In June 2009, HTC announced the Hero handset which would be powered by Google’s Android operating system. Through out July of that year the phone began shipping through out Europe. On Oct. 11th, 2009, the phone released in the United States with the carrier Sprint. Since that time it has gone on to more carriers and more countries, carving out a nice amount of sales for itself in the 11 months since it was first announced.
Too bad it won’t receive any more updates to its OS.
At this past week’s Google I/O Conference, the company officially announced Android 2.2, also known as FroYo to keep with their desert-themed codenames. You can see a list of the upgrades this will bring to the system over at the FroYo SDK (software development kit) page. Some reports are saying that FroYo is up to 450 percent faster than Android 2.1 (AKA Eclair), which Sprint Hero users just received the update for this week. It sounds like FroYo is going to be a heck of a great update to the Android system, and is due to release in the next few months.
The bad news is that it looks like HTC won’t be giving it out to any of its handsets released before the beginning of 2010. According to an official statement issued to Android Central, if your HTC phone didn’t come out this year, you’re pretty much out of luck.
[…] if your phone was launched this year, we will most likely offer an upgrade for it to the Froyo version. This includes popular models like the Desire and Droid Incredible as well as hotly anticipated phones like the Evo 4G, MyTouch slide and upcoming models. We will announce a full list of phones and dates once we are closer to launching the upgrades. We are working closely with Google and our other partners to ensure we have the earliest access to everything we need to provide a complete and solid Sense experience on Froyo. We expect to release all updates in the second half of this year but can’t be more specific yet.
While I think it is perfectly acceptable for support to stop on phones after a certain amount of time, such as original iPhones won’t support iPhone OS 4, isn’t a year just a bit fast? Are Android users just expected to switch phones every year to make sure they can continue supporting an operating system that is licensed to phone manufacturers for free?
To add even more insult to injury, Google said that Android 2.3 (AKA “Gingerbread”) would be out by the end of this year. Great … will HTC then only support phones released after June 2010 at that point?
(If I sound bitter, it’s because I am … my Hero is charging in front of me as I type this.)
What say you? Is a year too soon to drop support for a phone? How long do you think a company should reasonably have to provide OS updates?