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Android Headliner: How Did Your Manufacturer Do When It Came To Lollipop Updates?

April 18, 2015 - Written By John Anon

As with every week in recent times, this week saw a number of Lollipop announcements coming through. The big one of the week was the Cyanogen based Lollipop rollout which came to the OnePlus One and then later to YU’s Yureka. However, sometimes (and certainly for the devices owners), it is the legacy updates which are important to note. For instance, this week was pretty much the week of the LG G2 with both the T-Mobile and AT&T versions receiving their update. Interestingly, on the same day. Typically speaking, these carrier variants do not arrive on the exact same day. Not to mention, that only a couple of weeks ago, Verizon also released the update to the LG G2. With all three carriers in quick succession releasing their update, it seems to suggest that LG was slow pushing out the original update to the carriers. At least for this device. Of course, they were one of the first to proudly announce that Lollipop was coming to the LG G3, with their announcement coming through in the first week of November.

Part of that LG announcement came with the very clear statement “bringing Android Lollipop to G3 owners as soon as possible is a top priority“. By the recent LG G2 news (coupled with the lack of the mention in the November announcement), it could be assumed the G2 was certainly not a “top priority“. In fact, as it has been over six months since that announcement, it seems that the G2 was not a priority at all when it came to LG and Lollipop. So although, companies like LG are quick to promise that their very latest (basically their current) devices will come with Lollipop, they are much less keen on rolling out to their earlier legacy devices. After all, it is not cheap to roll out an update. Each variant of their device comes with additional fees. And in reality, who will be buying a new G2 device this year? If they do, how much of that will end up in LG’s pockets? Not to mention, they are busy focusing on the launch of their latest smartphone, the LG G4. Which in reality, is the one they really want you to buy. But LG is not alone.

Samsung is generally slow in rolling out their updates. However, the public seems to be a little more forgiven when it comes to their slowness. Maybe, it is the fact that we all secretly like Samsung (who do lead the android charge against the mighty Apple) or maybe it is simply they are excused due to the sheer abundance of variants of their flagship devices that hit the market. Samsung release multiple versions of each device and therefore, it is understandable that diverting time to their wealth of devices is a massive task. Not to mention, like LG, they were busy building their Galaxy S6 from the “ground up”. However, LG does not have the same excuses. Their portfolio (although big) is still much smaller. Likewise, HTC is another company who promised fast but delivered slow. Yes, their One M8 and One M7 have now finally received Lollipop. But it was not an easy task. Especially, seeing they were again one of the OEMs who came out with the big talk. They were one of the companies who said ‘ninety days and you will have Lollipop’. Big promises and then when the ninety days came around, they rather quietly whispered to the world, ‘yeah, not gonna happen, but we are working on it’. Or words to that effect. Of course, they too were busying themselves with the One M9. Although, some would argue now after seeing the One M9, they could not have been that busy, due to the rather M8 appearance of the new device.

In fact, of all the major manufacturers, it was probably Motorola who was the best when it came to updating. They were quick out of the door with their announcement, stating the same ‘we will deliver’ message to the world. However, compared to the others, they did deliver rather well. With some of their device variants receiving Android 5.0 even before some Nexus devices. Remember all those “you thought you were first Nexus” memes and gifs which circulated? That said, they are quite close to stock. However, more interestingly, unlike LG, Samsung and HTC, they were not making any massive push to release a new devive. Of course, if you own a OnePlus One, then they must be considered the slowest of all. One device, one variant, no carrier-specific devices and yet they only received their update (both of them) in the last two weeks.

The moral of the story is a simple one. Next time you are waiting on a major update for your device, check if they have a new model en route. If they do, kick back and forget about the update. It will arrive but not soon. OEMs seem far more interested in making their new device a “top priority” then worrying about the one you have already bought, maybe only just bought and one which is now (at least in their mind) already a legacy device.