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Some would have argued that HTC's main hurdle to overcome with their new flagship, the One, was marketing the device on all carriers and ensuring supply kept up with demand. Both feats have plagued the Taiwanese company in the past, and in this industry, both are ingredients of a successful hero device. If you thought this was HTC's main issue to compete with Samsung and their Galaxy S 4, welcome to the club.

But in the world of smartphones running Google's Android OS, many quickly disregard the flashy press events and software features of an Android skin until they know what version of Android is hiding beneath that optimized UI. In the case of the HTC One, HTC Sense 5 was build atop Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2, which is not bad, I suppose.

For a little while, Android 4.1.2 was excusable. Sure, quick toggles would have been nice to see in the notification curtain, a standard feature of Android 4.2, but that desire can be fulfilled by many third-party apps in the Google Play Store. And then came along the Samsung Galaxy S 4 which launched with the latest version of Android, the equivalent of finding a Leprechaun's Pot of Gold at the end of a double rainbow. For obvious reasons, Samsung's Galaxy S 4 is a fierce contender for "Smartphone of the Year" and software updates could lead that argument.

Google had already issued three subsequent updates to the Jelly Bean source code when the HTC One launched. So, HTC now finds themselves in between software updates where it has options: roll out a software update to Android 4.2.2 (the current version of Android), or wait for Google to announce the next version of Android in a week's time at Google I/O in San Francisco.

Where the software version is a deal breaker for many, I find myself even more interested in what would happen if HTC updated to the wrong software just for the sake of updating. I believe an update to Android 4.2.2 makes very little sense when it's set to be outdated after Google I/O.

Software updates are not a new discussion for manufacturers, with HTC bearing the blunt of some of the worst criticism. In my opinion, software updates are overhyped. But since HTC has been in such a fragile state for so long, naturally, I'm interested to see what the Taiwanese company does because it could have long-standing implications for sales and their slew of investors. And if the rumors of a late May announcement of a Verizon HTC One are true, the Taiwanese company needs to have a firm grasp on what it would mean to have varying versions of Android on all carriers. It would be a mess. This is further reason for me to believe HTC should wait a bit and think this software update through very carefully.

It's very likely that HTC has already decided what Android version is next for the HTC One. Droid-Life recently discovered a leaked build of Android 4.2.2 for the International HTC Butterfly fluttering along with HTC Sense 5.1, and it makes sense that HTC released it first for their flagship device instead of last year's flagship.

But what would you do if you were HTC? Would you issue a software update to 4.2.2 and risk being outdated after Google I/O, or skip an update to version 4.2.2 in favor of Google's next flavor of Android?

It's a tough question to answer because both sides of the aisle have a reason for their preference of one over the other.

It's easy to say HTC has gotten off on the wrong foot by starting out a few software updates behind as compared to their primary opponent, the Galaxy S 4. But they've managed to launch a device successfully with an old version of Android which should not be ignored either. However, history tells us that HTC is the software update equivalent of a tortoise. To put HTC's history of software updates into perspective, the AT&T HTC One X received an update to Android 4.1 this past March having already been on the market for one year. The One X launched with Android 4.0.3. And then there's the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon which, after two years running, finally received an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich just two months ago.

While software updates in the Android arena tend to spark as much controversy as ambiguity, much is riding on HTC and their new flagship. Every fine detail is being treated as "make or break" for the company, and it's expected. HTC found itself slumping to a catastrophic 27% drop in sales this past March over the preceding month, and down 44% as compared to 2012.

But HTC is also riding high with the HTC One following the release of their second quarter financial statements for 2013. The One ushered in sales figures which resulted in a second month of growth for the Taiwanese company. To top it off, the tech community has welcomed the HTC One with open arms with all of you leading the charge in getting it to the number 1 spot in PhoneDog's Official Smartphone Rankings.

But did software version play a role in your vote?

There is no doubt that software updates are more important to you and I than the average consumer, but the consumer could quickly be swayed to favor an Android smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 if Google launches a new version of Android with new features, and Samsung updates the S 4 to the latest version of Android with those new features, first. The manufacturer who gets an update out to the next version of Android will definitely deserve some credit, but if HTC does it first, I feel they'd be defying the odds and re-inventing themselves in the process.

Your turn! Does the software version of your Android smartphone matter to you? Sound off in the comments below.


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76 Reactions to this post

"The HTC One runs Android 4.1. Do you think the HTC One should be updated to Android 4.2.2, or wait to be updated to the latest version of Android which will presumably launch at Google I/O this coming Wednesday?"


