A key Motorola mover-and-shaker has said the blame for delayed Android updates lies with hardware inequality and not phone-makers.
With Android smartphone owners increasingly frustrated by the late arrival, sometimes not even that, of the latest iteration of Google’s fast-growing platform, manufacturers have come under intense scrutiny for not doing enough to alleviate the situation.
However, Christy Wyatt, Motorola’s senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Business unit, said the delays are exacerbated by the fact Google creates updates with the latest devices in mind.
"Don't blame manufacturers' software customizations for holding up mobile phone upgrades to the new version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.0", she said.
“When Google does a release of the software ... they do a version of the software for whatever phone they just shipped. The rest of the ecosystem doesn't see it until you see it. Hardware is by far the long pole in the tent, with multiple chipsets and multiple radio bands for multiple countries. It's a big machine to churn".
She added that it is also harder to make the latest OS upgrades available for older device due to networks commanding more autonomy over when they are rolled out.
"I would have to know that every single operator I have is going to want to upgrade every single product, and sometimes they'll want to control the timing ... it's just not easy to make that blanket statement."
However, Wyatt believes things may change soon with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), designed to reduce fragmentation and unify the customisation advantages that bespoke interfaces typically offer.
"That has to be one of the promises of Ice Cream Sandwich," she said. "By bringing these UIs together, you solve the experience gaps and the ecosystem gaps between [phones and tablets]."
Wondering when ICS will drop on your device? Check out our release schedule round-up for all the gen.