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Randall Stephenson: Slow Android updates are Google's fault

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Randall Stephenson: Slow Android updates are Google's fault
Ask the average Android owner waiting for what seems like eons for the latest OS update, who is to blame for the long wait and most will throw everyone into the rant that follows. Manufacturers, carriers and Google get the finger pointed at them for what seems to be a very slow current update cycle for the green robot. This is an important subject because Android's main competitor, iOS, has had timely updates including the most recent iOS 5.1.1 which was released this week. Of course, Apple has the advantage as it has three current smartphone models to concern itself with compared with the larger number of Android handsets that all need to be considered for a large, wide spread update.

While Google's role in all of this appeared to be to provide an open-source software, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson seemingly put the blame for slow Android updates on the Mountain View based tech firm at the Milken Institute 2012 Global Conference. The executive responded to a question about slow Android updates by saying, "Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when. A lot of times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard. We know that’s important to our customers. That’s kind of an ambiguous answer because I can’t give you a direct answer in this setting."

Google's response was to say, "Watcha talkin' about Randall?" Well, they actually said more than that. Google said that they do not require negotiations before a handset is released. The latest release of Android is available at source.android.com after the first device based on  the update is launched. Google does this to make sure that its latest Android build runs without errors on hardware that has been approved by manufacturers and regulators like the FCC.
"Mr. Stephenson’s carefully worded quote caught our attention and frankly we don’t understand what he is referring to. Google does not have any agreements in place that require a negotiation before a handset launches. Google has always made the latest release of Android available as open source at source.android.com as soon as the first device based on it has launched. This way, we know the software runs error-free on hardware that has been accepted and approved by manufacturers, operators and regulatory agencies such as the FCC. We then release it to the world."-Google's response to Randall Stephenson's comment

We would imagine that things will blow over because at the end of the day, Google does need AT&T and AT&T does need Google. Guys, kiss and make up so that we can move on.

source: 9to5Google via Phandroid

44 Comments
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posted on 08 May 2012, 21:07 15

1. sportsinger75 (Posts: 71; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)


This guy seriously peeves me off... It doesn't seem like he knows anything about Android and he's just spouting his mouth to get the blame off of AT&T. Get real man, you've got to approve the new software as soon as it's available and you'll have many more happy customers because of it. Don't blame it on Google.

posted on 08 May 2012, 21:26 3

2. TheInfamousCJ (Posts: 20; Member since: 24 Nov 2011)


Indeed, I received my new gsm Galaxy Nexus last Tuesday, within 5 minutes I was prompted to update my phone to version 4.04. Later that day I chuckled when I read that some VZW Galaxy nexus owners were beginning to receive the very same update. Updates to latest software is not apart of a carriers financial plan for success. I was instructed to use tier one support to solve people issues on their phones. After that urge them to call the insurance or upgrade. Why have the latest software available when you can have the customer can buy a new phone and get locked into a new two year agreement.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:37 3

13. paulyyd (Posts: 325; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


oh you chuckled bro? sweet

posted on 09 May 2012, 07:38

36. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


exactly. he kinda sounds stupid.

posted on 08 May 2012, 21:45 17

3. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Isn't this the same dumbass who said that unlimited data was a mistake?

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:05 7

21. Gawain (Posts: 341; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


Yeah, it's the same guy. He can't seem to stop whining...wonders for the corporate image, pointing fingers everywhere. I hope the Board of Directors is paying attention.

posted on 09 May 2012, 03:34 1

32. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3213; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Do you have to call everyone you disagree with a dumbass?

posted on 09 May 2012, 04:21 4

34. kanagadeepan (Posts: 634; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Yes... This guy can talk any bu11_sh!t... Expect the following from his next interviews:-

1) their customers are the real reasons for their network's congestion (and NOT their n/w maintenance or need to improve infra for growing customer base)...

2) Govt is the culprit behind spectrum scarcity (and NOT their foolish policy to give T-Mo the spectrum for compensation)...

3) Verizon behind the slow deployment of their (AT&T's) LTE network...

4) Bloatwares included in their (AT&T) phones are Sprint's fault...

5) Heavy International Roaming tariff is due to Apple's policy...

6) NOKIA is responsible for the tiered data plans...

7) BlackBerry should be blamed for their (AT&T's) slow 3G speeds...

8) T-Mobile should be banned for the failure of their deal...

9) Big size (wrt area) of USA is to be blamed for poor coverage in villages...

-------------------------------------------------

On serious note, I think he is solely responsible for the AT&T's plan to take-over T-Mobile, even though a baby knows it will never get approved...

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:03 5

4. Giggity (Posts: 147; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


Everyone, do yourself a favor and ignore this guy, reading/listening to his comment is an insult to your intelligent.

