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Unlike Apple's iOS, Android phones not getting updates

post #1 of 215
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While Apple rolls out iOS updates rapidly to its iOS devices three years after their release, Android phones often ship with outdated software that is rarely updated, even during the device's original contract term.

A report by blogger Michael Degusta of the the Understatement graphically recounts how it is that 45 percent of Google's installed base of active Android users is still stuck using software released in the middle of last year: vendors are simply refusing to make updates available for their phones.

Degusta contrasted iPhones introduced by Apple and the last three years of US Android phones. While all iPhone models have received the latest iOS updates for at least three years following their introduction, only three Android models have been kept relatively up to date for more than a year, and none of them appear eligible to receive the latest Android 4.0 Google just announced.

Google's own Nexus One has received the best support, but the company just announced that it won't be getting the new Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," even though it's not yet two years old.

Two other popular Android phones, Verizon's Motorola Droid and Sprint's HTC Evo 4G, have received sporadic updates but are similarly unlikely to get the new software. The original Droid had already fallen a year behind in major Android updates this summer.

Other Android models fared far worse, with 7 of the 18 models never shipping with nor ever being updated to the current version of Android, and 5 more only ever ran the current version for a few weeks during their lifetime.

Google's previous release for smartphones, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, was first made available in December 2010, but 15 of the 18 models still can't run it nearly a year later.

Even makers that promised to release updates have left their buyers stranded."The Samsung Behold II on T-Mobile was the most expensive Android phone ever and Samsung promoted that it would get a major update to [Android 2.1] Eclair at least," Degusta noted. "But at launch the phone was already two major versions behind and then Samsung decided not to do the update after all, and it fell three major OS versions behind. Every one ever sold is still under contract today."

Similarly, Verizon's Motorola Devour received reviews saying it was 'built to last and it delivers on features.' As it turned out, the Devour shipped with an OS that was already outdated," Degusta stated. In a year, "it was three major versions behind. Every one ever sold is still under contract until sometime next year."



Why old software is a problem

Being stuck with outdated software is a problem for users not just because they're missing features and refinements but also because of security updates. It also hurts app development, because the fragmentation of Android forces developers to "end up targeting an ancient version of the OS in order to maximize market reach," Degusta explains.

"iOS developers, like Instapapers Marco Arment, waited patiently until just this month to raise their apps minimum requirement to the 11 month old iOS 4.2.1," Degusta wrote. "They can do so knowing that its been well over 3 years since anyone bought an iPhone that couldnt run that OS. If developers apply that same standard to Android, it will be at least 2015 before they can start requiring 2010s Gingerbread OS."

As to why its such a problem for Android makers to keep their phones up to date, Degusta notes that part of the problem is that Android has to navigate through individual phone makers and carriers, while Apple's iOS updates pass directly to its customers. Additionally, neither the carrier nor the phone makers seem interested in keeping their customers happy.

"Apples way of getting you to buy a new phone is to make you really happy with your current one, whereas apparently Android phone makers think they can get you to buy a new phone by making you really unhappy with your current one," Degusta said.

Update cycles for mobile software

While Degusta is profiling the lack of major releases (noting that most Android phones are a year or two behind), Apple also keeps its iOS customers up to date with many updates throughout the year, ranging from 6 to 10 free minor updates annually that address bugs, add features or provide other enhancements.



Android isn't alone in providing a poor record of updates for phones still under contract. HP terminated support for the Pre Plus generation of phones in webOS 2.0 when they were barely 18 months old, while Microsoft killed off all updates for its Windows Mobile users (and app developers) last winter at the release of Windows Phone 7. RIM similarly released BlackBerry 7.0 only for new phones this summer.

Since then, webOS, WP7 and BlackBerry OS updates have trickled out through carriers at a glacial pace, with Microsoft issuing two feature updates and two minor fixes in the last year that are scheduled and deployed on an individual carrier and model basis.
post #2 of 215
And good luck getting anyone at Google on the phone! LOL
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post #3 of 215
This is hardly surprising.

There's a new Android phone being released every 5 minutes. A new Android phone being released is as exciting and rare as taking a dump.

There is a huge fragmentation in Android, and whichever Android phone somebody buys, it's obsolete before you get home and unpack your pathetic phone.

