Mar 18 AT 11:25 PM Taylor Wimberly 49 Comments

The latest on the Droid OTA update “delay”

Earlier today, we posted that the Android 2.1 update for the Motorola Droid had been delayed by Verizon. This information came from Verizon employees who leaked details posted on the company’s internal web site.

The message read, “The 3/18 OTA software update will not happen as planned. A new date will be communicated as soon as possible.” The unofficial “official” information stated the release was TBD and it would be communicated at a later date. Case closed, right?

Upset customers sounded off all day on Facebook and Twitter before Verizon sent a response to Phone Scoop who relayed the message.

“The Android 2.1 upgrade for the Droid by Motorola was deployed to a small number of Verizon Wireless test users as scheduled. It is expected the broader phased rollout to all Droid by Motorola users will take place, but not just yet. No date scheduled yet.”Thomas PicaVerizon Spokesperson

Verizon also disputed the delay via their Twitter account. The tweet read, “No delay– starting with select test group first to avoid problems on upcoming rollout. More to come, stay tuned.”

So even though we have seen an internal document which states the update will not happen as planned, Verizon is sticking to their guns and claiming everything is ok. I’ve done my best trying to confirm that someone actually received the update, but none have been identified so far.

Motorola has a recent history of delaying updates over and over, so it comes as no surprise that they might have run into more issues.

A more likely explanation for the delay could be related to the anonymous tip we received yesterday about Bitfone, the company that manages the actual distribution of the update. Our source claimed they were struggling with “capacity issues” and might not meet the 3/18 commitment date.

After today’s incidents and the confusion I witnessed, I’m starting to believe the source could be correct. They just chimed in as I was writing this post and claim Bitfone is working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.

“Apparently we will probably be waiting even longer for the 2.1 update for Droid. According to my source, the need to “ramp up” the distribution application and the network infrastructure that hosts it won’t just happen overnight. Bitfone has allegedly just contracted with a third-party solution consultant to assist with the redesign of the infrastructure  My contact did mention that they are moving on this as quickly as possible, but the reality is that it going to take some time. Not sure what Motorola is planning on doing on the PR front…”Anonymous tipster

Believable? What do you guys think? I guess you could blame us for hyping the update, but Motorola is the one who keeps constantly telling their customers the update is coming “this week” and “tomorrow” then fails to deliver.

I guess the waiting game continues. If you happen to come across the actual update be sure to let us know.

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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  • http://Website Murphy

    That HTC Incredible is looking more and more incredible every day. Motorola fails on so many levels. HTC is at least well-known, innovative, and reputable. While the Droid is THE smartphone to beat, if the big wigs keep giving false hope for an update, I’m afraid MOTO will lose it’s MOJO with the Droid.

    While many features of 2.1 are available via the Market and/or custom roms, I think the bigger picture is that the company is failing to deliver on the promises of an actual ‘official’ update. Consumers, like myself, don’t want to void our warranties and such to gain features that have been promised to us time and time again with an official update.

    • http://Website Glitch

      Okay, there’s being overly dramatic, and then there’s types like you that think the sky is falling because an upgrade is delayed. plus, this appears to be Verizon/Bitfone’s issue, not Motorola’s.

      And it’s not like your device is unusable in the meantime. The DROID was awesome to start with.. this is just gravy :)

  • http://Website josh

    I’m sorry….motorola your a company right? In main stream line of business … but over and over again you fail to deliver……and no one is to blame for hyping up android 2.1 update more than motorola….

  • http://Website matt

    I’m still hopeful it will come soon. The Droid is already amazing (I’m on it now) and 2.1 will just be icing on the cake. Its not like the Droid is some archaic device that desperatley needs re-vamping to make it even bearable. I’m just glad that, at some point in the near future, we will be getting the official update!

    • http://Website Mike

      exactly…. I wish everyone felt this way… the Droid has been kick ass since day one and will only get better over time

  • http://Website Fr33d0m

    Soooo Moto, or Verizon, contracted with a company that didn’t have the infrastructure to do the job? Really?

    • http://Website Josh

      Yeah why wouldn’t you pick someone who is reliable? And has a good track record

  • http://Website jason nobody

    The iPhone is looking better and better as each day passes. With actual companies such as viper alarms and I think it is GE that control your lighting in your house remotely to even satellite companies that have produced software for iPhone to set record times of your favorite shows…THATS what I expected to get out of my droids capabilities. Droids DOES? Big statement to make when the only thing I see Droid accomplishing is spending a boat load of money on advertising and not on product support if the product is the best it will sell itself. Provide a product that does what it claims not hopes to do in the undetermined future.

    My $0.02

    -jason nobody

    • JohnnyACEâ™  GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}â„¢

      You’re an idiot.


    • http://Website carig

      Is your last name really ‘nobody’ ?
      or is it ‘appleemployee’

  • http://Website drathos

    So, if Bitfone is FUBAR and doesn’t have the infrastructure capable of distributing the update, how was the 2.0.1 update distributed? If that wasn’t Bitfone, why aren’t they switching back to that service? If it was Bitfone, what did they break and why?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      You make an excellent point and I have no answer for you.

