By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 24, 2012 12:37 PM EDT
Google's Nexus-branded devices theoretically should get Android updates before anyone else, yet Verizon and Sprint Galaxy subscribers are still waiting for the latest Android software even though Jelly Bean was introduced nearly two months ago.
The Google developer devices, i.e. the Nexus brand devices, are supposed to offer the best hardware and the best software, including offering developers access to the latest version of Android. The Nexus devices are not cluttered with any other software that the phone manufacturer or carrier could layer onto the device. While Samsung devices add TouchWiz software and HTC devices add Sense, the Nexus brand devices are designed to offer the pure Google experience, allowing for easier and faster testing and implementing of software upgrades.
Some versions of the Nexus, however, appear rather slow in getting these upgrades. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was introduced at the end of June, and other Nexus devices, including the unlocked version of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, got the update in early July. Nearly two months later, however, the Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel versions of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone still have not seen the upgrade to Jelly Bean.
Meanwhile, the Jelly Bean-powered unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus overseas is even getting a price cut. According to a British third-party retailer, its unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus is upgradable to Jelly Bean on its first boot, and is now $60 to $100 cheaper as new phones are due to arrive by the end of the quarter. The unlocked Galaxy Nexus in Asia is also upgradeable to Jelly Bean on first boot up, and it also got a $45 to $80 price cut.
The unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus is now $475 off-contract as of Thursday, Aug. 23. Meanwhile, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus with LTE support costs $99.99 on contract and $649.99 for month-to-month service contract. The big question remains, however, what is holding back Verizon and Sprint from upgrading their versions of the Nexus.
While some have speculated that Verizon and Sprint are slow to upgrade because their versions are CDMA devices, and the unlocked version is GSM, this reason alone cannot explain such a delay. In terms of technical differences, there is no reason the CDMA version of the Nexus would be harder to upgrade than the GSM version. Consequently, the issue is likely with the carriers.
All that is certain for now is that the upgrade will eventually come for Verizon and Sprint Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices as well, but no precise date is set for the rollout.
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