Android 4.4 KitKat rollout schedule: Latest from Sony, HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell and Motorola

Android 4.4 KitKat rollout schedule: Latest from Sony, HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell and Motorola

Summary: Updated: Moto X owners in the US will be the first non-Nexus devices to get KitKat, possibly even ahead of the Google Play editions of Samsung and HTC's flagship devices.

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Google-owned Motorola has jumped to the head of the non-Nexus Android pack, pushing out 4.4 KitKat in the US this week, as HTC confirms US HTC One owners will get the update at the same time as UK owners.

Sony made a recently splash by announcing KitKat would arrive on five Xperia devices - however, it looks like US-owners of the Moto X will be the first to get KitKat, with T-Mobile starting the roll out on Thursday, according to Motorola. Verizon should also start the rollout to Moto X devices soon, Motorola said, although it made no mention of when AT&T will start.  

Release notes for the update list a number of improvements to the phone dialler, Gallery photo editing, support for Square's credit card reader and wider NFC support.

According to Motorola's support pages, Verizon plans to deliver KitKat to the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, though it hasn't given a timeframe for when it will arrive. 

Similarly, Sony hasn't provided any updates on when it will roll out KitKat to its Android devices, but has previously confirmed 4.4 will come to Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1 handsets. The company notes that the phased rollout may vary by market and carrier and has advised Xperia owners to keep an eye out on its @SonyMobileNews Twitter account for the specific timing of the release.

However, most of those devices will get Jelly Bean first: Sony said it will also begin rolling out Android 4.3 over the next month to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP, Xperia Z Ultra and Xperia Z1. Again, that may vary by market or carrier.

HTC has just begun rolling out Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5 to HTC One handsets in the UK, and is eyeing an early 2014 timeline for bringing KitKat. "Across EMEA, HTC will work with local carriers to begin the roll-out of Android 4.4 with Sense 5.5 for the HTC One from end of January.

"The Google Play edition will start to receive the update earlier, starting from the end of November," a spokesperson told ZDNet. HTC has handed off its KitKat build for the the Google Play edition of the HTC One, so now it's up to Google to release it through Google Play. 

HTC hasn't provided an update on the timing and version of Android for the HTC One max and the HTC One mini, but details will follow. Meanwhile, HTC US this week confirmed it will push KitKat to HTC One owners in the same timeframe as the UK. 

There's still no word from Samsung about its KitKat schedule for the Galaxy S4 and Note 3. However, Google has already confirmed that the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition with 4.4 should be coming soon. "Samsung UK will announce rollout plans for Android 4.4 in due course," a spokesperson told ZDNet. However, anyone with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus won't be getting KitKat at all — Google has said the handset is too old to get the OS.

Not so for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, however — the Android team said on Twitter earlier this month that it has started pushing out 4.4 to the devices. The 2012 and 2013 wi-fi versions of the Nexus 7 will be among the first to get the update, the team said.

The Nexus 4 is also reportedly now eligible for KitKat, with some users seeing the update arriving this week.

While LG is behind Google's fast-selling Nexus 5, the South Korean company hasn't released a schedule for when its own Android devices, such as the G2 smartphone, G Pad tablet, and Optimus range, will get KitKat.

Huawei this week posted on Weibo it will release KitKat for the domestic version of its super slim Ascend P6 by the end of January, though it's not clear whether that extends to international customers. ZDNet is waiting for a response from Huawei UK to answer that question. 

Dell has of yet provided no details about whether KitKat or Jelly Bean will reach its Android Venue 7 and Venue 8 slates, which both run Android 4.2. "Dell continually assesses its product portfolio in each country where it does business and not all products are available in all countries. At present Dell doesn't have a timeline on whether the Android-based tablets will be made available in Western Europe, but continues to assess the opportunity in that region," a spokesperson told ZDNet. Acer has no official timeline for the release of KitKat, a spokesman for the company said.

