Device operating systems

AT&T Bakes Gingerbread for All

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is promising that its entire portfolio of post-paid Android phones already released this year will feast on Gingerbread, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s latest operating system update for smartphones.

The High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Status, launched last week, was the first AT&T phone to get the 2.3 update. The Motorola Mobility LLC Atrix joined its ranks today, and the HTC Inspire 4G will follow within the coming weeks.

Other phones confirmed to get a piece of Gingerbread this year include the LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) Phoenix, Pantech Co. Ltd. Crossover, Samsung Corp. Captivate and Infuse 4G.

Most of the updates will come over-the-air, but some phones, like the Atrix and Inspire, will require customers to connect over Wi-Fi or synch to the PC.

Why this matters
The responsibility for easing Android fragmentation by keeping the largest swatch of handsets up-to-date falls on Google, its handset partners and their carrier partners. AT&T is the first carrier to make a commitment to updating its entire Android line-up, which should appease developers who need uniform specs for apps development and customers who want the latest and greatest features.

AT&T is among the companies who joined Google's initiative, vowing to bring the latest Android OS to all new devices within 18 months of their release. Gingerbread was introduced in December 2010 but still hasn't made its way to most carriers' Android handsets. (See Google Compels Operators to Ease Fragmentation.)

AT&T customers who purchased Android phones last year will be left out of the Gingerbread party, but the carrier is setting a good precedent for future device updates.

For more
Read up on Android's well-documented fragmentation issue:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:58:08 PM
re: AT&T Bakes Gingerbread for All

So no money to gain, but maybe less consumer complaints about lacking features or laggy software. I think most consumers assume it's the most up-to-date one and may be ticked off to find other smartphones of the same OS are more advanced.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:58:08 PM
re: AT&T Bakes Gingerbread for All


They already sold you the phone....so there is little to no gain from you having the latest software (unless there is a bug that hurts their network).



sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:58:08 PM
re: AT&T Bakes Gingerbread for All

It's good that AT&T and the other operators outside of Verizon have commited to updating their phones within 18 months of a new release, but that still sounds like a long time to me. What's the hold up?

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 4:58:07 PM
re: AT&T Bakes Gingerbread for All

It's an issue for sure. Skype just released video calling in its new app, but only for a select few devices, presumably those with latest production firmware.

That's annoying if you have a device that could run the app (hardware-wise), but hasn't been formally updated.

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