No Android 4.0 update coming to Motorola Atrix 4G, Photon 4G and Electrify


One of Android’s best advantages is the fact that it moves so quickly. Fast tech advances make our devices better, but this also means that they become outdated much faster. Every device sees the day when its manufacturer simply sees no need to keep updating its software, and that time has come to three of Motorola’s smartphones – the Motorola Atrix 4G, Photon 4G and Electrify.

A statement from Motorola’s Punit Soni has recently revealed that no Ice Cream Sandwich update will see the light of day for these devices. They will forever stay in Google’s older Android 2.3 OS, a sad happening for users of any of these devices.

“Motorola Mobility continues to review how each device can deliver the very best experience possible, and at times, this can mean making tough choices – especially as it relates to Android software upgrades. Today, we need to let you know about some tough choices related to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades. Specifically, ATRIX 4G, Photon 4G and Electrify will not receive the ICS upgrade, but continue to be supported with maintenance releases to ensure optimum performance for the consumer.

We are committed to being more transparent than ever on our software upgrade strategy – even when we’re delivering news consumers may not want to hear. We are doing everything possible to continually improve our communication with you and make sure you are a satisfied customer. That’s why we recently announced our $100 rebate program for owners of these and other devices launched in 2011 and beyond that won’t get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This program starts in the U.S. this fall, and we are working to expand it to select regions around the world. Please watch for updates at”

So, there you have it, guys. You can either conform with Android 2.3, upgrade to a new device or root your device and install a custom ROM. You know the developer community will always have your back.

[Source: Motorola]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. LOL, MOTOfail

  2. I don’t see anything wrong with this. Motorola Mobility is in the process of reinventing itself and they need to decide where to focus their resources. They already cut a lot of jobs and they can’t continue to support the dozens of phones they put out the last couple of years when SanJay was in charge. They’re doing good to focus on the Razr line, and for those devices they can’t update, at least they’re offering the $100 credit. Yes, it sucks but I think they’re doing the right thing.

    1. When a promise is made then that is it. They should be offering a free phone if you bought it only a year ago. $100 would be fair if it was older than that.

  3. I say props for being straight up about it.
    I think failing the update folks with these devices are hoping for at least they are clear about where they stand.

    1. Haha, they changed the ICS status at Friday night… also without changing the “last updated” date so that no one would notice the changes, to avoid publicity. Sonit puni talking about transparancy, what BS.

      And then I’m not even bringing up the fact that they have said ICS in Q3 since February, and now just like that its cancled.

  4. No, there is unfortunately no way of getting ICS or JB on those phones. There are ROMs out there, but they need proprietary drivers from Nvidia that will never come. Glad I sold my Atrix 4G and bought a Samsung!

    1. This move is a massively dishonest and disgraceful punch in the gut to everyone who bought in to Motorola’s “flagship” device. I bragged about the Atrix to friends and family, and fully intended to make a Motorola device my next purchase. Motorola strung us along for nearly a year before pulling the rug out from under us and destroying all loyalty and goodwill for their awful, miserable company. I’ve sold my Atrix on eBay and bought a Samsung GS2 Skyrocket with ICE CREAM SANDWICH. Sammy has already promised an upgrade to Jelly Bean. I love Android and Google and I realize this is not their fault. That being said, Google’s Moto purchase was an epic mistake. I hope Motorola goes down in flames! They will never again get any money from myself, my family, or my friends. It’s all going to Samsung.

    2. Umm you’re telling an uneducated lie.

      I am running Jelly Bean on my Atrix I gave to my brother in law..

      Works perfectly actually.

  5. Being able to get the latest OS upgrades is the main reason why I’ll only buy a Nexus branded device.

    1. Well yes and no. Make sure it’s an unlocked carrier-free nexus. Why Carriers need to “test” their releases where lets face it.. with Apple they don’t let the Carrier even tough it is beyond me.

      If there is anything I like about Apple it is letting them control the updates not the Carrier. That’s the way it should be. Carriers are nothing but a pain in the rear.

  6. why you take so long to report!!!! I tipped you guys on this early AM!!! :P

    Thanks guys for reporting this. I just wish I was my prediction had been wrong.

    1. Perhaps they run some sort of fact checking?

  7. The reason I went with this phone was because the Sprint report swore ICS would be coming for it. Effin’ liars. I’m done with Motorola.

    1. If you have it in writing you have grounds for a lawsuit.

      1. Ther is plenty of documentation out there listing August 2012 as the time for the update from motorola and sprint.

      2. If you want any good lawyers, speak to Apple.

    2. In the mean time root it with the MIUI Jelly bean build and experience the phone the way it should be!

      I found that when I had the atrix even with lowering the CPU clocks to 456mhz this was more than enough to run the MIUI launcher with full buttery smoothness under ICS.

      Let alone when you crank it up to 1300Mhz it is an amazing device and I only held on to it as long as I did because I had rooted it.

      I am since using an unrooted Galaxy S3 in Australia.

