T-Mobile Faced Tech Issues with Android 2.2 Bump

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-01-23 Print this article Print


T-Mobile late Friday night confirmed the upgrade is rolling out to Vibrant users over the next few weeks. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T haven't yet said when they would upgrade their Galaxy S phones to Android 2.2.

So what of the rumor that T-Mobile was withholding the upgrade to better position the Vibrant 4G, which the company has not confirmed?

Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart told eWEEK that Google has set consumer expectations for regular software upgrades to their existing installed bases, making it extremely unlikely that any vendor would deliberately withhold updates. To do so, would sacrifice competitive advantages.

"Even if you subscribe to conspiracy theories, this one doesn't make sense from a timing perspective," Greengart explained.

"The Vibrant came out less than six months ago, and most consumers are on two-year contracts. Few Vibrant customers are going to buy a Vibrant 4G-or any other phone-for the next 18 months to two years."

However, industry analyst Jack Gold told eWEEK that it is not uncommon for vendors to be hesitant to offer software upgrades so as not to impede sales of new hardware. This wasn't necessarily bad acting by the vendors and carriers, but a concern with incompatibilities of the hardware with the new OS versions.

But hardware incompatibility is not the case for the delays with the Galaxy S handsets. Software customization is. Brodman told PC Magazine that "the biggest challenge is integration and customization."

Gold agreed that Samsung shouldn't rush out updates that may break a phone. Most manufacturers, for better or worse, customize the Android base, so simply pushing out a new version of the OS is not really practical until they convert the customized stuff to run on it.

"That said, it shouldn't be that difficult, or take very long to migrate their secret sauce," Gold added. "I don't know if the conjecture that Samsung is impeding upgrades is fact or not. On the one hand, it wouldn't surprise me. On the other hand, it would certainly not be the best course of action on their part."



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