Carriers and Device Manufacturers: Consumer Enemies

Regarding Android updates to Droid owners, Jared Newman at PC World goes on to recognize other manufacturers struggling to get Froyo to consumers:

In fairness, Motorola’s not the only company to struggle with Froyo. Owners of HTC’s Droid Incredible are still waiting for their update — rumors of August 18 didn’t pan out — and the brand new Dell Streak tablet is stuck on Android 1.6 until the end of the year. Samsung’s Galaxy phones are all expected to get Froyo, but with no date announced for U.S. wireless carriers. So while Motorola gets an extra dose of shame for shutting down Droid X users, the only phone maker to truly ace the Android 2.2 launch was, of course, Google.

Motorola’s Android 2.2 Rollout: What a Mess, Jared Newman, PC World

Android is a very cool OS. I enjoy it. It has so much to offer and amazing potential. It’s available for device manufacturers, carriers, and even non-traditional or unexpected parties that want to play in the mobile game.

However, Android will continue to struggle until carriers and manufacturers get their stuff together and deliver what “consumers” want, not what they want.

I just receive the Froyo build. I still don’t have Flash. I have not “rooted” my device to get the latest goodness. I really don’t want to be a geek to use Android.

But when Google releases new “ready-for-primetime” code drops, you’re up to the mercy of your handset manufacturer and the carrier. These big titans live on their own time scale. Google will struggle to get things past these gate keepers.

Unlike Apple, who rolls out to everyone (even old handsets–within reason), Google is still strapped down by the people who implement their free software. Ultimately, the consumer will suffer.