  8. That’s the last straw. I will never for my entire life buy a Motorola phone, and I will make sure no one in my close family does either. Either quit releasing so many phones so you can keep up with os updates, or just don’t ever say you are going to update them. When you say you are going to for a year, and then don’t, thats just lame AF.

    1. We’re all frustrated but although I do believe that was a good thing they posted their list of devices that were or were not getting updates. I just wished that they hand not done it so late in the process and to pull the rug out under us without making an official announcement to our carriers to communicate to us that an update was not coming. I think I will have to take that up with Sprint for also not keeping up to date and letting us know about it. May want to also take it up with your carrier if it isn’t Sprint for not also communicating the last minute change as well.

      This will get everyone involved on the same page and not make such decisions in the future without thinking about the ramifications.

  9. I don’t understand why the Photon can’t get the update there’s a bunch of other phones on par or less then the Photon with ICS. That’s what bothers me the most that it can easily handle the software so what’s the logic in not giving one final update?

  10. >You know the developer community will always have your back.

    Most ROM devs have moved on to the brighter new stars of Samsung and HTC.

    Most other phones suck as far as hackability goes. Motorola’s locked bootloaders and broken promises have sealed Moto’s fate among devs unless and until Google does something about it. LG and the rest have various problems and low dev interest.

    1. Th3B1ll and a few others are still developing for the Atrix / Photon 4G’s… take a look.. -> It is thriving with builds from September 29th!

  11. I think that the photon not getting ICS is bull sh$t. It’s a Sprint high end device. U can’t even get a razorunless Ur with Verizon. F$vm Verizon. Atrix is att, so what’s up with MOTO only catering to Verizon and its devices. I won’t be buying MOTO till they get there heads out of verizons ass!

  12. Sweet, now I get 100 bucks off my next phone

    1. Only if it’s another Motorola.

  13. I’m done with MotoFAIL… Liars! Burn in hell!!!

  14. I think the big issue here was with the tegra 2 chipset. All the phones here that aren’t getting the update have the tegra 2. The ATRIX 2 has the OMAP from TI and they are in soak test with ICS. But it is still pretty $h!tty that moto waited this long to cancel the ICS updates.

    1. Not true, Galaxy R, ZTE Mimosa X, Sony Tablet S, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Asus Transformer, Asus Slider, Acer Iconia A100, A200, A500 all run ICS and Motorola Xoom runs JB.

      1. Maybe Motorola and Nvidia had a falling-out?

  15. I bought the photon when it was first released because it was the best of the best at the time. I thought it was going to be the powerhouse that was going to have continued support. I am very disappointed with this news. I will attempt to unlock the bootloader this weekend and flash some JB. $100? Why would I go down the path with Motorola again? How about a flat $100 check for turning in the handset?

    1. If you want some tips TerrBear go here –> It lists the MIUI builds of JellyBean for the Photon. :) Should work a treat.

  16. ICS not coming = customers not coming back. I talked someone in to a GS3 because this fiasco right Motorola’s twitter feed

    1. Good thing that person you talked to didn’t know about the fiasco of Samsung’s late releases track record before too…

      1. As much as I hate Samsung, you clearly dont understand the concept of “before” and “currently”.

  17. I understand a lot of the people’s anger towards this news but my question to you all is: why get mad at Motorola? Sure, they made promises but you forget that ALL updates do not come straight from the creator. The carrier receives the updates and has to push them to the customers. Everyone is throwing the hate to Moto but what makes you think that they didn’t approach the carriers (Sprint for example) only to get rejected? Sprint doesn’t make money off you keeping your old phone and not upgrading. And if you’re wondering why Moto didn’t just say that, do you know how much that would hurt their business connections? You can’t put any blame on people that buy from you.

    1. Interesting theory. I wonder if it holds up with other Sprint phones. I would not doubt for a second that Sprint cares little about phone updates and they’d prefer to sell more new phones than provide free support. Only that wouldn’t apply just to Sprint but to all the major carriers as well, so we are back to Motorola being the root cause of this decision.

    2. I’m not convinced that your theory is right. The most likely time for a user to switch carriers is at phone upgrade time.

  18. I switched to a GS3 and gave my girl my photon becuse we were promised ICS in august. I don’t care about a $100 I want updates when promised. If the GS# gets Jelly Bean in Oct I will get her one of those. Don’t blame this on sprint we can blame them for enough. This is Motorola deciding there is not ehough photones out there to care about them and the PR hit will be minimal.

  19. does anyone know how to root Atrix 4G (AT&T) ? And also any idea whether it has been successful or some of the key functions won’t work? Please share any links you may be having.

    Thanks in advance. :)

    1. I have an Atrix with a stable release of Jelly Bean. Just Google jokersax Atrix. He has his own Site, as well as a xda support Page for ICS & JB, both by jokersax

  20. Motorola, take your phone and SHOVE IT! I was abandon by HP’s webos and now I’ve been abandon by you. In the last 5 months (since my webos contract finally ended) I’ve bought 3 Motorola Photons based on your repeated published promises for upcoming updates. You may think you can ignore your promises with impunity, but I assure you that my promise to never buy another Motorola product will not be forgotten like your promises to me! I’m stuck for two more years – I wonder how many people I will influence on which phone not to buy in that time.

