Other companies such as Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG have also been criticised for being slow with Android upgrades. One reason that has been given for this is the additional software layer which companies put on top of Android to differentiate products from their competitors. Two well known examples of such software layers are Motorola’s Motoblur and HTC’s Sense. Wyatt claimed that these skins were not the real reason and that the delay was due to hardware variations and software additions made by wireless operators in different countries. She gave an example in the form of the Motorola Droid Razr which has been released in 40 countries, some running on varying bands and with different carrier customizations in every region, making upgradation a formidable task.
However, the snail paced upgradation of Android phones has proved to be extremely frustrating for customers as rival phone companies such as Apple have been able to make new versions of their operating system available to all customers immediately after the launch. When Apple came out with the iOS 5, users having an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 were able to upgrade their phones at once without any hassle. Android users have been facing a tough time not knowing when, or even if, they will get a software update. Motorola has launched devices such as the Razr and Razr Maxx, after the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, with Android Gingerbread and there is no clear roadmap as to when they will get the ICS upgrade.
Companies such as Sony have already released statements saying that all phones with certain requirements shall get the ICS upgrade, but Motorola has been unable to come up with any specifics owing, according to Wyatt, to the fact that the company has more devices and different carriers than other manufacturers.
The VP also spoke about Motorola introducing devices with NFC technology which allows customers to make wireless payments by simply tapping their phone. Last year, Google introduced its Google Wallet application, a service that turns an NFC enabled device into a digital wallet, but devices with NFC chips have not shown up on devices except the Samsung Nexus 4G and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Motorola has said that as of now NFC capability has not been included as it adds to the cost and bulk of the device, but it will definitely be included in the future.
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
February 13, 2012