Why is Verizon blocking the Cyan/Denim firmware update for the Lumia Icon?
james1114
Enthusiast - Level 2

The Lumia Icon I purchased was an expensive, high-end device. Implicit in my purchase was the understanding this device would receive continued support from Verizon. For some time, firmware updates have been available from Microsoft which improve performance, open new features, and make the Icon compatible with newly released Bluetooth devices. My Icon is less than a year old. I feel like i am a victim of a bait and switch. The total blackout of information regarding support for this device looks like stonewalling. The blocking of the aforementioned firmware update is detracting from the core functionality of the phone, particularly given the necessity of said firmware updates regarding the phone's compatibility with peripherals designed to be used specifically with it (like the Microsoft Band).

Is Verizon offering those who purchased the Icon trade-in value for an updated device (at even a 30% annual rate of depreciation, the Icon should be purchased back by Verizon for at least $400 in in-store credit), or retroactive proration of their service and release from their contract without ETFs? I think that would be fair. If the Icon's scheduled hardware update is incompatible with Verizon's network, this would be beyond Verizon's control. I would certainly understand if Verizon simply stated that offering the Icon for sale earlier this year was an error due to a miscommunication with Microsoft and that customers (there aren't that many of us) that bought the Icon would be refunded, now that support for the device has been discontinued and the phone retired (after only 6 months). However, the Icon was advertised as a flagship carrier exclusive, denoting Verizon's commitment to the platform (despite a myriad of retail experiences to the contrary).

Despite the low market share of Windows Phone and Verizon's known policy of steering customers away from Windows Phone (perhaps, because of the easier marketability of a duopolistic platform environment), Verizon still sold the Icon in its retail stores and, though not many, enough customers DID purchase the device in good faith. This is terrible business practice. If I purchased a $500 TV from Costco and, after six months of use, could not get it to work with my standard cable box, I would expect some kind of compensation.

If, at the time of my purchase of this device (at the cost of a good mid-level laptop), I was told that Verizon was not committed to the platform and that Verizon would not guarantee its facilitation of critical hardware improvements, or had I know the only way to receive new features on my device and/or critical software patches and OS updates would be to void the warranty of my phone, given that I wanted a Windows Phone (despite the less than subtle protestations of several Verison representatives and their more than obvious disdain for the platform), I would have gladly chosen another carrier.

If this were a matter of a $20 set of earbuds that broke after a few months of use, or a desktop charger with a faulty connection, it would be forgivable. But, this is the matter of a $500 high-end device that was initially heavily advertised by Verizon, itself.

I really hope Verizon makes this right.

Labels (1)
26 Replies
Snn5
Legend

I remember how they treated us Galaxy Nexus owners.  "Next big thing from Google and Verizon, a CDMA Nexus!!!"  Then dropped it like a bad habit.

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Tidbits
Legend

I called the Galaxy Nexus before it was even sold it would be treated differently. I actually got flamed for it from diehard Google fanboys.

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Snn5
Legend

I wasn't as in-depth with Android and the pitfalls we have all been discussing as of late on the forums.  At the time, I had heard that Nexus was all that and a bag of Doritos. Got it day one in December 2011.  Plus, it was the only 4G phone in my area at the time that 4G was ...planned...for which arrived 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  Anyway, I loved the phone but had it only 6 months and the updates were stalled.  Then we finally got some update and by late May 2012 or June I was already onto the Razr MAXX having given up on any support for the GNex.  It did get another small update or 2, nothing big, and then became my mother's first smartphone.  Yeah...if Verizon has to share very much with Google or MS, they aren't keen on supporting it for long.  They get you in with the hype, then that's it.

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Tidbits
Legend

When the Galaxy Nexus came out I warned people that even if Google said it would be treated like any other Nexus it was a lie from the start. CDMA requires more testing and have a different licensing deal with Qualcomm. That didnt include the old LTE agreements which Qualcomm changed recently with Samsung(they both own pieces of the tech). That alone makes it different. That process alone can take 2-6 months on it's own right especially back them without the RIL/HAL not being readily available. Google has since changed that. I believe I explained the whole process back them and true to form Google ended up giving up on both the Sprint and Verizon versions. Sprint devices even after the Galaxy Nexus still lagged behind in updates unless the RIL/HAL wasn't touched.

james1114
Enthusiast - Level 2

Exactly!

Snn5
Legend

Bottom line is that from all I have heard, Androids have about 18 months of life and if an update doesn't come within that period sometimes it won't.  I know you have a WP, and that I have had a few phones that got 3-4 updates, and some that only got 1 be they major OS updates

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Snn5
Legend

Well, that disabling the built-in call block....at least you get it, some of us Android users still lack the features we once had, like the ability for a 3rd party app to turn on or off our network, gps, or location and wifi, same with call blocking...used to could, now you can only send to voicemail.  Of course not all Android phones are the same, but each update has brought this great improvement but killed off great features.

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47seijar
Specialist - Level 2

First, just to be clear, Verizon is not "blocking" the Denim update from Microsoft. Verizon will be the one to actually issue the Denim update. With iPhones, the updates come directly from Apple. But with Android and WP the updates come from the carriers. Verizon will get the Denim update from Microsoft, they'll modify it themselves and test it, and when Verizon thinks it's ready they'll roll it out to customers.

All WP users must realize one important fact. Because of WP's tiny (marginal, and falling) marker share, WP updates are not a priority for ANY carrier. Nobody is going to dedicate resources to WP updates ahead of almost any other project. It's a frustrating situation but an economic reality.

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grafixguy
Contributor - Level 2

Semantics! Verizon needs to approve firmware updates. Not approving is the same as blocking it.

