I Don’t Understand What Google Doesn’t Understand About What AT&T Doesn’t Understand
There’s been a lot of back and forth today about some comments AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (yes, him again) made recently during a Q&A session. When an annoyed customer asked why it takes so long for AT&T to roll out new Android releases, Stephenson said the following:
Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when. A lot of 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.
That’s the CEO of the nation’s second-largest carrier placing the blame solely on Google for the poor Android update timeliness. Obviously, Google is not going to be happy about that. So they gave the following response to 9to5 Google:
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 source.android.com 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.
So what’s going on here?