I keep trying to understand why the company would bother to announce a 6-month timeframe for updates when people are (somewhat unnecessarily) ticked off about not having Android 2.X already... just look at the forum titles there are more "!!!!!!", "?!?!?!" and ridiculous ALL CAPS posts every day lol...
What is the goal? Simply to inform us? Or is there a larger strategy? Below is how I percieve it and how I see it playing out. I'm interested to know what other customers think and if any insider wants to give any insight it would be appreciated (which is probably not going to happen because Sprint is better at keeping secrets than most governments...).
Considering that members of three major groups (below) are watching closely (feel free to list others) - it will be interesting to see how this will play out over the next 8 weeks, using this forum as a barometer...
1) Past/current Instinct owners who are furious and borderline out the door already
2) Hero/Moment owners who are slightly concerned (and being led into panic by some of the more negative people on this forum)
3) People who are waiting anxiously to upgrade to Android
I see the following scenarios right now (although I'm sure there are others).
If we ignore the third scenario, the first two are fine but one is clearly better...
I am a Hero owner and am in no rush, but it seems like Q1 launch is the only way to gain trust and repair damaged perceptions. Unfortunately, HTC could care less about Sprint's concerns, and very few customers seem sympathetic to Sprint's actual position in all of this (not that I blame them, Sprint is responsible for its public perception...).
I don't think the company understands the 'importance' of this first update (talking about perception mostly), the same way they did not understand the 'importance' of going all out with their adoption Android with the Hero and Moment...(just a string of missed opportunities)
No, it is not imperative to the function of our devices that we get an OS upgrade (not saying it would not be nice...), but it might actually allow sprint to win some good faith or trust (whatever you want to call it) with a large number of existing customers.
Earn enough trust and maybe, just maybe, the next time Android launches major updates people won't feel the need to log-on to the community forum and go nuts (!!!!! !?!?!?! "WHERE IS MY UPDATE, etc...).
It is hard to argue that an update is not imperative to the operation of our devices. One of the big draws that bring many people to Android is the market, and numerous apps are no longer available or do not work. This is a major is a major issue no one seems to care about, but it will eventually impact an app you want, and then you too will be unhappy.
Won't this always be an issue with Android? All handset manufacturers will have this problem.
The platform is evolving very fast, and even when we get to Android 2.X there will probably be even newer apps that we will not have access to. If that is everyone's additude, then Sprint may as well give up on Android...
What do you guys see as the solution?
This may be more of a Google moving too fast problem (with a little bit of a Sprint moving slow problem added on top). I'm still anxious to see how other carriers handle it because maybe what we need is a little more perspective. For now, I'm willing to give Sprint the benefit of the doubt. Others clearly are not and that is Sprint's fault - the question is what are they going to do about it?
At this point, Sprint may be doing a better job (behind the scenes - we don't know anything for sure) than say Verizon or t-mobile are for their customers...
Only time will tell...but Sprint really can't afford to stay so quiet because the company is already
1) percieved so poorly by many existing and potential customers
2) considered irrelevant by the competition
The problems are more likely when there is a major upgrade. From 1.5 to 2.0 to 3.0 is major, 2.0 to 2.1 to 2.2, not so much. Most of the app builders can keep up with the small upgrades and support multipple version, the challenge come in supporting across the major upgrades.
Android is evolving very quickly, but we are all early adopters of this OS. Even though it has been out for over a year, it is still very early in its lifetime. Sprint and HTC or Samsung have/will take a ton of time to get the v2.0 or v2.1 update out for these phones and they will once again be behind the curve for Android v3.0 or whatever the current OS would be. This was most of my decision in getting a phone like the Hero and its Sense UI (over the Moment). I knew that updates would not be instant due to Sense coding and I knew that the Hero was 99% of the way configured the way I wanted it to be when I bought it (a mistake I made with the Instinct). That said though, I do still want and am eagerly awaiting the v2.0 or v2.1 update for small things like the Market, better voice command libraries, google maps navigation, etc. I think we will see Android OS start to level out a bit after v2.1 since all the heavier coding will have been added for higher resolutions, 3D gaming, direct bill market, bluetooth APIs, layars, multitouch, etc. etc.
Sprint will keep being Sprint....great network, good customer service, best value plans and decent phones. Unfortunately, with less employees and losing customers they aren't going to have the army they need to make sure 100% of the updates happen instantly or without bugs. They are trying to change people's misguided or past perceptions and add more variety. They took a shot with the Pre and it didn't do as well (although it is a great device). Of course as Android fans, we all want them to bet the farm on the hottest Android handset out there too. Hopefully it will happen (and by next October 9th), but for now, I am really enjoying my Hero and will be happy to get the upcoming upgrade.
And remember, the bulk of the lag is from HTC on the updates, not from Sprint. And no one knows with Samsung since they never say anything except how they are going to release yet another operating system into the market.