Carrier Upgrades

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by teknikal90, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. teknikal90 macrumors 68040


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi all,

    Just a little curiosity... I was stumped as to why Android devices take so long before they get the Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade whereas iPhones get theirs pretty much the day Apple releases them.
    I looked into it and found out that the release cycle goes like this for Android:

    Google --> Nexus Phone --> Available to OEM --> OEM adds their own tweaks and softwares --> Carriers test the firmware --> Users

    Obviously, being the only OEM for iOS, Apple skips a step - it doesn't need to add tweaks to its own software. But what about the carrier testing?
    How come Apple gets to skip that part?

    How does Apple do it and how come Android can't replicate the process???

    Just a curiosity :)

  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Reason profit.

  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    I don't think it's carrier testing. More like carrier customization. Apple flatly refuses any form or carrier customization on their devices.
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    What you described is basically how it used to work for every phone: The carriers were in charge of what software went on the phones and what it did or didn't do. If Verizon told Nokia they wanted x to happen (or not happen), Nokia said "ok."

    The iPhone changed all of that. Apple said "Here's our phone. People want it. You can sell it if you want to, but take it as it is, we control it." This was huge. This was a very new thing for everyone. No carrier logo on the outside of the phone. No carrier control over the software. No carrier-run app store. All gone when it came to Apple.

    Other phone manufacturers were envious, but what could they do? How could they break out of their self-imposed prisons? Well, Google helped, and Android gave them a bit more control than they'd had before. But the problem was that they were all still in the same boat with each other. A carrier can say "Oh, you want to do that, HTC? Well, maybe we'll just buy more Samsung Android phones, then." They now had the ability to control the phones more, but the carriers still had leverage.

    So Android helped the other phone makers, but it wasn't a magic bullet. They've still got a bit of legacy history there, holding them down. So they end up in the situation you described. There's a lot of links in the "will my Android phone get upgraded" chain, and the chain is, of course, only as strong as its weakest link.

    The iPhone broke the mold and did away with the chain. They replaced it with a single candy-bar phone. Others would love to do that too, but they're all locked into their respective chains.
  5. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    Most Android phone have heavily customized OS overlays from the OEM's. Granted this has been toned down a tone with ICS there is still a lot of customization. Plus with Android you have a lot of different hardware combinations at play that have to be customized for. You have different screens, CPU's, GPU's, radios, etc. It all takes time and usually way to much.
  6. AlphaVictor87 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2011
    Saint Louis, MO
    I enjoy your posts. They are so informative! that is all (not sarcasm)
  7. teknikal90 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Carriers hold it back for some reason. ICS was ready for the Xoom LTE model nearly the same time it was for the wifi only version. However Verizon was testing it for months, and finally with no changes it was released. I use that example because the Xoom has pure vanilla ICS, so there was no skin that held up the process from the manufacture.

    With iOS Verizon pretty much does what apple tells them. Apple has done a fantastic job of showing carriers whose boss and in the end it benefits the consumer.

    I don't that will ever happen with android because it's open source. What makes a lot of android phones better then the next is the manufacture software (like all the cool shib with the s3). So there will always be skins and the carriers will flex their muscle dealing with all the different versions.

    Edit: just read small white cars post oops

Share This Page