Android phones are worthless 10 minutes after somebody buys them and dumbass Android customers are abandoned by the manufacturers pretty quickly. Simply put, anybody who buys an Android phone has no taste, and no clue.
post #4 of 215
To be fair, Android has separated out much of its OS as separate apps. All Android phones have had maps, email, etc. regularly updated. And also to be fair, all iPhones don't receive all updates in each iOS update. Siri is case-in-point. Only the 4S has that one, officially.
post #5 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

This is hardly surprising.

There's a new Android phone being released every 5 minutes. A new Android phone being released is as exciting and rare as taking a dump.

There is a huge fragmentation in Android, and whichever Android phone somebody buys, it's obsolete before you get home and unpack your pathetic phone.

Android phones are worthless 10 minutes after somebody buys them and dumbass Android customers are abandoned by the manufacturers pretty quickly. Simply put, anybody who buys and Android phone has no taste, an no clue.

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

what about the iphone 3g? no ios5? No siri? People can make these stupid arguments all day.

I don't see why people argue about fragmentation. If your phone runs 2.2 or higher, you can run all applications. It's really that simple.

You say yourself that if you don't buy an iphone, you don't have taste. Wow.

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post #6 of 215
I wonder if the average Android user even notices or cares if he or she can get the latest OS, though?

Buy a cheap or free Android phone, get a functional smart phone with a decent browser, decent email and texting, excellent maps and navigation, OK media playback and some currently popular games. If you never stray much beyond that functionality, and the phone works OK when you get it, you're probably content to use what you have, even if an update should become available.

The problem for Google is when they want to really extend Android's functionality, like Apple has done with iOS 5. If they make a big deal out it, they run the risk of alienating their current installed user base, most of whom will have no access to the latest and greatest. If they treat it like no big deal, they run the risk of letting Android feel rudderless.

There are going to be an awful lot of Android handsets out there (some of which are being purchased even as we speak) that are never going to get updated to ICS, if they can even run it. At the moment ICS is mostly the darling tof tech nerds and the gadget press, and most Android users don't even know it exists. But if Google or one of the handset manufacturers or one of the carriers decide that they want to sell phones based on cool new OS features, all of a sudden someone who bought their phone today is wondering why they don't get to join in on the fun.
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post #7 of 215
Well, this is the downside of not having a walled garden.

It's an issue pretty much for software developers. Most likely, you are going to target older versions of the OS relatively speaking.
post #8 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

This is hardly surprising.

There's a new Android phone being released every 5 minutes. A new Android phone being released is as exciting and rare as taking a dump.

There is a huge fragmentation in Android, and whichever Android phone somebody buys, it's obsolete before you get home and unpack your pathetic phone.

Android phones are worthless 10 minutes after somebody buys them and dumbass Android customers are abandoned by the manufacturers pretty quickly. Simply put, anybody who buys and Android phone has no taste, an no clue.


Well, depending on how you define out of date, the IPhone comes out with outdated hardware. Now I own a IPhone 4 and love it. However, Steve is wrong, there is no one size fits all. Otherwise, It wouldn't exist. I am in college(Engineering); so a lot of my friends like to mess with coding and stuff. The android is open so they can do this. I do not know anything about that stuff, so a phone that works great and does most of the same thing, IPhone is better for me. (Until they get more than like 20% thinner than the Iphone 4, then ill jump to android, simply cause I don't get Apple's thing with things being 1mm thin. I want to hold something, not air.
post #9 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

If your phone runs 2.2 or higher, you can run all applications.

I challenge that with about every fiber of my being.

You're saying there's NOTHING. NOTHING that exists to take advantage of Android 3 or 4. NOTHING out there. Really?

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post #10 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Simply put, anybody who buys and Android phone has no taste,...


Yeah but their money is still green. Google doesn't care if they wear stripes and plaids together they are just trying to sell some ads.

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post #11 of 215
Ya but you cant really say Apple phones are on the cutting edge of technology either. They lag pretty far behind the curve, but probably for a reason. I'll agree they do offer a lot more updates than Android but also remember people are constantly jailbreaking the iOS so they have to stay one step ahead, they also only offer really one product. Android software is installed like a PC on multiple platforms with an almost endless configuration arrangement. Also iOS is very locked down by apple where as Android is very open and customizable. Most releases of iOS are just user requested changes, you don't need this on Android as the user can tailor the experience to his or her liking from the get go. However that's why I use an iPhone over android, I couldn't stop customizing it

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post #12 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by RepairZoom View Post

they also only offer really one product.

Three, as far as I last checked. Which was five seconds ago.