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:25 1

27. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


and your intelligence too :)

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:06

5. joey18 (Posts: 500; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


Google takes forever looks like apple updates are to slow

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:18 4

6. JGuinan007 (Posts: 619; Member since: 19 May 2011)


Did you expect a CEO like Randall Stephenson to tell the truth on this and say "Google released the source code months ago, then the OEMs took a month to make the source code work with the hardware on their phones, then released the that code to the carriers, and the carriers take three months to add their bloatware that no one wants on the phone and then turn it over to the custs if the phone is not deemed EOL with that carrier". The carriers are the biggest hold ups. Also the reason phones like the Inspire 4g won't get official ICS update yet the Desire HD will. To get the newest OS update stick with XDA.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:22 9

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5527; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


This clown must be related to Sarkozy - it is never his fault. And people wonder why consumers hate AT&T.

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:38 1

24. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


hey dont hate on sarkozy… he did the best he could with what he had… and would do much better than the idiot hollande

but what i dont understand is how apple is able to push the updates without the carriers checking it… or do they just have the carriers check it before announcing it?

posted on 09 May 2012, 02:24

31. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Apple controls everything about the iPhone except the service, including the updates. In the case of the iphone, i think thats a good thing. Thats why iPhones have no bloatware. They do that with their computers too even with some third party programs like Java. Apple took its time pushing out the Java update and as a result, many Mac computers got hit with a virus.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:27

8. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Google controlled Android update and fix bugs will be approved by Google before the carrier can test and install new firmware update to customers handsets which is a long process compared to Apple single firmware update to single phone is 100x easier than Android handsets with too many different hard wares, sizes and shapes.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:33 5

11. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


You probably should not talk either.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:38

14. paulyyd (Posts: 325; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


aw is someone mad :( lol you know you're in trouble when a ceo of a carrier is calling out your company

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:46 7

15. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


No, I have no reason to be mad. My advise was because he sounded silly. Not as silly as you, but silly none the less. If anyone should be mad it sould be the real Pauly D, because he has a wannabe jacking his name.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:28

9. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


I'm surprised you guys rant tired of getting f**ked by the Droid

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:31 7

10. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Why does he keep talking? AT&T needs to put a muzzle on this train wreck!

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:52 2

16. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


I'm sure you know more about the inside and outs of carrier updates than AT&T's CEO.

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:19 3

22. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Judging by what he just said, maybe I do! It's obvious to everyone except this guy, a few misguided iOS fans and anyone else who didn't read the last few lines of this article that Google has nothing to do with updates after it released to the website.

Let me put in Apple user language for you...
Let's say you have an iPhone 4 but you are still running ios 4.2 and you want the latest update. The only problem is your cable/internet is down and you can't get a tech to come out for a month. Do you blame Apple because you can't update your phone, or the cable company for taking so long to fix you internet?

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:26 4

28. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Taco, why do you even open your "mouth" and respond? Seriously. your life is a waste of oxygen.

TO Anyone that can not comprehend this shinding.

Googles ONLY responcibility (to non nexus phones) is to RELEASE the update to the internet. Nexus phones get a direct update. That is Googles ONLY responcibilty. If you belive anything this whiny CEO says over goog, your a tool bigger than taco.

posted on 09 May 2012, 03:35 1

33. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3213; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


People love to talk about things they don't know. It happens a lot in the comment sections of PA.

posted on 09 May 2012, 07:43 1

37. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Yeah this is worse than the Netflix fiasco.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:37 2

12. 412News (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


I swear to God this dude looks like The Joker

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:53 2

17. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Haha ahaha

let's watch the backpedaling in this article. I'll stick with Apple's on time updates thanks

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:00 2

19. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Alright, while you're sticking with the phone with the on time updates, I'll stick with the phone with apps that run and doesn't crash, The RAZR. My Itouch (64gb 4th) has been laggy as hell since I updated, they call this fixing it?!?!?

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:02 1

20. frydaexiii (Posts: 1176; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Yes, Apple's on time updates give you bug fixes, but the rare times Android get updates it's for more functions or more efficient way of running functions. I don't know about an idiot like you, but I'd rather have a good OS that gets one update a year to add more functions than have a s**tty OS that gets 10 updates a week to fix minor bugs.

PS. i gave u a pity thumbs since I missed the thumbs down...but I'll leave that to the others to thumb u down.

posted on 09 May 2012, 00:29 1

26. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


did u miss the whole update to ios 3/4/5/.. trend that kinda happens every year?

ya google puts more into each update because it is increasingly difficult to put out many updates, unlike apple… come on, i think you could come up with a better argument

and the whole update thing is just a downfall of the android os that doesnt really have a solution… but for me, i couldnt care less if apple issues updates though all the time cause its not worth it to unjailbreak except once a year-- but for people who dont i understand how it could be frustrating for your phone to not have the latest software

posted on 09 May 2012, 13:08

38. frydaexiii (Posts: 1176; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


The thing is iOS "major" upgrades aren't that major after all, they are just add-ons after add-ons.

