Last week, GoMo News reported on the botched job Vodafone UK has made of rolling out the updated Android 2.2 OS to owners of the HTC Desire and HTC Legend. It seems that Vodafone Nederlands has been kept up-to-date on what has been going on, as its “360 upgrade” has been delayed.
What’s the story?
- Last week, owners of the Android smartphones HTC Desire and HTC Legend recieved a long-awaited upgrade to their phone operating system
- They were dismayed and angered to discover that it wasn’t the upgrade to Android 2.2 (known as “Froyo”) that they had been expecting – it was a “360 upgrade” that added Vodafone branding and applications to their phone.
- These apps and branding cannot be deleted – a phenomenon known as “bloatware“, when a device ships with software it doesn’t need, but that cannot be erased.
- The “360 upgrade” has attracted a host of complaints, including slower performance, SMS repetition, adult content bookmarks and reduced battery performance.
- Many Vodafone subscribers have said they will be seeking legal action to force the operator to remove the upgrade.
What’s the news?
According to Trading Markets, Vodafone Netherlands has delayed the 360 update. It was initially planned to roll-out before the upgrade to 2.2, but the operator claims it “experienced problems”, and has put the update on hold for now. Android owners in the Nederlands will be getting the Froyo upgrade first… and then we’ll see about the 360 update.
What we think?
It’s hard to know if Vodafone has a PR disaster on its hands here or not. I’ve been paying close attention to this story, so I know how angry these customers are. But the people affected are Vodafone UK subscribers who own a Desire or Legend. How big a proportion of Vodafone’s UK audience is that? How much of an effort is Vodafone willing to make to fix its mistake? The answer will likely be heard sometime today. Facebook user “Attila Hun” posted to the group Say No To Vodafone 360 Spamware On The HTC Desire this morning:
“I spoke to the CEO’s office on Saturday. They are coming with a statement on Monday. IF Guy Laurence (the CEO) is incompetent AND ignores our request to honor their promises, THEN we will unite and take severe (but lawful) media action against the company. The right thing for Vodafone is to (i) apologize for the screw up, and (ii) offer everyone with an HTC Desire a clean Froyo update.”
We’ll have to wait and see. But with the update “delayed” in the Netherlands, it’s possible Vodafone is taking a holding action until it knows which way this will develop.