Roger was true to their word when they announced that the HTC One would receive its upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat on January 31 and Rogers was the first North American carrier to deliver. In that last announcement they said that the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 would be “coming soon,” which really tells us nothing. That “coming soon” designation was added to a few other devices in this newest updated listing – the HTC Desire 601, LG G2, and the Sony Xperia Z1. The only dates added with a date was a March 10 listing for the Nokia Lumia 520, scheduled to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 GDR3. So set yourself up a reminder in your calendar or if you are ‘old school’ then circle March 10. As always, please keep in mind that “release dates are subject to change.”
As competition for subscribers becomes tougher as the smartphone market gets more and more saturated, service is one area that can help differentiate the carriers from one another – and OS upgrades is one area that subscribers pay attention. While it is true that only the techno geeks really pay close attention to upgrades, they are the people who get asked, “what is the best phone” or “what is the best carrier,” and they pass on those observations to their family and friends. And while the average subscriber may care little about an upgrade, they certainly can tell if they are experiencing a bug, poor battery life, or poor photo quality that may be fixed by one of their upgrades.
Rogers has been doing a pretty good job pushing out the upgrades, but we sometimes forget that it is first the OEM that must first work on the new OS, adding their user interface (UI) and bloatware before they will okay it for the carrier to add. Next the carrier does run their own testing and sometimes adds its own branding and bloatware of its own. If the tests go well, then the release will be quicker, but if they run into any difficulties, the upgrade may go all the way back and start over at the OEM! That is why the Nexus devices and the latest Moto devices were upgraded so quickly – using pure Android with no customer UI, makes the upgrade go a lot faster with less problems.