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No, plain and simple. They are obligated in no way to update any phones (unless something just plain does not work as advertised, and the fix goes out as a maintenance update). Most manufacturers, however, are nice enough to provide those updates under the conditions you mentioned. Unfortunately for those of you who purchased the Fascinate, a phone manufactured by a company that has gained a reputation for not providing updates, this just makes you want it even more which makes the rest of us have to listen to how much you think you deserve an update.
Just like many of you I purchased a Fascinate with the promise of some Froyo love in just a few short weeks. This was in September. Now my question is, should we automatically assume we would be recieving an update whether we were promised it or not? I mean would you purchase a phone that had no intention of updating? I pose the question because of the comments stating we purchased the phone knowing it had 2.1 and bought it anyway. Isnt android entitled an update as long as the hardware is up to par?
Offically from Samsung or Verizon has never mentioned any update time frame. They said they plan on updating all. Then a rumor starts and people start believing the rumors to be fact, and then when it doesn't come they blame X company or Y company, but themselves from believing something that is passed down the grapevine without anything official. Doesn't matter if it is CSR, your neighbor, or your friends of a friends. A lot of these "news" sites feed off rumors to get people to click on their sites to increase revenue. Rumors bring in more money to them than actually "news".
People need to also keep in mind. No CSR is allowed to make a promised unless it's been written.
For example the BOGO sales that Verizon does. a CSR can make promises of the BOGO's well because there is documentation of it with the approval of the higher ups of the company(Only they are technically allowed to make any sort of promise).
As for "Isnt android entitled an update as long as the hardware is up to par?". No... Android was written to keep up with hardware. Not the other way around. People got the misconception that all their devices should be updated. There was never a mention about devices always being updated. Google was talking Android specifically.
Never said I deserved an update. Android being somewhat in its infancy the lines arent clearly drawn. If updates arent available to a high end android devices doesnt that make it a disadvantage when compared to an iphone?
Not in my opinion. I see the iPhone as a music player that also makes phone calls and, without widget support or multi-tasking that will never change. iOS gets updated about once a year. Right now, android is getting updated about every six months. Given that, you could miss every other update and still be on track. AFAIK, there is nothing the iPhone 4 can do that the Fascinate can't, other than having a FFC, and that is a hardware issue. You also have to remember that there are (at least) three different parties involved in every update to an Android phone. 1. Google has to release the source code for the newest version to AOSP. 2. The manufacturer tailors that code to work for the specific phone, as well as integrating their own UI (i.e. TouchWiz). 3. The carrier has to test and approve the update, that it works to their standard, as well as adding any sort of carrier apps that they feel should be (or get paid to) put on the phone. The update then goes back and forth between the manufacturer and the carrier until both parties are satisfied. With iOS, uncle Stevie decides when the update is ready and tells everybody that it is time to update their phones, so plug into the mothership and take it. Hard to say, really, which it truly "better", I guess it just depends on what you really need out of your phone. One of the biggest complaints that a lot of users have about the Fascinate not getting Froyo is because they can't use Flash until then. The iPhone, however will never have Flash because Apple and Adobe are in a tiff about who stole who's idea and uncle Stevie thinks that you don't really need it anyway, because everybody is moving to HTML 5. Unfortunately, Flash probably isn't going anywhere anytime soon and, some sites are useless without it. I've probably gone way off topic and gone on way too long, but that's the way I see it, hope it translated properly.
I believe it all boils down to track record. If a particular company gets labeled as slow to update/upgrade whether promised or not, and we have to hold on to these devices for 2 years, are you likely to upgrade to a device from the same company once you are out of contract?
Face it, we are getting spoiled as consumers by great customer service and product support from certain manufacturers that we expect it from all. I suppose if a particular manufacturor is perceived as slow on the uptake or service, good luck getting future business on your next product roll-out.