As if things weren’t already looking pretty bad today for LG, announcing decline in smartphone sales and revenues for Q3, mostly because customers don’t trust them too much, they go ahead and throw a bomb at their current LG Optimus 2X customers (and possibly T-mobile G2X, too), saying it won’t be getting the next Android 4.0 ICS update.
Let me repeat that – LG Optimus 2X, a phone released this year, that is also a high-end dual core phone, will not be getting the next version of Android. How do they expect anyone will ever trust LG again?
What exactly is their excuse here, then? That LG Optimus 2X didn’t sell enough for them to bother with the update? Well, I’m sorry, but how exactly is that the fault of the customers who already bought their phone? It’s their own responsibility to make a great device, that is reliable, bug-free and generally works well, and then to promote it in the market. If they can’t confidently do that, then why bother releasing it in the first place?
It shouldn’t matter if a phone gets 100,000 sales or 10 million sales, and shouldn’t be the deciding factor whether that phone will get any update at all, or whether it will get 3 or more. If they sell a product to their customers, it’s their job to support it for the lifetime of that product, or at least until the contract expires.
Some would say it’s the carriers’ fault, and that’s true to a degree. The carriers can affect the update process, slow it down, and maybe even refuse to do it, if they think it will cost them too much and the update is not reliable enough. But ultimately it’s still the responsibility of the manufacturer. They are making those phones and putting the software in there, not the carriers. And if it’s a money issue, well that’s their problem in how they set up the deals with the carriers. Besides, why aren’t they just putting the updates in a PC software, if they want to bypass the carrier completely? Sure, OTA updates are cool, but actually getting them, even through PC software, is even cooler.
My guess is that until now they didn’t care much about the updates, only about selling the phones, so when they decided the pricing with the carrier, they didn’t take too many updates into account. It’s about time they start doing that, and this is why I grilled them in my previous post about the poor updating history of Android manufacturers, even though I knew it was in part some Apple propaganda. But it also had some truth in it, and I think LG’s announcement today about not supporting the Optimus 2X, a high-end 2011 phone, is proof of that.
I had high hopes for LG in 2011, before the year even started. I thought they might even become a more competitive player than Sony this year, but so far they haven’t showed me much proof of that. I think the AH-IPS display of theirs will be one to watch, and I also like that they want to stay on the cutting edge regarding processors, too, but other than that there isn’t much else.
They still need to significantly improve the quality of their devices, both hardware and software wise, the design, and of course to commit to much more long term updates and for all their phones, not just for those that sell in millions. Here’s hoping that they will address all these issues in 2012, but after today, they are going to face an uphill battle to regain consumer trust. It’s hard to get excited about a cool new phone, when the company behind it can’t be trusted.