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Olijujuan Green If they come out of the pocket to release 4.2.2 then we may have to wait 6 months for the 4.3 or Key Lime Pie update. Another few weeks won't hurt.
Anonymous I'm one of those that need updates. Especially with AT&T being soooo damn sloooooow in releasing any updates. I just hate being so far behind all the time because my provider won't get off their butt & release something that is already being shipped with updated, same model devices.,
James Nelson yes i do i herd they are waiting for it to come out on verizon before any update cant wait for that i have verizon and due for upgrade
Romi Max haha. seems like there is no new Android in this IO. ? Means, 4.2.2 for One it is
Stewart Digance The HTC One is superb, absolutely love it, they should wait for new version Key Lime Pie or whatever its going to be called. The hardware is future proof, the current OS is smooth as silk, lets wait.
Anonymous Key lime pie
John Ariola Doesi matter much to me. They should wait
Richard Allen Yarrell It's a SHAMEFUL JOKE that they could come out with 4.1.2 on the brand new Htc One while SAMSUNG came out with 4.2.2 and will definitely get 4.3 very soon. Samsung has always been good recently as 2yrs with software solutions and updates. My Galaxy Note 2 has 4.1.2 jellybean and don't let nobody tell there isn't a difference cause they would be lying. The ONLY TWO handsets on the market today with 4.2.2 are the current Lg Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S4. Everyone one else is either at 4.1.2 or 4.1.1 or lower. Bottom line here Samsung rules period.
Daniel McCarthy If you care about updates, you know to get a Nexus. Manufacturers have to update their crap so it'll take a while and it's unlikely that you'll receive more than a single version update if you're not on the flagship device.
Teron Facey I wouldn't count on HTC. Since they take so long to update their flagship products.
Aaron Dean give me one valid reason you need 24+ mb/s download speed (LTE) and Ill agree with you......(your answer) ...you don't need it, you just caught up in the hype....true story!
Aaron Dean they will wait til 4.3 is announced then finally update to 4.2.2 like all companies do and then when the new device comes out with 4.3 you all will buy it.... and thats how they make their money......and that's why ill always get my updates from a nexus divice. do you all have brain damage. they have done this to you every single device why would they change now they are making money out of your poor decisions
Amir Canty If HTC has any sense they will update there phone to the latest software version of Android so they can fight a good fight this year, if they don't QUIETLY IDIOTIC!
James Norwood More like troll defeated, weak attempt at saving face.
Mark Belkowski Considering i didnt install any apps i doubt it. Go check out xda. Most of the phones lag. Arguement done!
Efren Sy Yes HTC One should get the update and be the proprity. Because if they don't then Google is screwing them bigtime. And Samsung is there favorite brand overall. Android found success in multiple brands that carried the Android OS. They should give all the brands updates on the same day not months apart. This shows how unfair Android (Google) to their clients!
Thomas Hadley But ios sucks
Jacob A Vernell Funny cuz all u guys r same ones slamming ios. But we dont have those problems
Michael Pitts Doesnt the HTC ONE have to go through 4.2.2 before it can update to 4.2.3?
James Norwood I agree with that, I think they installed something that caused lag. It's the same kind of mentality that the people who modify cars to their breaking points have.
Jody Warrick I suspect the HTC people are the ones claiming lag....lol
Anthony Arreola I have played with at&t and sprints s4 and didnt see a lag in either one. It might just be the owner that installed the apps that made it lag. I have had the s1, s3 and now the note 2 and haven't had a lag in any of my Samsung phones. What do you guys do that it lags?
Anthony Arreola Just wait the one will get 4.2.2
Jody Warrick What I want to know is why the HTC One X came before the One and the One is bigger than the One X... HTC you got some splaining to do!
Mark Belkowski I owned a s4 for one day then sold.it. lags like hell.
Mark Belkowski Not for the one there wasnt.
Oussama Tajjiou why the companies like samsung,htc,...etc don't launch android updates for all the world in one time?! why they give priroty to some countries and leave other countries without updates for 8 months (sometimes)?!
Anthony Arreola They wont skip 4.2.2 there was a leak the butterfly having 4.2.2 and that means the one will get it also. The one wont get 4.3 till the end of the year. Htc has to test out 4.3 than when its ready they will give it to the carrier's
Malik Valbrun The Galaxy S4 has had reports of lag. Havent heard any on the HTC One. It should get 4.2.2 though.
James Norwood Yeah they are. It's extremely funny. :D
Louis Agresti The facts are Samsung still uses a terrible Amlod display,some of us Android users want to use are phones outside,and with it's Dim display makes it near impossible,also Samsung has become the kings of bloated gimmicks,that do not work very well and use up internal space.
