Motorola skipping Ice Cream Sandwich update for many Android devices
Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) said it will limit the number of Android smartphones it will update to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system to just the handsets that it believes will benefit from the change. For example, the Droid 3, Droid Pro and Milestone 3 will remain on Android 2.3 (a.k.a. Gingerbread), while some phones will keep versions of Android as far back as Android 1.5 and 2.1. Motorola's complete Android update schedule is here.
Motorola will roll out Ice Cream Sandwich to devices including the Droid Razr and Razr Maxx during the current quarter, expanding the effort to additional smartphones and tablets throughout the remainder of 2012.
"You may be wondering why all devices aren't being upgraded to Android 4.0," reads a post on the Inside Motorola blog. "Here's the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can't be done--well then, we're not able to upgrade that particular device."
Consumer reaction to Motorola's comments was extremely negative. "My Droid 3 isn't even a year old, and Motorola has decided not to upgrade it. Phones with slower processors, less RAM, and manufacturers with fewer resources have been upgraded to ICS. This is an infuriating call by Motorola, as it was made with one factor in mind: money," states one response to the Inside Motorola post, while another commenter adds "Google are going to have a seriously difficult time trying to rebuild any trust in the Motorola brand."
Android 4.0 delivers the tablet-optimized innovations introduced in Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb update to all devices to reduce platform fragmentation. Google first announced Ice Cream Sandwich in May 2011, and promised that moving forward, the same version of Android will run across all devices, regardless of screen size.
Google's Android Developers dashboard reveals that only 4.9 percent of all Android devices are currently running a version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Android devices make up 51 percent of the U.S. smartphone market according to comScore data issued earlier this month.
- read this Inside Motorola blog post
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