PhoneDog received an image of a list of Verizon devices (including several Android devices), which contains what are purportedly, their "end of life" dates. The leak comes as a surprise to many, especially those who bought a Droid X, or a Droid 2 just a week or two ago, and are already seeing that March 31st, 2011 may be their device's "end of life" date, and possibly herald the beginning of the push by Verizon for new LTE-based smartphones.
In regards to what these dates mean to average smartphone consumers like you and me, PhoneDog adds that "the spreadsheet above is from one particular channel within the carrier's structure, so actual end-of-life dates could vary between telesales, corporate retail, and indirect retail."
Android Central took a look at some of the devices listed, and noted some interesting details:
And a handful of phones -- the Droid Incredible, LG Ally, Droid 2 and Droid X -- apparently are slated for EOL on March 31, 2011. (Edit: Yes, 2011, not 2010.) That's give the Droid Deuce a mere seven-month lifespan, which isn't out of the question, given that the original Droid isn't even a year old yet. Then there's the Motorola Devour, whose EOL date is listed as March 1, 2011. Only, we've already seen it listed as being under EOL, and we'd be very surprised if that March date is correct.
Phandroid brings up an interesting and plausible idea about the future of smartphone lifespans:
The lifespan of a smartphone seems to be decreasing rapidly, and most carriers admit this by allowing penalty-free early upgrades for their major handset launches. It was the case with both the Droid 2 and Droid X on Verizon, as well as with early iPhone upgraders on AT&T. I sense the industry, which is already in the middle of a restructuring of data plans and pricing based on smartphone usage, might shift towards one-year contracts becoming the norm at some point. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
Droid-Life seems to think that the reasoning behind the end-of-life may stem from Verizon's switch to LTE. Expanding upon that, I think that Verizon likely has interest in having LTE capable Android devices as their flag-ship device for their new network.
Android Central notes that the good news is, even if your phone is on the list, "it's not like your phone will stop working come next spring."
Image from Android Central