Home Data Shows Which Manufacturers and Carriers Delay Android Updates

Data Shows Which Manufacturers and Carriers Delay Android Updates

Data revealing which manufacturers and carriers’ delay providing Android upgrades has been documented in detail by mobile blogger JR Raphael.  By examining Android phones released in 2009 and 2010 on the four major U.S. carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon), Raphael was able to pinpoint which manufacturers and carriers provided timely Android updates, and which are really dragging their heels in the matter.

The results serve as a public service announcement to potential new Android owners, or at least they should. But will this news really affect the public’s buying decisions for future Android purchases? Tell us what you think in this week’s ReadWriteMobile poll.


  • According to Raphael’s findings, HTC was the best carrier, with 50% of its Android phones upgraded to Froyo (Android version 2.2) within 2010. Its average upgrade time is also good: 56 days.
  • Motorola was in second place with 15.4% of its phones upgraded to Froyo by 2010’s end. Although that number is much lower than HTC’s, it’s important to note that Motorola had four phones introduced in November 2010, said Raphael. But Motorola’s average upgrade time is the best: 54.5 days.
  • Samsung was much slower, though. It has upgraded only 1 of its 9 Android phones for a score of 11.1%. And it took the manufacturer 159 days to upgrade that single device.
  • Both Dell and LG were much worse – neither had upgraded their devices yet, but both are saying that at least one phone will see an upgrade soon. (Dell’s Streak this month, LG’s Ally in February).
  • Sony was the absolute worst. Not only had it performed zero upgrades in 2010, it also confirmed its Xperia X10 will never be upgraded.


  • Verizon has been the best carrier so far for pushing out timely upgrades. One-third of its qualifying phones have received Froyo in the first 6 months post-release. On average, the upgrade time was 58 days.
  • Sprint is a close second: 28.6% of its phones were upgraded, but its average is 100 days. This is mostly due to the 159-delay for getting Froyo on the Samsung Intercept, said Raphael.
  • T-Mobile was third with a score of 12.5% and average time of 112 days and AT&T was last with no upgrades.

Do Upgrades Matter to Mainstream Consumers?

While to the tech-savvy blog readers like you and I, details on upgrades will likely heavily affect our buying decisions when it comes to our next Android phone purchase (assuming there is one), the bigger question is whether or not the average consumer knows or cares about these sorts of things. After all, if it’s a smartphone, if it has a Web browser and a GPS and it runs apps, what more is there to know?

Do you think consumers care about their phones getting the latest update of Android? Or are the manufacturers and carriers getting away with slowing down the process like this because most mainstream users don’t even know to complain? Let us know what you think in this week’s RWM poll.

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