In what looks like one of the gutsiest moves ever made, Huawei have announced that they will not be updating the Mate 2 to Android Kit Kat. And you know what, I’d like to end my opening paragraph with this statement to let it sink in, but I feel I must qualify the statement. Trouble is, it’s difficult to. Huawei admits in almost the same breath that the Mate 2 is more than capable of running Android Kit Kat. As well it should; the Mate 2 4G is powered by a quad core 1.6 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 2 GB of RAM. It’s most spectacular features are the 6.1-inch, 720p resolution screen or the 4,050 mAh battery (larger than the 2013 Nexus 7) and was launched earlier in the year running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean under Huawei’s Emotion user interface. It was released in June for $300, which is a lot of hardware for not so much cash.
The blog post mentions that the Mate 2 will continue to be offered in the coming months and how people can “expect superior hardware with the latest software going forward.” And unfortunately, in the comments we have the expected selection of angry customers belittling Huawei’s announcement and threatening to mark down reviews of the product on other websites. To my mind, this completely misses the point: we should never buy a product based on what it might do at some point in the future, be this a software update or feature release. Just because the Mate 2 isn’t receiving Android 4.4, doesn’t mean that it’s any less a product than it was yesterday before the announcement. I don’t see any reason to name-call Huawei, indeed credit to the business for coming out with the announcement as this was always going to rile people.
I do wonder how Huawei can get away with this given that Google insist a device receives updates to the core Android version for eighteen months after launch. This means that the Mate 2 should be receiving Android Lollipop; one of Huawei’s comments in the blog is interesting, “We also have been pushing hard for L (Lollipop) as well since KK (Kit Kat)is a no. We also have given out phones to developers with our codes to help see what they can do too.” Perhaps Huawei are planning to skip Android Kit Kat and move straight to Android Lollipop? If this is the case, it hasn’t been officially announced by the company so if it doesn’t happen, I am speculating rather than quoting a fact! But it could happen.