Would You Be Willing to Pay for Major Android Updates?

Paul Lilly

Few people would argue that fragmentation is a problem on the Android platform, or at the very least it's sometimes a frustration. The fact that Android is open source and is within reach of any handset/tablet maker who wants to take the source code and run with it is partially what made the OS so popular to begin with. However, with so many Android devices in the wild, many sporting their own custom UIs, it's almost a crap-shoot as to when or even if any particular model will receive a major update, like Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Could paid updates solve this problem?

Probably not, but at least one person thinks paid updates are the answer. James Kendrick over at ZDNet posted a short piece on why he thinks paying for major updates would fix a system that, to him, is clearly "broken."

"As screwed up as the update process is for Android devices, there is a brilliantly simple method available to fix it in one fell swoop. It is time for paid updates for the Android world," Kendrick writes.

According to Kendrick, "money is at the root of the Android update fiasco." Specifically, he says OEMs pour a ton of money into Android device updates, both in rolling them out and in supporting them after the fact. Paid updates would solve this problem.

"I don't think Android phone owners would object to a reasonable charge for a major OS update," Kendrick says.

Kendrick's proposed fee is $15, which by his math would be almost $400 million in additional revenue if just 10 percent of annual Android buyers ponied up for a paid update.

What's your take on Kendrick's proposal?

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