Motorola: If ICS doesn’t improve a device, we won’t upgrade it

After updating their Android 4.0 upgrade timeline, many users were left wondering why Motorola had no plans to release the new software version for select handsets that haven’t even reach the one year anniversary of their release. Motorola seemed committed to providing updates for as many handsets as possible, but now has issued a statement explaining some of their rationale behind withholding Ice Cream Sandwich from some.

Simply put, if the new version of Android doesn’t offer an improved device experience, Motorola has no plans to issue an update. Though it may not please all users, the move is probably for the best. A smartphone with hardware that can’t adequately handle new software will offer a poor user experience. It isn’t what most users want to hear, but with only so many resources available to dedicate to developing device upgrades it works out better for everyone.

Some will argue that independent developers often produce builds of new Android software that will run on older phones, but the level of performance and stability simply doesn’t meet what Motorola, the carriers, and even Google would consider a retail-ready experience. It may sound like a cop out on Motorola’s part (and their bloated custom UI isn’t helping anyone’s cause), but it should help avoid some headaches all around.

[via PocketNow]

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  • Scott Tompkins

    For accuracy they should say “If our bloat-ridden overlaid flavor of ICS can’t work on hardware that would otherwise run ICS smoothly, we won’t upgrade it”

    • maclv

      Bottom line they cant make it work with their bloated Blur period. Droid Bionic is now a desk clock. Hello my brand new Nexus!

    • Jose Grande

      Scott Tompkins, you couldn’t have said it any better!

  • yami951

    So damn lazy…

  • Cliff_McAllister

    If moto had better developers we wouldn’t have this problem now would we? I am running an alpha build of cm9 on my dx2 and it’s way better than gingerbread. They need to stop being lazy.

  • WickedToby741

    How does ICS NOT improve a device? New features, new apps, better security. I’m failing to see the downside of upgrading any device that can realistically handle ICS.

    • $3663674

      Some devices can’t support all that ICS can do. For instance, my HTC Incredible. I can load ICS on it, but if I do, I can’t run Google Chrome because my phone doesn’t have hardware acceleration, The video camera won’t work correctly and the thing will spontaneously reboot every time you plug or unplug it. Now, for me, loading my own ICS ROM, that might be acceptable. But it is not acceptable for a general audience. Motorola would have more to lose than to gain by trying to forcefit ICS onto devices that would lose function if ICS were installed.

      • Magus2300

        /agree.

        Look at the MyTouch 3G froyo debacle. That phone could NOT handle froyo. Ran like garbage.

      • http://twitter.com/themoosespeaks The Moose Speaks

        This is also why, contrary to user opinions that persist in spite of facts to the contrary, PLAIN VANILLA ANDROID DOES NOT EXIST! It all needs to be tweaked for the hardware it uses. If you put what you think is a plain android on a phone, chances are a lot of it simply won’t work. It has nothing to do with the UI, and everything to do with hardware. But hey, what good are facts when people have a good rage going.

        Making it work is a lot of work. If the work needed to make ICS work doesn’t produce a vastly improved user experience, and mind you were talking over all user base and not just the tech geek poser users here, it’s simply not cost effective. Period.

        I’m disappointed my D3 won’t see ICS, but I get why and if I were making the decisions, I’d reluctantly have to make the same one. It makes good business sense.

  • phinn

    “If ICS doesn’t improve a device” gtfo, this is the exact reason why i’d recommend an iPhone to people who want updates and don’t wanna root and mess with CM nightlies. Android finally having a responsive feeling interface is reason enough.

    Here is to hoping Google makes a 4th-gen Nexus line for ALL carriers and supports them. Please make a damn 4.0″ version too, I’m sick of these wannabe tablet android phones.

    • Magus2300

      A-the-frig-men (on the size comment at least)!

  • Lauren Berns

    Rather than creating a bloat-o-rific “update,” how about making a stock version available?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Will not ever happen. It’s not even an option for OEM’s. They wont do it. Ever.

      The closest thing we may see is multiple Nexus devices from multiple OEM’s in the near future.

  • ropeyy

    Wow, motorolla not upgrading, hardly headline news. I was one of the
    european users who was stupid enough to believe them when they said they
    would upgrade the dext and didn’t. Is jha still in charge? I wouldn’t
    believe I was ever getting anything from this shower even if he phoned
    me personally and told me so. Even when they say they will upgrade they
    don’t so the chances of getting an upgrade when they don’t say so are
    slim. The big puzzle for me is why do people still buy them.

  • MrDSL

    What a cop out..My old EVO runs ICS just fine.. No biggy this is one of the many reasons why I won’t ever buy Motorola.

  • jak_341

    So you think your Super Droid Razor Maxx HD+ X2 is getting ICS? No says Motorola. Your Blur and Gingerbread is good enough. In fact, our Blur software is so good, you won’t ever see another update. It wouldn’t surprise me if none of their phones ever see another update.

    Motorola has turned into a bad joke. I wish they would just go away at this point.

    • LiterofCola

      troll harder

  • http://g33ky.de/ Dr. Azrael Tod

    well.. noone said motorola must supply ICS
    Open bootloaders would be sufficient, but they don’t even supply that kind of freedom. -.-

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vadim-Marchenko/1456635588 Vadim Marchenko

    My Motorola Xoom and Nexus S (both are not really new devices with not that advanced specs) are significantly faster and smoother on ICS.
    Browser has better performance, there are features like bookmarks sync, better work with tabs there. Better camera app with panorama. Task switcher and notifications management are work of art.
    There are NO Gingerbread customization by ANY vendor that can match ICS.
    They just need to go for the stock Android and that’s it. This is message to all device manufacturers: “STOP KILLING ANDROID WITH YOUR CUSTOMIZATION!!!”

