upgraded between July and August of 2012; the company also said it would provide specific timing details for the Incredible 2 within that same window.

It's tough to say whether the blame lies with HTC, Verizon, or some combination of the two -- but regardless of where you point your finger, the situation is smothered in the stench of upgrade promise fail.

LG

LG's made some impressive strides in hardware lately, but when it comes to the company's own self-branded phones, keeping up with software promises continues to be a source of struggle. LG has an embarrassingly bad track record with Android upgrades, and its list of unfulfilled assurances grows longer with each passing quarter.

The latest entry is the company's Optimus G phone, which -- despite being the basis for Google's flagship Android 4.2 device, the Nexus 4 -- is still waiting for its Android 4.1 upgrade to arrive. LG promised that the phone's upgrade would appear before the end of December.

And don't even ask about the list of LG phones still waiting on long overdue Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades. It's bad enough to make you cringe.

Motorola

Moto's in the midst of a major transition, and -- thanks to Google's influence on the company -- is starting to show signs of a newfound focus on reliable upgrades for its products. Still, the company has a lot of old baggage in its hands, and that means some pre-acquisition promises are getting pulverized.

 

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