    1. ^ Exactly what happened to me minus the purchasing of 3. I came from webOS and my palm pre to this. Great device and won’t get ICS. I can’t believe it.

  21. pathetic, and same old android crap.

  22. Even apple updated from ios5 to ios6. Doh.

    1. That depends on which device you have.

  23. When I got my 1st ANDROID phone (HUAWEI ASCEND w/CRICKET), we were stuck on 2.1 ECLAIR, w/only hope that HUAWEI/CRICKET would upgrade us to 2.2 FROYO. I don’t believe any real promises were ever made, just a lot of back & forth between the customers & the companies. The phone was cheap enough, & w/no contracts binding us, it was easy enough to walk away. (Not before the developer community gave us CM7, THX! to ISAAC & PG)!

    But this is different, for all the reasons mentioned by everyone else here.

    You’ve got a loooooooong way to go before I even consider doing any business w/you again, if ever, MOTOROLA!

  24. Dude, I’m gettin’ a Nexus.

  25. Atrix 4g (mb860) with out ICS = NO more Motorola! Trash!

  26. Well, things like this keep me dis-interested in certain manufacturers. I only recently broke my Samsung hate-streak, due to them showing a newly-founded recent history list of what I would acceptable support. My only reason for not going HTC is their screwed up memory management on the One X.

    But anyway…if Motorola could get their stuff together with support and software, they wojld have my vote everyday. They know how to make a ball-bearing slider phone better than anyone so far. Their phones, hardware wise are great. Stuff like this breaks the foundation though.

  27. The biggest disappointment here (for me) is the lack of updated drivers to support the CM9/CM10 mods. That being said, I’ve been running CM10 JB on my Photon for awhile now and it’s quite stable. The only ‘issues’ are: unlocking your phone makes you lose 4G and there is still some jittering with the camcorder (because of a lack of drivers). Everything else works great (sms/mms/camera/google now/etc).

    So for all of you who are disappointed with Moto’s news and aren’t yet ready to abandon ship… come on over to XDA and search for the ‘unofficial cm10 by jokersax’ thread. Joker and Th3Bill have been doing some fine work over there.

  28. MotoFAIL. Yet people still buy their crap. I dropped Moto like a hot potato after the OG Droid and have never looked back.

  29. who said Samsung was the worst with the software update? It looks like Motorola and LG to me!! Samsung has improved a lot as far as software update goes (comparing to the first Galaxy S) it seems like they are getting better and faster with the update! it seems like Samsung & HTC has the best support for Android OS now… this is sad for Motorola handset owners i’m glad i got SGS III

  30. Considering how often companies just leave you wondering for years before you just upgrade the phone and accept that the software upgrade will never come, I think Motorola deserves some credit for this. It’s a hard thing to tell your customers that they can’t have what they want, but at least they’re offering something in the way of an apology ($100 credit). The wording is also interesting; it seems Motorola is aware that these phones were expected to have Android 4.0+. I agree with the post below that guesses that it’s the Tegra chipset, not Motorola being lazy that’s the problem.

    1. no, i don’t agree with that they deserve some credit.

  31. You guys are basterds…I kept my atrix for soo long waiting for the day I was goin to get ics. And now to find out that u guys canceled …pathetic. I wanted to go and wait to purchase the razr i, but instead ill go with the note 2. Hope it was worth it moto. You lost alot of good and loyal customers.

  32. Less than a year and Motorola is abandoning my 4G. Motorola is clearly not a company I will deal with in the future. Good will trumps good technology… Good bye Motorola, you’ll have no more of my dollars.

  33. Less than a year and Motorola is abandoning my 4G. Motorola is clearly
    not a company I will deal with in the future. Good will trumps good
    technology, there’s lots of good technology out there… Good bye Motorola, you’ll have no more of my dollars.

  34. Less than a year and Motorola is abandoning my 4G. Motorola is clearly not a company I will deal with in the future. Good will trumps good technology, there’s lots of good technology out there… Good bye Motorola, you’ll have no more of my dollars.

  35. This is sad and a bit of a joke I think… I have a Galaxy S3 now, and gave my Atrix to my brother inlaw.

    I had to root the device to get rid of the Motoblur bloatware and installed back then a 4.0.4 MIUI rom. Guess what? It worked a dream.

    I have since installed Jellybean on it and guess what? It works even better! Very buttery experience.

    I guess this is the good and bad of Android being shown. On one side we can say we have a lazy manufacturer… but on the other the development community is so strong and unbelievable in what they can accomplish.

    My hat goes to the guys over at XDA.

  36. instead of complaining here, everyone should write motofailus

    jt may not make a difference in the long run, but it will let them know that at least of us will no longer support them.

  37. Atrix “the most powerful”? Shame of Motorola… What about the users that bought a Motorola device?

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