If you see the way Android upgrades from 2.3 to 4.0 is the same as Windows XP to Windows 7, it's a whole new OS, same backbone, but different coding/interface.

The way iOS upgrades itself is similar to upgrading from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate. It's just add-ons, no overhaul, no improvements (if you don't count bug fixes)

If iOS had been named using regular convention, all you would get is iOS 4 = iOS 3.1, iOS 5 = iOS 3.2.

On top of that, if you heard about iOS 5.1 update, Japanese Siri is part of it, which means they consider Siri part of iOS 5. So basically, all Apple's timely updates are just giving you have baked versions of the latest or just some minor features. iOS 5 for iPhone 4 is equivalent to the ICS Value Pack for the Galaxy S, it comes with all ICS's functions without really upgrading.

posted on 09 May 2012, 17:49

43. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


the upgrade to 4.0 had a lot of graphical changes… which are actually easier and less substantial then the system/functional changes implemented through ios… i am not saying one update is better-- as 4.0 brought a few nice system changes, but to say the major ios updates are nothing is completely ignorant..

so you dont find adding things like imessage, integrating twitter, getting rid of the need for a computer, icloud, multitasking, location services, and video chat are not major updates? tell me what android does in each of its updates that is so much more radical…

why dont we just call android vs. 1.9 then? (which would actually counteract your theory as apple would have put out less major updates than android)

that makes absolutely no sense… of course they consider siri part of ios 5… it kinda came with it… which is another new feature… the value pack was just a bs way for samsung to seem like they cared.. ios updates are os updates.. just like widnwos updates.. and android updates.. and black berry updates…

posted on 10 May 2012, 19:25

44. xtian1103 (Posts: 352; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


frequent minor upgrades on ios would be better, that means apple's tech guys are doing their jobs and always on the watch on bug fixes. while android's 'one time, big time" update is okay for some, others don't really appreciate it. it's like riding a train when you are really in a hurry for an important meeting, but the train won't leave until it's full!

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:21 2

23. taz89 (Posts: 2008; Member since: 03 May 2011)


its obvious its the US carriers that delay the updates.why is it that other carriers in other countries update there phones much faster than the US...example my s2 recieved ics like last month yet the us variants have not yet...if it was google deciding the release of the updates then updates would be coming out for the s2 at the same time.

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:40 3

25. TheRetroReplay (Posts: 242; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


Does this guy ever think before he talks? "The department of justice blocked our T-Mobile buyout, we lost a 5 billion dollars, we're gonna take it out on our customers now by raising our prices." "Unlimited data plans were a mistake" "Google is the reason behind slow updates to Android." What is this moron going to say next? That Verizon's 4G network runs on the souls of aborted babies?

And I bet this guy wonder's why AT&T is dead last in customer satisfaction.

posted on 09 May 2012, 02:08 3

29. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


First unlimited data was a mistake and now this. Why its this guy even a CEO?

posted on 09 May 2012, 02:13 2

30. Forsaken77 (Posts: 545; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


That's because AT&T probably wants to be paid to update Google's OS through their service. Google should just make an update to android that lets every compatible handset update through their servers instead of the carriers. If the carriers want to be an obstacle, let's remove that obstacle.

posted on 09 May 2012, 07:31

35. Beholder88 (Posts: 80; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


The answer is, it's all three. Google, the carriers and manufacturers. Google actually has to design the new version, the manufacturer has to make sure it will work on a particular phone, and then the carrier has to approve it. Obviously, in ICSs' case, Google has already had it designed for a while. I know for a fact that the manufacturers are working on getting it to work with particular phones (I have an ICS leak directly from Motorola on my RAZR). Until they can get it tweaked to work without any problems, it won't even be submitted to the carriers for approval. I also agree with one of the posts here, this guy seems to be pushing the blame away from AT&T so it doesn't seem like it's wholly or partially their fault.

posted on 09 May 2012, 15:46

41. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Good post - that basically explains why an update takes such a long time....Google to manufacturer to carrier.
Knowing this did not ever deter me from getting a Windows phone, now Android....simply go to XDA for all of your updates...PROBLEM SOLVED.

posted on 09 May 2012, 15:17 1

39. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


If there's a biggest douchebag ceo in the world award, can we nominate this guy?

posted on 09 May 2012, 15:41

40. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Randall has been caught lying. Whenever Samsung releases an update, they a repository website from which anyone, including XDA, can download it from. The Captivate/Galaxy S1 has had a couple of dozens of update since July 2010. When at&t releases the GB update that has been around for several months prior, alot of went to ICS.

posted on 09 May 2012, 15:58

42. chris_t610 (Posts: 14; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


yawn...

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