Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, although fragmentation remains one of the biggest problems that the platform faces. Motorola is the latest handset maker to leave its customers behind, announcing that its Atrix 4G, Photon 4G and Electrify smartphones — devices it still sells — will not be receiving the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” update. Instead, those smartphones will remain on the Gingerbread version of Android. Yes, a nearly two year old software version.
There is simply no argument that can be provided to justify the reasoning for Motorola ditching these smartphones so soon. Motorola released the Atrix 4G and Photon 4G in February 2011 and July 2011 respectively, less than three and eight months prior to the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Yet, those devices won’t be getting the update. It’s ridiculous. I could perhaps understand if those devices were not eligible for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but to blacklist devices from receiving a software update released as little as three months later is an atrocity.
Apple too eventually discontinues its older devices from receiving iOS software updates, although it is not nearly as quick to place its devices on the chopping block as certain Android partners like Motorola. In fact, the average iPhone, iPod touch or iPad will receive two major iOS software updates before it is either discontinued or receives a slimmed down version of the latest iOS version; for instance, the iPhone 4 originally shipped with iOS 4, received the iOS 5 update and is still compatible with iOS 6, albeit having limited features. Worst of all, Motorola Mobility is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google, the curator of Android itself. That’s just icing on the cake.
That’s my rant. Perhaps you feel different.