  • Joe

    How about this moto. Either keep one of your many broken promises and unlock your bootloaders OR make a Vanilla ICS ROM for your handsets that customers can download and install if they choose to.

    Let your customers decide what they want since you can’t seem to keep a single promise you make.

    People need to boycott the Motorola brand now.

  • Wagster

    US Atrix says it is coming Q3 2012 but Europe Atrix says it is in “Evaluation” stage with no date for upgrade. I’m sure their last upgrade timeline had Q3 for EP Atrix.

    CM9 is available in Beta form but I bought the Atrix for the lapdock and desktop-dock boot into linux feature (and the cool fingerprint scanner). None of those features work with the current CM9 builds so we really need a Moto official update…

    I’m sure I won’t be the last to say – last Moto phone for me unless they deliver these updates.

  • MIKEEEEE

    smart move.

    for all you whiners out there, the phones were current at manufacture, if you want advances buy another phone.

  • Jeff432

    This is why I’ll never again buy another Motorola device.

    -Former Cliq owner

    • chuckles87

      i had the cliq xt they kept promosing froyo but it never came then past the final due date they said it will not be updated

  • http://Theywaitedtoolong Dsparil

    Customers: If my phone is ICS capable, don’t expect me to upgrade to Motorola.

  • Lee McLaurin

    I wished they used the same philosophy for their bloatware.

  • SiloNova

    Motorola is right. Even if they could get rid of their bloat ware in favour of ICS, it wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do. For the typical smart phone user, they do not care for ICS. They don’t even know what ICS is. I’ve asked a few people I know about what they think of ICS, and the only responses I have thus far are either “ICS? What’s that?” or “ICS? Software update? What am I on now? I don’t care as long as I can use my phone.” or the very rare one I have heard from untechy people is “What’s a software?”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the average Motorola user made full use of their “bloat ware”. I would use it, however non of it really appeals to me, as I only brought my RAZR for games, apps, texting and calling. Nothing more, really. I don’t even care for ICS. Would I prefer to have it now? Sure, I guess. Not really because it would be great to have, but its more of a “time for a change” matter. I just want to see what its like on my device. After about a week of using ICS on it, I won’t really care for what software I have. Just as long as I can do the things I’ve already listed above.

  • Mike in NJ

    Translation: Droid 3 owners…go buy a Droid 4. No thanks, nothing but Nexus for me from now on. Screw you too, Motorola.

  • Terry Michael

    OK, If you check Moto’s upgrade page most of their newer phones are getting ICS. If you have 1 GB of RAM then you probably get upgraded. Looks like ICS is a real RAM hog and that’s what Moto is worried about for older phones.

  • Terry Michael

    Personally I like Gingerbread, I had a VZW Galaxy Nexus for a week in February and it crashed and rebooted every other day. That version 4.0.1 or 4.0.2 don’t remember which still has not been upgraded by Samsung and VZW. I say Moto is not too bad in producing reliable OS for your phone.

  • Dan Sabau

    You just got Samsung’ed..

  • YOMAMA

    In other words, “we’re too fricken lazy to do what we really should do”. Just an FYI Motorola, you’re looking at my middle finger right now.

  • BlueLetter

    I just have trouble seeing how ICS wouldn’t improve the performance of a dual core device, I mean wasn’t that the big draw for HC and ICS?
    I guess I can see it though, I’ve used both the Razr and Nexus and the Razr definitely felt like the quicker device.
    I dunno man, some of those ROMs are awfully convincing of the viability…

  • InspectorGadget80

    I’m never buying a Motorola device ever. They won’t even update some of their old phones or push out the ones FIRST from last year before the RAZR. like my Atrix, The Bionic, The Photon. Motorola just being a jack ass. They should first update the older models first. cause we the consumer put our money into your pocket and you’re SUPPOSE to update our phones. This will be my last phone and I’ll be buying a Xperia phone

  • Magnus100

    No wonder Motorola is doing so poorly. The company is being run by congenital idiots!

  • TheCaprican

    Moto can suck it lol never ever gonna get it

  • Jose Grande

    This response shows why they don’t have anything new from the market now! HTC has their “One” phones, Samsung has their “Galaxy s 3″, and LG has been making “dough” with their “Galaxy Nexus!”…Thankfully Google is buying them, and Maybe get rid of all that Bloat Ware Droid phones have been slowing down since the first droid.

  • Shadow934

    Motorola is being a little baby… No wonder samsung is taking their lunch money left and right. How about you get on with the program Whine-orola?

  • OmniUni

    First of all, Motorola has done an excellent job of getting their devices stable on 2.3.5 or 2.3.6. I would venture to say they are one of the few companies that offer such a similar software on such a wide variety of devices. In fact, phones as old as the Droid 2 and Droid X run a nearly identical software as the Droid Razr and 4. Look at HTC or Samsungs devices from the same time frame, and you’ll find a far wider range of software versions. Also, I’ll point out that even the community hasn’t produced a stable ICS rom yet. CM9 and AOKP are still very much under development, and Gummy, even at version 1.2 has plenty of hardware problems on the Droid 4. Before we condemn Motorola, we should consider that it would likely take a lot of their resources to build a decent ICS for those devices, and even more resources to get it to the point of carrier approval. I too wish they felt it to be worth while, but they are a business, not a community of volunteers, so I can accept that. On the other hand, hopefully CM and other community distros will get ICS working on those devices.

  • Benjamin Dixon

    If Motorola hadn’t announced that the Photon will be getting ICS this summer I probably would’ve gotten something else. We shall see how it works. I’m assuming the phone has the capabilities to handle the update well?