Anthony Arreola They are mad the s4 is better and has 4.2.2
Matt Pankey Ignore the trolls. Use what phone and carrier you like. Pretty simple.
James Norwood I know but whenever the facts are stated a person gets attacked by various trolls.
Matt Pankey Most consumers don't give a damn and very few know about Android versions.
Anthony Arreola Just because htc has made "one" great phone in years doesnt mean its the best. Samsung makes better phones and rolls out updates faster than htc. S4 will get 4.3 before the one. If you look at sales on samsung and htc phones, htc is falling way behind.
Paul Alexandru Brandon , if you HATE any company or OS you are a no life faggot anyways so
James Norwood To be fair the HTC crowd started the whole thing. :) I dump on the iphone too. The htc one is basically an iphone with android on it. How a phone with static memory is somehow superior is a mystery.
Brandon Johnson Lol what happened to the good old days when android users only hated the iphone? Now you're hating on each others phones? That's crazy. I'll give them both a shot, but givin my history with HTC, I'm probably keeping the S4.
Anthony Arreola they won't skip to 4.3. The only ones getting 4.3 next week is people with the nexus devices than Motorola devices. htc and samsung will update their phones to 4.3 at the end of the year
Jacob A Vernell Half those propietary phones cant handle those os's anyway. Androids biggest downfall...
James Norwood The fact is the S4 doesn't lag and the HTC kids need to conjure up a legitimate attack.
Chris Roberts Bootloader isn't locked anymore although I have another service provider my S4 isn't lagging and running smooth as butter as well. I still believe it is the superior device
James Norwood Do you own an S4?
Mark Belkowski Still lags like hell. My one is smooth as butter.
Ernesto Moreno Latest. Why wait?
Gunny Wallen if 4.3 fixes the bugs and lag on 4.2.2 I'm all for it.
James Norwood I don't use AT&T, you trolls need to get new material.
Romi Max but yea. If the new Android will be coming on wednesday, why bother making the current Android for the One? Nah. As long as they make an update quickly (within a couple of weeks?), then no need for the 4.2.2
Mark Belkowski So hows that unlockable bootloader going for the at&t users while im rocking custom roms on my one. Also the s4 lags like hell.
Romi Max I think I will look at Android updates as I look at iOS updates. Though I got nexus and updates should be coming quickly, will there but much to them? new stuff? like from 2.3 -> 4.0 or from 4.0 -> 4.1. I wish there will be something that's lovely so that I can be happy that I didn't get overpriced One or GS4, and getting some useful updates.
Armando Sanchez Just wait for it.
Justin Charles Reback I think they're going to end up updating it to 4.2.2. The DNA/Butterfly's 4.2.2 update just leaked. The chipsets are similar, they probably have been giving the One a good priority for software development so we will see 4.2.2. 4.3 will probably come a little later than people want. People forget - Google will announce a new Android version, sure; but then HTC has to update Sense and all of their other software to work with the new update.
Mark Belkowski Rumor has it htc is skipping 4.2.2 and going to the new jellybean version. I hear june-july for a ota.
Itsok Imawelder you cant keep up with htcs devices and i dont think they can either
Ismail F Adiputra lol its like asking one way or the other.. which is sad.. it should be updated to 4.2.2, then quickly to the newest one.. it should not be one way or the other, and then that's it.. but again, with what we have seen so far, most likely it will only be updated once or twice.. :-(
Daniel Quintero 4.2.2 is already being worked on
Itsok Imawelder htc loves to screw their customers. buy a hi dollar phone with android 4.1, which is gonna be replaced by another one of their flagship phones.
Ben Marvin I'm still waiting on the camera fix update, but yeah, newer Android is always better.
James Norwood Wrong site, post that on youtube.
William Plotner Historians will look back on this comment as a prime example of a fanboy.
Basil Mahmud This is why I can never trust an Android phone again. I have to root to get the latest OS. Not worth the hassle anymore.
Brandon Johnson It it's not that big of a difference, they should skip it. No sense allocating time and resources now to an update that's about to be passed by another.
George Millhouse Daniel 4.3 is next
Daniel Schmitt I think they should cuz it would give something to hold the HTC one owners over untill they come out with the 5.0 update or whstever they announce at Google i/o
Lawrence Lepes Even though I am a Samsung fan; I would have to say yes to that.
James Norwood Galaxy S4 has the current Android version and is about to crush the One in a couple of weeks. What's not to like.
Rove McClain Should be updated with 4.2.2 and then quickly updated to the next iteration of Android because the One definitely has kinks that need to be addressed.
Klas A. Lilja Although um running a WP 920.. So seriously they shouldnt upgrade ;)
Alexx Lunn i have this phone, i think it's brilliant the way it is
Klas A. Lilja Updated of they want to sell. BTW, lets go Stenson!!!!!!!




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