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Hey Google..Why Don't YOU Start Paying For Android Updates!?

Eric McBride
5

 

Imagine this conversation taking place between Google and Samsung: (Google) "Hey Samsung! You have sold over 20 million Galaxy S2 devices right? GOOD JOB. Tell ya what....yes, I realize that we pretty much give Android to you for free and allow you to make millions in sales, but lets take it up a notch. For every 500,000 Galaxy S2 devices you upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich within "X“ amount of time, we're gonna cut you a big $%& check. Would that possibly give you the motivation to help us out with this fragmentation issue?“. Since we all know that money makes the world go round, especially for huge companies like Samsung, what do you think their response would be?

Last week I read an extremely good article from ExtremeTech that touched on the possibility of consumers having the option to pay for Android updates, which led me to write my own article discussing my views on the possibility. The community had a lot of good comments in regards to this issue, and I completely understand that it is a complex and somewhat (possibly) over exaggerated issue. I felt that with so many people paying sometimes hundreds for a Windows update, why not 10 bucks per Android update to give manufacturers some incentive to update devices faster? I mean fair enough, Samsung makes PLENTY OF MONEY from Android, so why should they make more? I get that argument, and I do agree that it seems like Android manufacturers are making way too much profit while at the same time making consumers wait way too long for updates. But what about if Google, who generates BILLIONS of dollars per year in search revenue from mobile devices alone, were to incentivise Android manufacturers to speed it up a bit by paying them to implement updates faster?

This is exactly what Emil Protalinski discussed in a really good article on Zdnet (credits and link below) yesterday, and it really got me thinking. If ANYONE should be paying for updates, why the consumer? Yes, people pay for Windows updates, but it has ALWAYS been that way. Even if paying for Android updates were optional, it would have needed to have been implemented more from the beginning, as it seems a bit too late to introduce this idea now. But Google on the other can not only afford it, they could EASILY afford it, and they have plenty of things to gain by keeping Android up to date as quickly as possible across devices. 

Again, this is a drastic measure, but the update process for Android needs a more drastic solution. What do you guys think? What if the big G would start throwing money at manufacturers to update devices and supporting the consumer directly by taking the responsibility to put pressure on them (manufacturers) directly? Could it help to end fragmentation, or would it simply lead to other issues?

Picture credits: talkandroid.com

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Comments

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  • Cam charles Mar 20, 2012 Link

    like my thoughts on the consumer paying for it think this needs to be a thing that manufacturers bare the burden of, sure google need to step up and do more to get manufacturers to roll out updates but they shouldn't have to pay for it, they already supply a great versatile OS that is easy to integrate into devices, to the point that it has saved many a company struggling to create a decent os , samsung included and even allowed many un heard of companies with less $$ to create great devices and become forces to be reckoned with, having to pay their customers on top of that to update isnt great business and would throw of all sorts of wrong "business failing" messages

    again this is definitely something manufacturers need to be doing for the sake of customer loyalty and brand loyalty, for people like me, in mobiles, i want the latest thing asap and as long as the product is good if one manufacturer is rolling out updates fast and constantly for the lifespan of the device im theres, i will look to them for new devices, so far NO brand is really doing that to my liking yet (and of course carrier feet dragging isnt helping) so ive brought a google phone (galaxy nexus) to hopefully stay at the forefront, for now :S, my previous phone was also samsung and i really like what they do, even touchwiz, but device quality, ui design etc too so when i went to buy a new tv recently i checked out the samsungs first

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  • boone simpson Mar 21, 2012 Link

    Better solution, google require that all manufacturers that agreed to 18 months of software support at google IO, are required to provide the promised support to release google approved (market access, gapps, etc) devices.

    Basically charge a fee to be google approved (X dollars a device), that is waived so long as support is provided. If a manufacturer drops support prematurly, they pay the fee. This ensures manufacturers support popular devices.

    Manufacturers can still go nongoogle approved but i think the market would prefer G approved devices.

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  • Cam charles Mar 21, 2012 Link

    ^^^that is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be done to get things rolling

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  • CJ Brown Mar 21, 2012 Link

    As a Consumer, I already get nickel'd & dime'd by the Banks, Utilities, Gas Station, etc ... so I say "no bueno" for surcharging me a fee to upgrade the software of my HTC Droid Incredible !!!

    It's bad enough I'm going to have to invest in a 4G lte phone if I want Ice Cream Sandwich (since Verizon Wireless isn't interested in updating their 3G Android Smart Phones), the price of the HTC Thunderbolt is so cheap now I'm "almost" ready to upgrade now (vs waiting 'til November when the contract ends)!!!

    What's stopping me? The price of the HTC Thunderbolt is too cheap (as in "buy an outdated android smart phone" we've got too much in stock with newer 4G lte models coming soon in 2012); which leads me to my suggestion for all Cellular Service Providers :

    OUTDATED CELL PHONE BUY OUT / EARLY UPGRADE

    Verizon Wireless knows I have an outdated Android Smart Phone (& I'm loyal to HTC models); but what they don't comprehend is if they want to keep me from running off to T-Mobile ? They better realize I am stuck with a quality Android Smart Phone that isn't Ice Cream Sandwich compliant (& I think it's bullshit that I have to wait 'til November before I can upgrade) !!

    AT&T was smart enough to snag the rights for HTC ONE (& there's no way I'll ever go back to AT&T), now it's time for Verizon & T-Mobile * to take a shit & get off the toilet (as in start investing in compatible HTC ONE models for Consumers now)!!

    [*if I failed to mention Sprint, its because I am a former Customer who won't go back to them either']

    I've seen online posts regarding a possible DROID INCREDIBLE 3 (& from what I've seen? This is very HTC ONE in design ) which I'll gladly upgrade to in November (when I can get a better price for it - provided this new model is allegedly being released in April / May)

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/5/2846660/droid-incredible-3-16gb-galaxy-nexus-verizon-april-rumor

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  • Eric McBride Mar 21, 2012 Link

    @Boone...GOOD IDEA. I agree with you and CAM. At this point, Google AND manufacturers need to both step up and do their part. Google I/O this year NEEDS solutions discussed, not just possibilities.

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