      • http://Website Serge

        The update package for 2.0.1 was hosted on Google’s servers.

  • http://Website cj

    This is much ado about nothing. Verizon never said the update was coming today. All anyone saw was a leaked internal memo. Verizon has now said that a few “internal” user’s got the update as planned. I don’t see a problem here other than the fact that sites like this keep posting info from “anonymous trusted sources” instead of asking Verizon directly about rumored update release dates.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Motorola was the one who said it was coming today.

    • http://Website chrono13

      No. The Febuary 8th update was announced on their offical Facebook page. The announcment was:

      “Hi all. We’re happy to relay the 2.1 upgrade to DROID will start to roll out this week, and we will have more information to share on other device upgrades later this week as well. Thanks for your patience and continued support.”

      The week came and went without any indication of why. The offical word was changed to “soon”.

      The offical anouncment and plan to push the 2.1 update in Febuary was at the last minute changed from “this week” (the first/seconf week of Febuary) to “soon”.

      Now through leaked info that predicted the update (which according to their Twitter account, did happen for a small test group), and another leaked info that predicted, before offically anounced, that the update was indead not happening today.

      “The 3/18 OTA software update will not happen as planned. A new date will be communicated as soon as possible”.

      That these leaked screenshots pre-empt their confirmations (sans-marketing speak), gives them credibility. In that sense, they have not yet been wrong.

      The frustruation for most of use however, does not come from lack of the update. It is an incremental update, and frankly doesn’t add much. It is the play of the gift you wouldn’t miss had it been offered and the moment you give thanks and move to accept it, it was pulled out of reach, like a childs game of keep away. Though instead of mallice, it appears to be incompitance, which itself is equally contemptible of the company we have chosen to contract with.

  • http://Website Gene

    Glad I got a nexus one on T-mobile.

    • http://Website Miguel

      Nexus does what Droid don’t lol

      j/k! I love my Nexus One though.

  • http://Website Dave

    If indeed the case, there’s a very easy way to make customers happy: post the update to the Verizon website and provide instuctions to manually apply the update via recovery console. Of course this won’t happen, though, because Verizon views most of its customers as idiots who can’t follow a simple five step process, making it liable for walk-in support for the 1% of people who cannot apply nor build Ikea furniture.

    • sayitloudbap

      Well they did this for Blackberries. I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it for the droid.

  • http://Website ML

    Is there any reason why they can’t just post the update online and have users install it manually?

  • http://Website tyler

    I personally was happy with my 2.0 Droid but don’t promise something and then go back on ur word. Should have tested it before letting anyone know. Sets a poor reliability factor for moto and vzw. …..I’m going HTC soon. Sorry motor.


    • http://Website Gauss

      Did you not even read? This has nothing to do with quality, it’s a matter of infrastructure to get it to 2 million users. Verizon and Bitfone blew it, not Motorola.

      If Verizon chooses to update the HTC Eris through Bitfone, it will likely have the same problem.

  • Purist

    Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.

  • skeltonmedia

    First, you guys are doing a great job keeping up with the latest Android news and I applaud you for that. I enjoy the mobile site greatly. Top notch.

    This whole Droid / Verizon / Motorola seems to be missing a key component. Google. I understand Google is being left out of the update process and Verizon is playing this dictator role when it comes to releasing updates but isn’t this phone a “Google Experience” device? Shouldn’t google be releasing software updates directly to us like the N1? 2.1 isn’t even a major update! How long will we be strung along for say a 3.0 release? This 3 month wait is really unbelievable.

    I find this a slap in the face especially for people like me who went out on day one and purchased a Droid because of the Google Experience tag. Now that we are facing another potential delay in an incremental update, I can’t help but feel betrayed again. It’s not about the update anymore, it’s about the lack of Google involvement in the update process.

    If you can’t promise a fixed date DONT. Pretty simple. If the update is flawed, don’t say you are going to release. If the update is fine and you can’t get it out OTA, make it available to those of us who can handle a manual update. Google? Where are you in all of this? Droid is an ok phone, but I’m starting to have second / third thoughts on staying with Motorola.

    • http://Website Miguel

      Google is only responsible for the phones it develops itself.. which is the Nexus One. The G1 also seems to be a Google developed phone.

    • http://Website Nate

      That’s kind of weird. I have a Droid by Motorola and just last night was telling my wife how wonderful this Google experience is. I got to decide what apps I wanted on my phone and have only paid for two of those apps so far (Office 2 Go and PDANet). All the other apps were free. I get to decide how I want those apps arranged. I even installed a custom ROM lastnight…played around…enjoyed the freedom…then went back to stock. Funny…I found the stock 2.0.1 ran smoother but I lost my 2.1 Gallery with the hyped up “pinch to zoom” feature. But I still have “pinch to zoom” in my Google Earth.

      So what is this “No Google Expereince” issue you speak of? I have the Google Expereince on my Droid. I wonder why you can’t get it?


