Jan, 20 2014

When Android 4.4 KitKat launched, we were surprised to see that the Moto X got the upgrade before most Nexus devices. It wasn’t a huge gap between the rollouts, but the fact that any non-Nexus device got it before any others was astonishing. Some suspected Motorola might have had privileged access to the update ahead of other OEMs thanks to their new parent company Google.

Motorola Logo

Interestingly enough, TrustedReviews posted an appalling headline earlier “confirming” as much. Here’s what the headline originally satated:

Motorola CEO confirms Google will prioritise Android updates for Motorola phones

And here’s a line from the source:

If you’re going to buy an Android phone you’ll get the fastest Android updates on Motorola. What do we want people to say about Motorola in 2-3 years?

That we are constantly proving that software is key. We want them to say Motorola stands for quality and value. That I can’t get a better smartphone at that price-point and then in the higher price products it’s that I have more choice.

That line alone doesn’t seem to convey that Motorola is getting priority access. Indeed, the headline was changed to reflect Woodside’s comments more accurately, which don’t actually state Motorola gets early access to upgrades.

But Woodside’s comments are still quite interesting. Such a confident statement, coupled with what seemed to be lightning fast upgrades to Android 4.4 KitKat on the Moto X, Moto G, and the 2013 DROID phones, would make anyone believe Motorola is receiving special treatment.

It’s entirely possible that other factors could be in play, of course. Motorola’s “keep it simple, stupid” approach to software these days probably makes it easier for them to implement and test new versions of Android than other OEMS. That said, they still do use a great deal of custom software in their latest phones, so it’s still amazing to see them able to get a stable upgrade out ahead of any Nexus device.


While we might not ever get a clear answer about it (that would tick some pretty big manufacturers off), one thing’s for sure — Motorola fans certainly won’t be complaining anytime soon. Would you make your next phone a Motorola phone if you found out they had access to newer versions of Android before anyone else? Let us know with a quick line in the comments section, as well as a vote in the poll below!

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