Google and AT&T trade barbs over Android updates

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has been on a roll as of late. First, he flat out admitted that customers should expect to see their wireless services prices go up thanks to the company’s botched acquisition of T-Mobile. Second, the AT&T boss expressed his regret of not getting rid of unlimited data plans a lot sooner. Boy, you got to love that good old Death Star.

Just when you thought these disturbing confessions weren’t grim enough, Stephenson, has now blamed Google for delayed updates to its Android smartphones. Yes, you heard right. Stephenson talking to the Milken Institute said, “Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when. Many times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard. We know that’s important to our customers. That’s kind of an ambiguous answer because I can’t give you a direct answer in this setting.”

Thankfully, the folks over at 9to5Google got to the bottom of this fatuous accusation by reaching out to the search giant. Google refuted what Stephenson said, telling the site:

“Mr. Stephenson’s carefully worded quote caught our attention and frankly we don’t understand what he is referring to. Google does not have any agreements in place that require a negotiation before a handset launches.  Google has always made the latest release of Android available as open source at as soon as the first device based on it has launched. This way, we know the software runs error-free on hardware that has been accepted and approved by manufacturers, operators and regulatory agencies such as the FCC. We then release it to the world.”

Of course, educated Android users know that it is the cell phone carrier who has final word on when or if an update is to go out — not Google or the handset manufacturer. That’s why Stephenson’s train of thought here is extremely questionable.

[via 9to5Google]

  • Anonymous

    AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has been on the illicit substances again, by the reading of things.  He is either demonstrating an amazing depth of ignorance of all things Google or he is suffering from concussion or suchlike. 
    Of course, it really is the MNOs who decide what handset gets updated with what as and when the updated firmware is made available by the manufacturers. Every school kid over 12 knows that! 

    But hey! Why spoil a good lie when on a roll?

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