      • Sal_The_Tiller

        The software on “Google Experience” phones is supposed to be handled exclusively by Google. No HTC Sense, no MOTOBLUR, just a clean Android experience from start to finish. It would follow that the big G could step in if an update is not getting pushed out, or if there are any bugs, but they’re just not doing that here, or with the G1; just with their ‘pet’, the Nexus One.

  • http://Website Trent

    Just curious,

    Why does the update have to happen OTA only? Isn’t it something they could post to the site for us to download and install ourselves?

  • http://Website jason

    Hey look at us cliq users we had all kinds of trouble so just chill and wait. Least your gettin 2.1 before us as usual lol jk

  • http://Website b

    The droid 2.1 update has not been delayed they rolled it out to select people for testing yesterday, the official rollout is supposed to be march 20 200,000 droids every few hours

  • http://Website erisowner

    And what really sucks about this is if you have an Eris….I’m sure Verizon is delaying the 2.1 update for the Eris (even if its ready) until the Droid users get theirs….


  • http://Website rayman411vm

    Just root

    • http://Website erisowner

      Well I’m not a big fan of bricking my phone or else I would

  • Sal_The_Tiller

    Believable, yes. But still, why would Bitfone wait until after their network was needed to update? Moreover, why does VZW even need Bitfone?

    Feh. If Koush ports CM 5.0.5 to droid tomorrow as is planned, then I’m jumping ship.

  • http://Website Chris

    I love my Droid, it is an amazing tool, and as a portable computer everything I would want, but….as a cell phone….
    Not so much!
    Does anyone know if this 2.1 update will address the long standing issues with voice dialing and Bluetooth headsets??
    My old Razr handled this better than my Droid, which is insane.
    Does the Nexus handle this better?

  • http://Website Caprice

    Oh well, my Droid is fine the way it is. All of this is overhyped and a big waste of energy. I can wait.

  • http://Website JT_Royer

    So, the blame is placed on the digital distribution company that Moto is using to give us the OTA update right? So, if it’s an issue getting OTA to work…why not put the update online for download like RIM does? I would much rather just have the update, then waiting for them to figure out whatever issues they have with OTA. I have no problems hooking my Droid to the computer to get the update if it’ll be quicker and easier that way.

  • http://Website K

    No, the Droid is not unbearable now, it’s awesome. The issue is with announcing an update and repeatedly delaying it They should announce a date and stick with it. At least HTC is vague enough with their announcements that they meet their three-month release period :D.

  • http://Website shawn

    I am an indirect dealer and I an confirm one of my employees did revieve the update to 2.1

    • Fidget253

      prove it

  • Mark

    If this whole “infrastructure short coming” is true, then whoever awarded the bid to Bitfone should be fired. After the T-Mo/Sidekick/Danger/Microsoft fiasco carriers have to be aware that third party vendor shortcomings don’t make the vendor look bad, they make the carrier look bad.

    I have no problems with carriers being the final gatekeeper on when updates go out – for example I’d hate to have my 3G experience on T-Mo start to suck because an untested BlackBerry update started flooding the network with garbage. However what I can’t stand is this need carriers have to keep secrets from their customers.

    All four carriers are guilty of being overly secretive. Worse, they often treat new customers better than customers of longstanding. Whenever I see an offer is “for new customers only” I read “because we know most of our current customers are actually sheep who will pay whatever we bill”

  • http://Website jrk

    I downloaded the 2.1 update for my Eris. It works awesome. Took 15 minutes installing as a root. Whatever that means. Anyway 2.1 is much better and no issues on my Eris.

  • http://nicetry Icon

    Wow, all of you need to stop crying like a bunch of bitchy little girls. First of all, why is it, that most of you act like privileged little kids. You expect instant results, when in reality this kind of stuff takes time. You act like the Droid without 2.1 is the worst phone ever created. You sit here and point fingers at anybody & everybody that is involved. Verizon can’t help it if Motorola’s distributor can’t handle the load. And then you say “well why the hell didn’t Verizon just get a different distributor?” Cause again in reality, which you people do not live, some things can just be out of your control…even for Verizon. The contract between Motorola and Verizon states Motorola’s distributor is to be used as primary. And for the people on here that do not get why that is a big deal, well its cause a contract is legally binding. Its bad business to breach contracts, you wouldn’t do it if you owned a business, how can you expect Verizon to.

    No I’m not done…

    Keep in mind also, that most of the info published on the internet about the OTA was not from Verizon. It was mysterious people taking pics of INTERNAL info that none of you should have seen. Yes I know Verizon did put the OTA page on their website, but nowhere on that page did it say the release date.

    No I’m still not done…

    One more thing for those of you who won’t shut up. If you don’t want to wait, go download one of the many ROM’s to put 2.1 on your Droid. They have been available for awhile now, so go ahead download one, and stop polluting this board and every other one on the internet with your trash.

    Now I’m done…


    • Ron

      XD I’ll give this comment a thumb up…

  • Dechico2004

    The motorola Droid is in the Android Madness Final Four but is currently losing to the Samsung Moment we can’t let this happen to do something about this vote here

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  • http://Website don doji

    OTA update for OG Droid is rolling now. i read it here