Well this is interesting.  The Verizon-exclusive Sony Z3v is now confirmed to be getting Android…wait for it… Lollipop.

It is only one outdated version behind the times, but I guess it is something positive for those customers, like myself, who have not had any software updates for the device in over a year.

I just want to reiterate folks this is why you should think twice before buying a carrier exclusive phone.

The “exclusive” part may sound tempting because you would like to believe that your carrier is really trying to get the absolute best phone on their network, but this unfortunately is not the case.  “(Insert-carrier-here)-exclusive” is nothing more than a marketing scheme to try to get a quick sale from unaware consumers.

More times than not carrier-exclusive devices are never updated because the carrier has no incentive to.  They already sold you the device and that is all that matters.

Now you may see carrier representatives point fingers at the original manufacturer for not pushing updates.  It could be the case, but it is highly unlikely.

The update process for Android devices is incredibly arduous.  HTC has a fantastic chart explaining the entire procedure.

HTC describes how their phones are updated

A bit long wasn’t it?

The most important part here is the Carrier Approval stage.  This is when a carrier has to make sure the update is compatible with their network.

A carrier could essentially hold a device hostage by making the manufacturer go through several hoops before approving of an update.  It then becomes a cost/benefit scenario where the original manufacturer has to decide if it is worth the labor and time to comply with the carrier’s requirements.

You can see why a company like Sony, who does not have that much leeway in mobile development, would simply abandon an update for one of their devices locked to a carrier.  Sony would rather choose to spend their time, effort, and money on updating their unlocked devices which are accessible to a larger consumer base.

So Verizon Sony Z3v owners, let us at least be thankful that our precious little device is getting an “update” and will be new for us.  I know it has an incredible sour grapes feeling to it, but it is something.

We can use this as a learning experience to make sure that we vote with our wallets and not our hearts.  Simply do not buy carrier-exclusive device in the future, no matter how tempting it may be.

As I type this article my Z3v still has yet to get the update despite the official Verizon Wireless page indicating today is the day.

The Xperia Z3v has still yet to get the update OTA

You can try to force the update through the Verizon Software Upgrade Assistant.

Source: Verizon Wireless

Recent Penn State grad who loves all things mobile. Has a knack for teaching and enjoys a bit of alliteration.

    Next Post