Further reading

Topics: Android, Google, HTC, Mobile OS, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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28 comments
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  • Sony should be ashamed

    Being so forthcoming with Android KitKat and at the same time being a member of the Rockstar alliance that it is suing Google and some Android based phone manufacturers, seem to me a very low move.
    ejespino1127
    • Some of the Rockstar members have no control over the strategy

      I doubt Sony's share was large enough for them to prevent Microsoft and Apple from going after Google. I bet Sony saw joining the consortium as a hedge against lawsuits and a way to protect themselves from the licensing fees they're going to attempt to extract. I think most of the hostility should be directed at MS and Apple who surely ponied up the lion's share of the cash that bought the Nortel patents and who are absolutely going to try to destroy Google's advertising business in favor of their own.
      High Tech Troglodyte
    • That's right...

      Sony should help Samsung at all costs.
      Bruizer
  • Dell will offer 4.4, albeit kind of later

    I've recently asked DELL about an upgrade to 4.4 on their Android Tablet and here what they told me:

    "Yes, there’s an OTA (over the air) upgrade to 4.3 around Dec/Jan, and another OTA upgrade to 4.4 around Q2/Q3."
    guibergeron
  • I can haz Cyanognmod?

    Pleez?
    fairportfan
  • Samsung only Android "winner"

    Despite all the negative BlackBerry press, Samsung is the only manufacturer making money on Android, and BlackBerry outsells HTC and Motorola @ present. I find BlackBerry the best productivity phone available, as of today. I am a huge BlackBerry 10 fan
    HenselM
    • I disagree

      the market is flooded with android based phones, for 5 years now. *someone* is making money, I can say that. Not every product that a company sells has to be an iphone or galaxy mega-success to be worthwhile.
      drwong
      • Microsoft isn't even making Android devices, and it's raking in the dough.

        In fact, MS might be the biggest winner when it comes to money flowing from Android adoption.
        adornoe
        • Yep

          Patent enforcement is a lucrative business. Maybe the USPTO should relax the standards some more so successful companies have even more weapons to use against upstarts. But don't ever let the general public know which patent was violated, as someone might find a way around it.

          After all, patent avoidance is an even greater crime than is patent infringement.
          John L. Ries
          • Paten revenue

            I doubt that Microsoft is very happy. Analysts believe it gets $5 per device; these are all lost Windows licences, and the patents will expire in a few years, leaving Microsoft with no market share, no ecosystem and no revenues. but I suppose worst of all is the fact the Microsoft really can't value its OS IP very significantly since it can only get $5 per device. For oems, the saving of $5 by switching to a MS licence must be offset against the cost of the windows licence and all the disadvantages of trying to sell a low-interest OS to consumers. it's not worth switching.
            timrichardson
          • It must be less than $5

            In average (including those who pay zero to MS) must be more like $2 or $3 per device.
            AleMartin
        • MS loves android

          For each android sold a bell rings at Microsoft.
          :-)
          AleMartin
        • Patent People get money... for awhile

          Sure, MS is making some coin on Android... probably around $5.00 per device. But they're taking in nearly $100 on every Windows RT tablet sold by other companies... well, that's just Nokia now, and not a different company for long. But in theory, MS is far better off making their own devices popular.

          That's also to point out Microsoft's big disadvantage here. Apple and Google have development costs, sure, but they're microscopic compared to the size of the market. Apple's per-unit software cost for iOS devices is patent licenses. Android devices also have patent licenses to pay, and usually $10 for the set of Google applications. Microsoft could compete here, but they can't compete on price and also leave room for other companies to make Windows phones and RT tablets. And for a $300 product, an extra $100 in licensing is big trouble. This is showing already, in that Windows 8 tablets -- not beholden to also buy Office -- are undercutting RT tablets.

