Update: Obviously by this point I have been proven wrong and several phones will not receive Android 2.1. My original sources were two of the carriers who said they would upgrade all of their phones to Android 2.1 (which occurred) and they assumed others would do the same.
Considering over 80% of our readers with Android phones are running an outdated version of the operating system, I think most of you will find this interesting.
There has been some confusion over which phones would receive an Android 2.1 update and I am partially to blame. I authored a post way back in August that called into question the G1′s ability to receive future updates. Google eventually found a way to make Donut (Android 1.6) fit on the G1 and I was proven wrong. Since that time, I have maintained that the full version Eclair (Android 2.x) may not be possible on the T-Mobile G1.
After talking with several inside sources familiar with the matter, I would like to report that every Android phone currently released in the United States will be receiving an upgrade to Android 2.1.
Some phones could be missing features of Android 2.1 (live wallpapers), but they will all have an Android 2.1 firmware.
Now let me cut to the bad news. Select Android phones will require a wipe when they are upgraded to Android 2.1. I actually only know of phones that will require a wipe, so it could include all of them (minus the Droid which is already on Android 2.0.1).
Select Android phones will also require a PC-based install for upgrading to Android 2.1. HTC currently does this overseas with some phones and Samsung did it for the last Sprint Moment update.
The carriers are still working with the handset makers to determine if their updates will be over the air or through a tethered PC client. However, I believe most will be PC-based because this would allow the update application to make a proper backup, flash the SPL (if needed), and achieve a higher rate of successful installs (CLIQs to BRIQs anyone?).
Finally, most (if not all) Android 2.1 updates are still on schedule for Q2 2010. Sprint said their two phones were getting upgraded in early Q2, but I’ve heard the G1 and myTouch 3G will be the initial 1st gen devices to receive the update.