Nov 29 AT 2:03 PM Taylor Wimberly 42 Comments

Are carriers to blame for slow Android software updates? Sony Ericsson points finger at AT&T

If you are one of the 3 million Samsung Galaxy S owners waiting on Android 2.2, just be glad you didn’t go with a Sony Ericsson X10 phone on AT&T. That device shipped with the outdated Android 1.6 in August and it might not even get Android 2.1 till next year.

What is the reason for the hold up? In a wall post on Facebook, Sony Ericsson points the finger at AT&T and their “especially rigorous” testing process which can take several months to complete.

Sprint and HTC delivered the Android 2.2 update for the EVO just six weeks after it was released, so we know not all carriers are the cause for slow software support. Verizon and Motorola then updated the Droid to Android 2.2 right after Sprint did the EVO, so they also have Android updates figured out.

Out of all the national U.S. carriers, AT&T has done the worst job at supporting their Android devices after launch.

We have heard some rumors that AT&T would not be providing any Android 2.2 updates over the air and would go with a wired software update, but the company doesn’t have any phones with Android 2.2 yet so we are unable to confirm that. It looks like they will eventually update the Samsung Captivate, but we have no release date at this time.

At the end of the day I don’t know if we should place the full blame on the carriers, but they play a large role in the software support equation. Unless you have a hacked device and load custom ROMS, then the carrier if the main source of software updates in the U.S. market.

It doesn’t look like that situation is going to change anytime soon, so keep that in mind next time your AT&T contract comes up for renewal. Would you rather wait six weeks for your next software update or six months?

Sony Ericsson’s message to X10 customers on Facebook:


Many of you are aware that we are currently in the midst of rolling out a software update for the Xperia line of handsets. We’d like to take a moment to address your questions about how and why an update is made available.

One factor in determining a software update is when a country first received the handset. The Xperia X10 has been available in some countries since March 2010 and they are also the first to receive the update. The U.S. received the X10 in August 2010 and will receive the update after the initial countries.

The second and more impactful factor of the timeline addresses the technical requirements that must be met in order for an update to take place — no matter which country you live in. Unfortunately, we have no control of that timeline factor. Those requirements are provided to us and we work hard to meet and test them as quickly as we can. In the U.S., the testing process is especially rigorous, and can take months to complete, which is why we cannot announce the timing for availability of the X10 update in the U.S. It’s not that we don’t want to; it’s that the timing is undefined until such testing is completed.

We hear and understand your frustration. We too want you to enjoy the most out of your Sony Ericsson products. We promise to keep you updated on where we are in the process moving forward as more information is ready to be made public. Please stay tuned to this Facebook tab!

Thank you,

Sony Ericsson USA

Via: Engadget

Source: Facebook

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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