It's no secret the biggest downside to Android
is fragmentation, the dirty F-word that comes with the territory of playing in Google's
open source playground. Fortunately for Android fans, Google's mobile platform has tremendous upside, but it doesn't help when handset makers highlight the negatives, as Motorola
recently did by reneging on a promise to update all devices to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
Here's what went down. Motorola earlier this year decided to join Google's Android Upgrade Alliance, an initiative unveiled at last year's Google I/O event in which the search giant said it would work closely with its partners to make sure that Android smartphones and tablets would continue to receive updates for at least 18 months after their release. If you bought a mobile device from one of the members, you knew you were covered for the next year-and-a-half, or so it was supposed to be that way.
Motorola no longer plans to deliver Ice Cream Sandwich to the Atrix 4G.
Just recently, Motorola hit its customers with a bombshell, which was posted in the company's support forum.
Motorola Mobility continues to review how each device can deliver the very best experience possible, and at times, this can mean making tough choices – especially as it relates to Android software upgrades. Today, we need to let you know about some tough choices related to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades. Specifically, ATRIX 4G, Photon 4G and Electrify will not receive the ICS upgrade, but continue to be supported with maintenance releases to ensure optimum performance for the consumer.
We are committed to being more transparent than ever on our software upgrade strategy – even when we’re delivering news consumers may not want to hear. We are doing everything possible to continually improve our communication with you and make sure you are a satisfied customer. That’s why we recently announced our $100 rebate program for owners of these and other devices launched in 2011 and beyond that won’t get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This program starts in the U.S. this fall, and we are working to expand it to select regions around the world. Please watch for updates at motorola.com/tradeup.
As you can imagine, customers who purchased one of the affected devices didn't react well to the news. They're ticked that it appears Motorola joined the Android Upgrade Alliance to sell devices without worrying about the ramifications of prematurely dropping support.
"I recently bought an Atrix just because the official website was telling me that it will soon receive ICS...," a Motorola forum member lamented. "I'll never buy another Moto product as long as I live," another chimed in.
Do you own of the affected Motorola devices? If so, how do you feel about Motorola's decision and $100 apologetic rebate?