Despite promises year after year that manufacturers and carriers are going to be better about it, one ongoing headache for Android users is waiting just as long as they do to see their phones bestowed with the latest system software. That’s a very large part of what drives some some shoppers towards Nexus-series models and promises of prompt updates (CDMA models being the exception), but is the situation elsewhere really as bad as it seems, or do we overestimate the problem when one update we’ve personally been waiting ages for fails to materialize? Ars Technica recently broke down the numbers on how just how quickly the major smartphone manufacturers release updates for some of their Androids, as well as how long it takes the big US carriers to get around to delivering them.
These statistics only concern major updates – think, Froyo to Gingerbread, not 2.3.4 to 2.3.6. Despite LG’s limited number of models, it’s the worst offender when it comes to update delays, with its models waiting nine months and up for theirs to arrive. Motorola’s not much better, but Samsung starts showing some big improvements, and HTC leads the pack as the swiftest to update.
On the carrier side, Verizon’s the most sluggish overall, and while AT&T’s not a heck of a lot better, its performance is more of a mixed bag. Sprint, at least, gets updates out in less than twelve months, and while T-Mobile has run into problems with a few handsets, is the quickest overall.
Obviously, manufacturer delays factor in to those carrier times, as Verizon can only sit around twiddling its thumbs until Motorola passes-on an update for testing. We’ve posted the details for some of the big winners and losers here; for the whole story, check out the full breakdown over at Ars.