Quote:
Android is very open and customizable.

Ooh, we have a new contender in the competition for Most Wrong Comment In The Thread.

Quote:
Most releases of iOS are just user requested changes

Uh huh.

Quote:
you don't need this on Android as the user can tailor the experience to his or her liking from the get go.

*snort*

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post #13 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by stynkfysh View Post

To be fair, Android has separated out much of its OS as separate apps. All Android phones have had maps, email, etc. regularly updated. And also to be fair, all iPhones don't receive all updates in each iOS update. Siri is case-in-point. Only the 4S has that one, officially.

Siri isn't an OS update, its a feature specific to the 4S. But you're right that Google updates its own search/service apps, because that's all it cares about (where its money comes from).

As a platform however, Android OS is stale because nobody involved in bringing phones to market cares about the platform itself. Android 2.1 E, 2.2 F, 2.3 G, and 4.0 I each introduced new APIs that developers can't take advantage of if 45% of users are still on 2.2 F from a year and a half ago. That's the problem.

There's also the dated browser that doesn't work well.
post #14 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I challenge that with about every fiber of my being.

You're saying there's NOTHING. NOTHING that exists to take advantage of Android 3 or 4. NOTHING out there. Really?

Nope. Every fiber in your being is wrong. As long as you're on 2.2. The APIs are too similar.

2.3 gives NFC support. If you have an Android with NFC, guess what? You're already on gingerbread.

So this means, the only fragmentation would come from Androids that are over 2 years old, because everything since that has been Froyo or higher.

Have a phone even older for some odd reason? You have the Android dev community for your Gingerbread ROM.

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post #15 of 215
Android’s “openness” let’s 1/10th of 1% of users modify the OS to their benefit, and lets 100% of carriers modify and restrict the OS to users’ detriment.

iPhone’s rapid innovation, ease-of-use, consistent UI, and better selection of higher-quality apps benefits 100% of users, giving them more things they can do well and easily with less carrier interference, junkware, ads, and abandoned products you still owe on. In other words, more “choice,” in reality, than Android’s bullet-points-in-a-brochure.

Meanwhile iPhone has a better open source browser and web-app platform (with NO approval needed from Apple) than Android does, supporting the latest standards (like accelerometer and gyroscope) that Android’s browser still doesn’t... even though it’s based on Apple’s open-souce WebKit browser engine. Apple’s not totally “closed” and Google’s not totally “open,” despite the buzzword campaigns.

Google’s #1 profit strategy is to put ads in front of people. Apple’s #1 profit strategy is to give a great experience and functionality to its users. These are undeniably different approaches, and they make a BIG difference.
post #16 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Nope. Every fiber in your being is wrong. As long as you're on 2.2. The APIs are too similar.

2.3 gives NFC support. If you have an Android with NFC, guess what? You're already on gingerbread.

Then why bother releasing new updates with new numbers and new names if you already have everything they have to offer?

So you're saying Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich have absolutely no new features whatsoever? Why bother releasing them at all? Why bother having new software? Just keep making Froyo phones.

Quote:
Have a phone even older for some odd reason? You have the Android dev community for your Gingerbread ROM.

Ah, I see. Instead of having actual support, you have to get it from the Crowd Formerly Thought Of As Linux. Got it.

Quote:
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Perhaps once you have an actual argument. I still don't get why they'd release new updates with absolutely no new updates in the updates.

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post #17 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Androids openness lets 1/10th of 1% of users modify the OS to their benefit, and lets 100% of carriers modify and restrict the OS to users detriment.

iPhones rapid innovation, ease-of-use, consistent UI, and better selection of higher-quality apps benefits 100% of users, giving them more choice, in reality, than Androids bullet-points-in-a-brochure.

Meanwhile iPhone has a better open source browser and web-app platform (with NO control from Apple) than Android does, supporting the latest standards (like accelerometer and gyroscope) that Androids browser still doesnt... even though its based on Apples open-souce WebKit browser engine. Apples not totally closed and Googles not totally open, despite the buzzword campaigns.

Googles #1 profit strategy is to put ads in front of people. Apples #1 profit strategy is to give a great experience and functionality to its users. These are undeniably different approaches, and they make a BIG difference.

Its not open sourced look at honeycomb its closed source.Also not updating phones os is probably why IT departments shun Android
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post #18 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Apple’s way of getting you to buy a new phone is to make you really happy with your current one, whereas apparently Android phone makers think they can get you to buy a new phone by making you really unhappy with your current one," Degusta said.

