Motorola Deal for Android Jelly Bean Upgrade Causes Stir

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2012-10-22

Motorola Deal for Android Jelly Bean Upgrade Causes Stir

If your Motorola Android smartphone was made before 2011, then you're probably not going to be able to use it with the latest Android 4.1 operating system, or Jelly Bean. That's because Motorola isn't going to roll out versions of the new OS for older smartphones.

Now, though, to make that disappointment a bit less jarring for some users, Motorola has unveiled $100 rebates to allow consumers to replace certain models of Motorola smartphones with new ones that will feature Jelly Bean 4.1 with its updates, added features and enhancements.

The plan, however, is garnering some criticism from users on Motorola's blog site, many of whom are leaving angry comments about the deal.

Under the rebate program, the eligible older phones that qualify for the program are the Droid 3, Droid X2, Atrix 4G, Atrix 2, Admiral, Cliq 2, Milestone 3, Milestone X2, Electrify, Photon 4G, XPRT, Titanium and Triumph models.

To get a rebate, the purchaser must buy one of these eligible new Motorola phones:  Atrix HD, Droid Razr M, Droid Razr HD, Razr Maxx HD, Electrify 2 or the Photon Q.

So far, the rebates are only available to customers in the United States under the program, but are expected to be extended to other countries later, according to the company.

Back in September, Motorola told its customers that it would roll out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to most of the devices the company offered for sale since 2011, but now says that it just can't finish updates for all of the products it has sold. The terms and conditions of customers' wireless contracts still apply to the upgrade offer, according to the company.

The rebates will be made in one of several forms, including a Verizon Wireless gift card, a Motorola Visa prepaid card, carrier credit or other equivalent, Motorola said.

Motorola Deal for Android Jelly Bean Upgrade Causes Stir

Below Motorola's blog post that unveiled the rebate program, dozens of customers critiqued the plan and vented anger that they'd have to replace devices that they believed would get Jelly Bean 4.1 upgrades after they purchased them.

"No way MOT," wrote Marion255. "Have played your game far too long waiting for updates which never arrive. i.e., Droid X2. I'll sell the freaking phone on craigslist and use the $100 toward a new nexus or windows 8 phone which will be updated."

Another user, Leon, complained that he doesn’t see the "Atrix HD as being an upgrade when it has the same amount of RAM, but less space and features than the original. Not to mention those that bought those expensive accessories would have no use for them since they don't work with the Atrix HD. #MotoFAIL."

Mark Fischer wrote: "What 100 credit to get a new phone [that] will be end of lifed in 8 months and no support like the Droid 3? Not a chance for me."

Another user was even more direct about the Atrix HD rebate offer.

"So then my only choice, should I choose to trade in my Atrix, is to get a phone I don't want, extend my contract, and be stuck with another phone that you won't support? wrote Jim Kavanagh. "No sane person would take this offer if they're with ATT. Not only will I not buy another Motorola, I will never recommend them either. I wish I could do more, because this makes me mad."

Frederick Doe wrote, "Sorry Motorola. I'm not falling for your tricks again. Ever since I got burned with a Droid X with a locked boot-loader, I've been committed to not buying Motorola products again."

Another user, Neil Lovell, wrote: "This is nothing more than a slap in the face. As a current Photon 4G owner, this will be my last Motorola phone. You cannot promise something, and then go back on your word. That's bad business, and an almost flawless way to lose customers in today's market."

Sam Howard, a Photon 4G owner, wrote that he also will pass on the rebate offer. "The Photon 4G is the first and last Motorola phone I ever buy. One lie is all it takes for me to lose trust in a company. Keep your 100 bucks, donate it to the needy and good luck to the customers you will lie to in the future."

Android smartphone makers began selling new devices with Jelly Bean 4.1 and offering updates back in July, just after Google released its latest Android platform. 

In September, Motorola introduced its new Motorola Razr i, its first smartphone to run an Intel processor. The Android-based smartphone is a reconfiguration of the Razr M that Motorola, with Google, had also introduced. Both phones feature barely-there bezels so their displays stretch more truly edge-to-edge.

In August, Google announced that it would lay off some 4,000 workers in its Motorola Mobility unit, or about 20 percent of its 20,000-member workforce, just three months after it acquired the company for $12.5 billion in May.  On Oct. 4, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Google reported that it has "continued to refine its planned restructuring actions and now expects to broaden those actions to include additional geographic regions outside of the U.S." That means that more layoffs or facility closings could occur under the plans.

Times got a bit rocky for Google Oct. 18 as the search company announced that its third-quarter profit totaled $2.18 billion, down from $2.73 billion a year ago. But that wasn't the worst of it – Google also suffered an embarrassing early release of its third-quarter Form 8-K report to the Securities and Exchange Commission's Website, which meant the financial data was accidentally available four hours before the stock market was set to close.

Google's revenue for the third quarter ending Sept. 30 totaled $11.33 billion, which is lower than the expectations of a survey of financial analysts, who expected revenue of $11.87 billion.

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