          I've seen some claims that Samsung is making most of the profit in Android, even with only just over 40% of the sales. But that doesn't quite up. Samsung made too much profit in other business segments to have accounted for all of the Android profit. And some companies reported losses, offsetting this even further. So sure, Samsung probably made 50-60% of the Android profit, but certainly not all of it. And of course, there's probably a chart somewhere showing Apple making 50-60% of all profit in mobile electronics, even with only 15% of the sales. That didn't stop Samsung from playing, and Samsung's not going to stop everyone else.
          Hazydave
  • Beware the Google Nexus line of products

    Google initially claimed that the Nexus line of products would be the Android devices "first to receive updates". Yet, just two years after the Google Galaxy Nexus phone (by Samsung) was released, Google has stopped support for Android updates. Worse, Google has posted that they will only support updates on Google Nexus devices for 18 months (check the website yourself - https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/3507867?hl=en&ref_topic=3415518)

    There are thousands of frustrated and isolated Nexus owners that have bought into the Google ecosystem. Now the Nexus phone is obsolete. Read more here - http://www.change.org/petitions/google-update-the-galaxy-nexus-with-android-4-4-kitkat

    Shame on Google. And prospective buyers of Google products should take heed.
    duckdive@...
    • meh

      the nexus phones are cheap enough. I have 2 samsung galaxy's for development and I don't expect them to support them forever. I can't see getting all outraged about it.
      drwong
    • Yup

      And Nexus devices have been a little crippled... Google leaves out that $0.25 microSD card (the cheapest kind of memory), preferring you to augment your mobile device with their online storage (the most expensive kind of memory, both in support, performance, power consumption on the mobile device, etc). I took that compromise as something I'd have to eat, in return for fast updates, and new OS ports for "as long as the hardware supports the new OS", which is exactly what they were doing with the original Nexus One and the Nexus S.

      So there's no trusting them anymore. If you like the low price on a Nexus device, go for it... just don't expect long-term support. Consider that Apple's iPhone 4 was out nearly twice as long as the Galaxy Nexus and it got an update to iOS 7 just last month. Not that I'd buy an Apple product for myself, but it's hard not to offer that advice to people concerned about keeping up with new software releases.

      And yeah, Google's blaming Texas Instruments on not supporting the OMAP 4460 anymore. But are they really supporting is so much less than they did for last summer's 4.3 release? Is there really new support needed that can only come from TI? After all, the stuff TI provides is mostly board support code, and at least the basic part of that is guaranteed to be in source code at Google -- no embedded chip company is going to hand you a BSP package as a binary blob (maybe some components, but not the core of it). I mean, the Cyanogen(mod) people already have 4.4 booting on the Galaxy Nexus, without any of that source code.

      And here's the other thing that doesn't resonate: big companies don't make stupid deals on important projects. The Galaxy Nexus was Google's flagship smartphone for a year. It's practically boilerplate, when you're at that level, to have some guarantees about support, including a source code escrow. So if TI goes out of business, or just isn't doing that work anymore, Google gets access to sources previously not available, the stuff they'd be doing, for pay, under the original support plan. I don't think you get to where Google is today by being stupid.. but it looks like going forward, they've also taken "evil" off the shelf.
      Hazydave
  • LOL

    "Samsung is staying tightlipped about its KitKat schedule for the Galaxy S4 and Note 3" them never updating, but always trying to get YOU to update with new hardware is why they don't get any of my money anymore.

    Should never have strayed from HTC. They know how to make a quality phone that feels like it's worth the money.
    timspublic1@...
  • Please stop making list posts like this without any actual updates

    Listing Samsung, for example, in the title is total click-bait. I clicked on it, but there is no "latest" about Samsung devices, as there has been no information. Samsung has made no statement at all about Kit Kit that I've read, thus there can't be a "latest" statement. Only a vague reference to the S4 Google Edition that 12 people have bought.
    skyledavisbooks
  • Please stop making list posts like this without any actual updates

    Listing Samsung, for example, in the title is total click-bait. I clicked on it, but there is no "latest" about Samsung devices, as there has been no information. Samsung has made no statement at all about Kit Kit that I've read, thus there can't be a "latest" statement. Only a vague reference to the S4 Google Edition that 12 people have bought.
    skyledavisbooks
  • Nice....

    My Galaxy S4 is still at 4.2.2 and my cell provider has yet to release 4.3 and 4.4 is already coming out soon.
    Gisabun