That's exactly why Apple will soon trade above $500/share.

Question: Why do other companies - like Samsung for example - treat their customers this way? Is it because their executives just don't know how to make happy customers first time around? Or, are all of the executives at Samsung "bozo's?"

post #19 of 215
It is clear the manufacturers have no interest in supporting updates because if they do that's one more device they Don't sell.

They're in it to sell hardware. They could give a flying fuck about keeping you updated.

"Want the new Android update, we'll sell you a new phone (or give you one) with the new OS. No need to save your money. Spend it here!"
post #20 of 215
Apple states up front that they will only support iOS devices with two OS updates. So that is clearly known when you buy the device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

what about the iphone 3g? no ios5? No siri? People can make these stupid arguments all day.

You say yourself that if you don't buy an iphone, you don't have taste. Wow.
post #21 of 215
iOS has only just caught up with the featureset of Froyo so it isn't all bad.

Well, in some areas it's still behind Froyo (native turn by turn navigation, systewide third party app integration, restrictive Bluetooth functionality).
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post #22 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

what about the iphone 3g? no ios5? No siri? People can make these stupid arguments all day.

I don't see why people argue about fragmentation. If your phone runs 2.2 or higher, you can run all applications. It's really that simple.

You say yourself that if you don't buy an iphone, you don't have taste. Wow.

While I don't agree with the OP's assumption that Android users have no class, you use a very poor example. You precious Aria was released in March-April of 2010. The iPhone 3G was released in June of 2008! Your Aria is two years newer, has been out for less than two years, and has already had support pretty much discontinued.

The better phone to compare it to time-wise would be the iPhone 4, but that might not be fair because the Aria was never a flagship phone like the 4 was. So let's compare it to the 3GS at the time the Aria was released, which was already almost a year old at that point. It is still being supported today, and will be for at least another year past now. No, it doesn't have every single new feature, but really, the only one it and the 4 aren't getting is Siri. They both still have iMessage, they both still have AirPlay, they both still have Notification Center, all of it. Meanwhile your Aria will never get ICS, and has been all but forgotten by everybody except you, including HTC.
post #23 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

And good luck getting anyone at Google on the phone! LOL

Easy as pie. If you're an actual Google customer instead of a Google product.
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post #24 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"Apples way of getting you to buy a new phone is to make you really happy with your current one, whereas apparently Android phone makers think they can get you to buy a new phone by making you really unhappy with your current one," Degusta said.


Nicely said.
post #25 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

what about the iphone 3g? no ios5? No siri? People can make these stupid arguments all day.

I don't see why people argue about fragmentation. If your phone runs 2.2 or higher, you can run all applications. It's really that simple.

You say yourself that if you don't buy an iphone, you don't have taste. Wow.

The 3GS runs iOS5.

And why is not having Siri a negative? Next you will be complaining "What about iPhone4. It does not have an 8MP camera"...
post #26 of 215
Hey Fandroids, it's easy. Just trade in last month's new phone, shell out $300, and you can have a tasty Ice Cream Sandwich. Isn't planned obsolescence delicious - tastes like a lime green sucker, doesn't it?
post #27 of 215
Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone and dont plan on ever buying a different phone as long as the iPhone is out there, but not everyone fully uses or understands the iPhone software updates either. My parents both got iP4s after they had their 3Gs and to this day still do not even know the multi-tasking exists. Every time I pick up on of their phones the first thing I do is turn off at least 20 apps. I don't think I am going to even bother trying to explain iOS5 to them. I'll just let them be happy with what they're used to.
post #28 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Hey Fandroids, it's easy. Just trade in last month's new phone, shell out $300, and you can have a tasty Ice Cream Sandwich. Isn't planned obsolescence delicious - tastes like a lime green sucker, doesn't it?

Is that like the "new" iPhone 4s wow faster processor and a little better camera SO worth the $$ to get it!

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post #29 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

what about the iphone 3g? no ios5? No siri? People can make these stupid arguments all day.

I don't see why people argue about fragmentation. If your phone runs 2.2 or higher, you can run all applications. It's really that simple.

You say yourself that if you don't buy an iphone, you don't have taste. Wow.

Apple ][ is twelve so don't expect anything intelligent.

