LG Has Just Committed Market Suicide. Says LG Optimus 2X Won’t Get Android 4.0 ICS

October 28, 2011

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.

Comments

  • JohnAlva

    As with other phone makes and models, CyanogenMod will probably have to get the job done for the manufacturer. It’s pathetic that a group of [talented] people can produce customized Android ROMs faster than the manufacturers themselves and these ROMs generally have better performance. I now consider hardware based on whether or not CyanogenMod is available for that device.

    • Michael Lopez

      The developer community for android is extremely helpful and in most cases your most viable solution. I think taking it upon yourself to root and and install custom ROM’s is key in extending your phones longevity.

  • Anonymous

    Bad move on LG’s part. Doesn’t inspire much confidence in their newly announced: LG Optimus LTE.

    Support and releasing timely updates should be their paramount handset strategy and the best way to absolutely trounce the opposition.

  • AppleFUD

    Some of these companies really do need to take a clue from apple. Stop putting out so many different devices that you can’t support them. Narrow your focus on just a couple very good devices and support them well.

    Or. . . just fuck off!

    • https://plus.google.com/117702410245683101961/posts Lucian Armasu

      Yes, I agree. One of the reasons they are bad with updates for most of their phones is also because they spread themselves way too thin, trying to release a bunch of models that would get 100,000 sales each rather than making a blockbuster hit phone. This makes it so much harder to update all of them and for multiple Android versions, too, because they also keep adding up as more models are released, and so on.

      Plus, they are commoditizing themselves, by sending the message that each phone model doesn’t matter that much. It’s just the phone from October, or whatever.

      • AppleFUD

        exactly!

        Whenever a company complains about commoditization or profit margins I laugh and think, ‘then stop putting out crap! Why do you think I’m waiting for the next Nexus? You want to make more money? Then make something that is worth paying more for!’

        Hell, I would have loved to see a device like the Nokia N9 come out form someone that had great support for Android, but that level of creativity with long term support for Android seems to be absent. Hell, I’ll even pay for an upgrade after a year or so. . . if it is done well.

        • http://www.facebook.com/randy.khoo Randy Ashar Khoo

          You can always run custom roms. Paying for someone else to install it for you isn’t a bad idea either.
          That said, LG should have given the Optimus 2x the ICS upgrade.
          It is a shame that LG is crap at updates.

      • Anonymous

        You are operating on the assumption that every system update improves things. The industy is littered with examples of feature-bloated upgrades that were disaters. Not everyone wants to be on the bleeding-edge. Perhaps you are old enough to remember the Vista upgrade from XP. The title of your article is very unprofessional, and I am being polite in the hope that you will not censor this as a typical yellow-journalist would be tempted to do…

  • http://megablue.blogspot.com megablue

    As my knowledge, koreans are good at writing software but they are not good creating maintainable software. Perhaps most of the modification and add-ons are not well documented & structured to port it to ICS. That’s why they can’t provide upgrade for existing phones, it is just too hard for the team to port the existing code base to ICS.

  • Yokoohne

    Thanks for the news, nearly buyed a LG :-) Will now change to Samsung!

  • Plkmeister

    They ARE getting ICS – their PC suite is the worst phone software anywhere though and needs something new.