As for the economics of it, only a fool would disagree that WP has low marketshare, but if Verizon doesn't want to support it (as is their right) they shouldn't be selling those devices.

Tidbits
Legend

Approving software vs. modifying codes isn't arguing semantics. They are completely different...

There are multiple examples just on Verizon that just because a device is no longer sold doesn't mean end of support either.

grafixguy
Contributor - Level 2

My remark about semantics wasn't to you. It was to the post above yours. It was in regard to the fact that Verizon wasn't blocking it vs not approving it.

Sorry if that wasn't clear.

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47seijar
Specialist - Level 2

Verizon chooses what services to include or suspend. For the longest time you couldn't use built-in call blocking features with WP. You had to use Verizon's own paid service accessible via the website. And they also ensure their own services like backup+ are pushed to phones with new updates.

Just like when Microsoft releases a patch for Windows and admins at large companies modify it before installing.

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Tidbits
Legend

No... Just no... Certain underlying code given by Microsoft sure can be modified, but the code can't be modified outside that scope. People need to stop making it sound like everyone can get the source code and can change everything they want...

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Ann154
Community Leader
Community Leader

Would you rather they push out a buggy worthless piece of software that breaks phones and the network?

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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james1114
Enthusiast - Level 2

That's a straw man. I would prefer that Verizon do due diligence in supporting a device they sold to me almost a year ago, now, as 'Windows Phone 8.1 ready', or failing to be able to do that, communicate to its paying customers some reassurance that they didn't purchase a very expensive piece of vaporware and give us an idea as to Denim's release date, or refund me. I want restitution for their blatant false advertising. You should, too. The Dev Program is not a substitute for 8.1 on Denim. And it voids your warranty. Everyone that bought an Icon should be refunded  the cost of its purchase and have their service prorated. I bought a $500 phone that was advertised as Windows Phone 8.1 ready, yet, I'm on Lumia Black. There is NO way Verizon would do this to iPhone users. Verizon does not like the platform. They don't want to sell them and they don't want to spend the money advertising them, or even afford Windows Phone the paltry amount of retail space they do. That's fine. It doesn't make them money, I'm sure. And that's fine. However, the money I send them every month certainly does (to a tiny, tiny degree). And as a monthly subscriber, I would like Verizon to at least show me the respect of answering my questions as to the fate of the device I purchased from them, rather than this 'ignore-windows-phone-until-it-all-goes-away-after-we-quietly-kill-it' attitude. Everyone that bought an Icon, a great device with awesome potential, that is if it had the requisite updates to be competitive with the current slate of devices out there, should be mad as hell. Remember, if you are NOT on the Dev Preview, you are on Phone 8, a nearly three year old operating system. Verizon has had Phone 8 for three years! And, it you ARE on the Dev Program, you have voided your warranty! Respectfully, do you get it, now? They took your money for a high-end phone less than a year ago and then quietly retired it and dropped support. How would you feel if this were a Kindle Fire, or an HP laptop, or if you had an original Surface and MS just decided that, 'Nope, they don't sell well, so after 6 months, they're end of life. Get in line for a newer device with better marketability'. You would be angry as hell.  In this case, it's not Microsoft, it's Verizon. The update is done and released to carriers. It just so happens that the aforementioned scenario is exactly what Verizon has done. You should be angry, not making excuses for them.

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grafixguy
Contributor - Level 2

That is a ridiculous statement. Of course we don't want buggy software but it's now been more than 7 months since this software/firmware was released to carriers.

Verizon refused to release it and then killed the phone altogether while every other Lumia phone on every other carrier in the world was updated.

It's indefensible. As I said, if they don't want to support a product, they shouldn't sell it.

primortal
Master - Level 1

8.1 was released 6 months ago (not 7) and VZW opted not to release 8.1 and go straight to releasing 8.1.1. 8.1.1 is fresh off the blocks so they are actually releasing earlier than any other carrier.  Let look at the fact that VZW has release 8.1.1 before AT&T.

The frustrating part is that Microsoft and VZW remained quite on skipping 8.1 all together.  It would have clam down most of us getting up set that 8.1 has been released while majority of the other US carriers released it all ready.  I just wished that they release 8.1.1 to the Icon first being it's a flagship device.

grafixguy
Contributor - Level 2

They haven't released anything for the Icon yet, which is what this thread is about.

The 822 and 928 received the 8.1.1 update but Denim was in name only. The Icon needs a real firmware update and we were promised by Microsoft (not Verizon) that we would see this update in the fourth quarter and the Icon would be in the first batch of Denim updates.

We have been lied to and kept in the dark since 8.1/Cyan was released and the Icon officially sits at 8.0/Black. Like many others I have the PfD installation so I have the O/S but not the improvements that require Denim.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but there's no way to defend it, IMO.

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47seijar
Specialist - Level 2

Verizon's lack of transparency with respect to WP updates is troubling. It leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouths, but if we hang tough for just a little while longer we will be rewarded with Denim. If we did get Cyan, imagine how long the wait for Denim would be! In the end we are going to get a better deal. And right now my Icon is running just fine with WP8. It would be different if I needed the update to sort out a problem, but that's not the case.

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james1114
Enthusiast - Level 2

You paid $500 for a phone that has had numerous critical updates, two hardware updates as well as a major overhaul of its operating system released by its manufacturer in good faith. These updates are being stalled by your carrier because they don't care about you as a user and want to dissuade people from using Windows Phone because it cant get market share. That's fine. Then, Verizon should stop selling them. They can work that out with Microsoft. However, we bought this device in good faith as 'Windows Phone 8.1 ready' and Verizon is sitting on updates for reasons they wont divulge. That doesn't bother you?

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