Maybe We Shouldn't Receive Major OS Updates On Existing Phones
The Android sphere has been buzzing lately (with good reason) as to how the Nexus S 4G has not received an update to ICS. To add insult to injury, these consumers thought they were guaranteed timely updates from Google for these "Nexus" devices. Those who have received the ICS update on their GSM Nexus S and certain tablets can tell you that it hasn't all been a frozen wonderland. There have been numerous complaints of batter issues, signal issues, GPS issues, performance issues, etc. These are "Nexus" phones, Google works with the manufacturer to design the hardware and optimize the software, not to mention they run stock Android. If these devices are having continuous issues, how can the rest of the phones, which are bogged down by bloatware and extra "flair" be expected to run smoothly? They can't.
I am far from familiar with the deep technical aspects of these devices, the software, and the updating methods. However, I do believe that phones are a lot different from traditional PC's. I have a laptop that is at least 7 years old. It runs a core duo and it has 4gb of RAM (I upgraded it). It was originally running XP, but I put Windows 7 on it because I got a cheap copy from school. It runs great, everything works, and there are no major issues or any at all for that matter. Its clear that this is extremely rare for smart phones. Even the benevolent Apple has problems with updates. There are always battery issues, compatibility issues, and of course performance issues on older Iphones. Of course, Apple tends to release phones at a slower pace and so many more people just end up buying the latest software that is on the newest product. With Android, this would be extremely hard to do, mainly because carriers and OEM's would not want just 1 phone per year per manufacturer.
My main point is that maybe we should just buy the latest hardware when it has the software we want. Maybe it is impossible to deliver a great update to mass amounts of people, even if it is a "Nexus" device. Phones tend to work best with their original firmware, even if you "upgrade". Lets sat you buy a phone with ICS, and then you choose to upgrade not on JellyBean, but maybe on Key Lime Pie. It seems crazy because of the current landscape, but perhaps this will become more popular as the struggle to deliver updates in a reasonable fashion and manner continue to fail.