Android U.S. System Updates -- Tale of the Tape

The folks at ComputerWorld wanted to know which U.S. carriers did the best job at pushing out the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update to its customers, and determined which ones are best.

Smartphone updates are a concern for many folks these days, especially owners of Android phones. Google may get praise for pumping out Android updates at a rapid pace, but the fact is few owners of Android phones actually get them. The problem is the complicated process that each Android update must go through to get to your phone.

Google releases an update, such as version 2.2 (Froyo), and the OEMs take it to make it work on every Android handset they produce. Once they bless the update for a given phone, it then goes to the phone carrier to make it work for their particular model of the handset. The carrier gets its own apps working with the new OS version, and then get the OTA update ready to push out to the deserving masses. It's no wonder Android updates take so long to appear, but the sad fact is most Android handsets never get the update at all.

The folks at ComputerWorld wanted to know which U.S. carriers did the best job at pushing out the Froyo update to its customers, and analyzed all of the carriers. The resulting chart shows a clear picture of how likely you are to get your Android phone updated with each of the big four.

The chart shows that those wanting to make sure they get updates are better off with Verizon and Sprint, respectively. T-Mobile is a dismal third place and AT&T is the worst with none of its Android phones getting updated to Froyo in the last six months of 2010. That's a consistent approach for AT&T, but not in a good way.

The CompuWorld article details how they calculated these results, and also shows a similar update breakdown by OEM. HTC updated an impressive 50 percent of its handsets to Froyo last year, but other OEMs didn't do too well.

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