In a perfect example of Android fragmentation, Motorola has just released it ICS Android 4.0 upgrade schedule for its phones and man, does it look bleak. While the chart below only shows USA released hardware, you can find the global chart here – that said, it looks like even current generation phones won’t or might not get ICS. Even a new phone like the Droid Razr Maxx, which isn’t even months old, is still in the “Evaluation & Planning” stage – this is not to say that they won’t, as Motorola has stated that the Razr Maxx will but you might have to wait until 2013 for it.
Thank you for being a Motorola Mobility customer. We know you value having the latest and greatest technology on your device. We are working very closely with Google and our carrier partners to bring you the best possible experience on each of our devices powered by Android. This means ensuring that all upgrades and updates enhance device functionality and provide an overall improved experience.
As previously communicated, DROID RAZR, DROID RAZR MAXX, DROID 4, DROID BIONIC, DROID XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1, and MOTOROLA XOOM WiFI + 3G/4G will be upgraded to ICS.
Additional details on timing for these products will be shared at a later date.
To help our customers understand the steps we go through to develop an upgrade, we are describing the high-level process for delivering upgrades below. During this process, we work to ensure that an upgrade is possible, and that it provides a satisfying experience. For each smartphone or tablet currently in the market, you will see updated information on what stage the upgrade plan is in.
To put this in perspective, Apple’s iOS 5 (newest version) will run on all iPhones except the original iPhone and the 3G – so that goes back 3+ years of hardware. Google and OEM’s need to address fragmentation and if that means closing down Android, then so be it – after all, what is so open about it? Does “open” mean that any OEM can take stock Android and make it convoluted and bloated? Does “open” mean waiting months/years for updates? What is so great about the “openness” of Android that out-weighs the negativities of fragmentation and lack of cohesiveness? I would feel extremely burned, if I was a Motorola customer. BTW, Amazon and the Kindle lineup are the only example I can think of, as an Android “Openness” success story.