When the Motorola Photon 4G was released, many consumers chose the phone simply because Motorola promised to upgrade Gingerbread (Android 2.3) to Ice Cream Sandiwich, the latest Android version 4.0. The newly released ICS improved security and brought a slew of new features to phones such as the Photon, Electrify, and Atrix. Think about it: you'd choose the phone that was guaranteed an upgrade to the latest version too, rather than a phone stuck in the past.
However, despite joining the Android Upgrade Alliance and vowing to update the operating system across all of their phones for 18 months after their release, Motorola changed its mind. It was decided the Photon 4G, Atrix 4G, and Electrify, a US Cellular-specific re-branded Photon would not be receiving an updated OS after all.
Quick Profits, but At the Cost of Consumer Trust
It's true that this happens a lot with many phone manufacturers, but this case is a bit unique for the simple fact that Motorola promised the upgrades. It is thought this promise was merely a means to an end: an easy way to direct consumers to choose the phones and make a profit. Why would you choose an Android phone that may or may not qualify for software upgrades later down the line, when you could choose a phone that the company has said they would upgrade with no problems? Also, unlike other manufacturers, Google owns Motorola. Since Google also owns Android, one would think the upgrade was inevitable. Doesn't the success of one benefit the other?
Smartphone owners were asked to voice their opinions on both Motorola and Android, and the results weren't good for either company. One Photon owner said he chose the phone after much research, deciding on the Photon mainly because the upgrade was promised. He also said had it not been upgradable to ICS, he would never have chosen it in the first place. He feels he was lied to intentionally, all so that Motorola could have their precious profit.
Bribery Doesn't Work
Some consumers say they've contacted the Better Business Bureau with their complaints, and others went so far to say they will never consider purchasing another Motorola product in the future. These consumers still feel this way after hearing the company is offering a $100 credit to anyone who buys a new Motorola phone.
One consumer points out that it doesn't matter what offers the company makes to him, he still has no plans on ever owning another Motorola product. He doesn't want the latest Motorola model, especially since he is stuck in a two-year contract with the un-upgradable model for another year. It's not the norm for him to boycott companies, he went on to say, but he was so angered over the news from Motorola, he felt it was the right thing to do.
Glimmer of Hope
People still love their phones despite the fact they aren't upgradable, saying they're reliable, quick, and fun. Experts say that whether or not people are able to upgrade to the latest and greatest OS for their device, the current device running on Gingerbread are still highly functional. That's probably a good thing, as there are people under contracts with their cellular provider trusting these phones remain functional until the day they can get the phone they really want: anything but a Motorola.