Report exposes which carriers and manufacturers upgrade Android phones the fastest

Published: January 13, 2011

Carrier Android upgrades

For Android, OS updates and their ETA for a particular handset are some of the most-discussed topics around.  Just how long it could take for a phone to be upgraded plays a big role in which manufacturer you choose for your next purchase, and the folks at Computer World took it upon themselves to find out which carrier and manufacturer are the best when it comes to pushing out the latest Android software.

First up is the carriers, where Verizon managed to take home the top honors.  Big Red managed to roll Android 2.2 out to one-third of their "qualified Android phones" within six months of the software's availability.  The average wait for the update was 58 days.  Sprint was the first carrier to get Froyo on a handset (EVO), but they finished second with 28.6 percent of its phones upgraded and a 100-day average.  T-Mobile came in third, managing to update only one Android phone to 2.2 between June and December.  Unsurprisingly, AT&T came in dead last, with exactly zero of its Androids getting Froyo in 2010.

When it comes to Android manufacturers, HTC is your best bet to get an update.  The company upgraded half of its phones to Android 2.2 in 2010, with an average upgrade time of 56 days.  Motorola came in second, even though they only updated 15.4 percent of their phones.  The low percentage is due to the fact that four of their phones weren't released until November, although at that point they probably should've come with Froyo anyway.  Moto's average time turned out to be the best of the bunch, at 54.5 days.  Samsung only managed to upgrade one out of nine Android phones, and it took them 159 days to do so.  Finally, Dell, LG, and Sony Ericsson all scored a goose egg, although Dell and LG have at least promised to upgrade at least one device each to Froyo (Streak and Ally).

Most of these results shouldn't be terribly shocking, as HTC and Motorola-made phones like the EVO and DROID have been some of the first devices to get upgraded to new versions of Android in the past.  As we all know by now, Samsung still hasn't upgraded any of their Galaxy S phones to Froyo, despite the fact that they began launching here in the U.S. in June of last year.  As for carriers, I was kind of surprised that T-Mobile was all the way down in third.  Besides the Vibrant (which may be all Samsung's fault), T-Mo seems to be doing a decent job of getting their handsets updated, even moving the aging myTouch 3G to Froyo.  The good news here is that Dell and LG are bringing more high-end phones to market, Sony Ericsson is promising quicker updates in 2011, and AT&T will be getting more high-end Androids this year, so hopefully they'll all be stepping their update game up in the future.

Manufacturer Android upgrades

Via Computer World (1), (2)

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