Fragmentation is an issue if you are a developer and as an owner of an Android and an iPhone, currently a 4S the upgrade experience on both is day and night. On an Android its basically good luck getting upgrades on the day of release. With iOS, download and install anytime. if your phone is acting up just restore. On Android, time to start all over again, if you can. Hardware wise there are several good Android phones but none approach the fit and finish of the iPhone 4 series. The iPhone 3GS beats all the Android phones in its price range of $0 on contract (US). The Android platform's biggest issues however is ecosystem, security, management and stability. iOS feels very finished and polished. Android is like a rock and I don't mean that in a good way.
post #30 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google's own Nexus One has received the best support, but the company just announced that it won't be getting the new Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," even though it's not yet two years old.

In Google's defense these things didn't sell very well. It was reported they sold 135k units in the first 74 days, and then it was discontinued from Google's site about 7 months after it first went on sale. I can't imagine there are many Nexus One users at this point to make the expense of creating an update viable, especially not with Google's business model.
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post #31 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Hey Fandroids, it's easy. Just trade in last month's new phone, shell out $300, and you can have a tasty Ice Cream Sandwich. Isn't planned obsolescence delicious - tastes like a lime green sucker, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, that summation is not far from the truth.
post #32 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcbaritone10 View Post

Every time I pick up on of their phones the first thing I do is turn off at least 20 apps.

It might be worth reading a bit more about the differences in multi-tasking in iOS as compared to traditional multi-tasking, or the sort of multi-tasking which is used in an operating system like Android. There's probably very little (or even no) benefit to 'turning off' any apps at all when you pick up one of your parents' phones.
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post #33 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

What carrier are you on? There might be difference between carriers (and maybe between GSM and CDMA).
post #34 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcbaritone10 View Post

Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone and don't plan on ever buying a different phone as long as the iPhone is out there, but not everyone fully uses or understands the iPhone software updates either. My parents both got iP4s after they had their 3Gs and to this day still do not even know the multi-tasking exists. Every time I pick up on of their phones the first thing I do is turn off at least 20 apps. I don't think I am going to even bother trying to explain iOS5 to them. I'll just let them be happy with what they're used to.

I agree when I worked for Apple I would have at least one person a day that when I would ask them "when is the last time you plugged this into iTunes?" they would look at me with a blank stare and then ask "Whats that?" that's why I don't mind iPhone's being a little behind the curve ie latest CPU or 4G most people don't need it...

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post #35 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

Well, in some areas it's still behind Froyo

native turn by turn navigation,

Yeah people are really demanding that (sarcasm)

Quote:
systewide third party app integration,

Not gonna' happen, this is a huge security risk.

Quote:
restrictive Bluetooth functionality).

For that giant ecosystem of third party devices that use Bluetooth on Android (more sarcasm)
post #36 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

It might be worth reading a bit more about the differences in multi-tasking in iOS as compared to traditional multi-tasking, or the sort of multi-tasking which is used in an operating system like Android. There's probably very little (or even no) benefit to 'turning off' any apps at all when you pick up one of your parents' phones.

In his defense Apple does recommend turning them off, I have had a number of Apple ppl tell me and it is listed under there "save battery life article"

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post #37 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by RepairZoom View Post

Is that like the "new" iPhone 4s wow faster processor and a little better camera SO worth the $$ to get it!

What sealed the deal for me was Siri, A5, the camera and canceling the contract on my Evo 4G. It would have been a great phone if it didn't crash all the time and the updates, resets and restores were easy to do i.e. Apple like in management.
post #38 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcbaritone10 View Post

D Every time I pick up on of their phones the first thing I do is turn off at least 20 apps.

You mean you clear the history of recently used apps? And for no particular purpose. Unless those 20 apps play sound, are VoIP apps, or are navigation apps.
post #39 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBRSTREETG View Post

Unfortunately, that summation is not far from the truth.

I find that amusing as with ATT if you want to upgrade in contract say from a 4 to a 4S it will cost you $299 the first time and like $499 the second time

"I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory." - proverb
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"I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory." - proverb
RepairZoom.com Best Apple fix around!
Best Buy - Special Agent 5 Years
Apple - Specialist 1 1/2 Years
Best Years of my LIFE!

Reply
post #40 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

My year and a half old Aria runs the latest release of Gingerbread without issue.

what about the iphone 3g? no ios5? No siri? People can make these stupid arguments all day.

You want to compare a 3 1/2 year old phone to a 1 1/2 year old phone? The 3GS runs iOS5 just fine.
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