Updates? how does it work?

SInce I’m doing this phone thing like every day I get to see how things evolve over time. And this is esp true around updates as updates have to start SOMEWHERE (even apple does it that way now with ios7).

Edit: This is to be seen as a “guide” or a bit of “hint”. It’s not the ultimate “truth”, but it’s what I’ve gathered up during the years.

Edit 2: I haven’t covered just HOW an update comes to life, this you can read about in this excellent post.


What is a CID?
CID (Carrier ID) and simply tells where the phone is intended to use. Like a a non-branded phone from Sweden/Denmark/Norway is HTC__Y13 while a network branded (lets say 3 Sweden) is H3G__G04.

With htc updates tends to start in northern Europe since it’s relatively “easy” there, as you have small countries (number of people) with VERY well developed infrastructures around it. And you have regular fonts and such.  Updates starts coming out to non-branded phones first. Do know: even if you have a sim unlocked phone (from a sim-locked phone),  it can still mean that you have it branded to the network it first came from.

Updates comes out per CID and not per country, as the networks have their own CID’s. Which of course means that if you have a phone with a network CID, the update comes from that network which in general means: just wait after it comes for non-branded phones in the same country/region.

If you have a phone imported from Sweden with a nordic CID (HTC__Y13) you will get the update when those Nordic countries gets the update.

If you have an imported network/carrier branded phone, things can at once get a little bit more complicated since the update comes from the carrier/network and they can of course limit where their update comes out.

Know what you buy
If you live in a country where phones are imported from other countries/regions: do know that Seller WILL try to fool you if they gain from doing that. NEVER buy a network locked phone from USA (99% of american phones are that way) or similar countries as updates are on the discretion of the carrier/network and they can (and will) restrict where they update is being pushed to.

ALWAYS do research on a phone before you buy it. If a phone is released on american carriers, and you want to buy it in Pakistan:  do NOT do that since you’re putting yourself in a bad situation when it comes to updates. If possible: buy your phone from a trusted seller inside your own country. If you’re in Pakistan and other countries where there is no official htc phones, demand that the seller tells you where the phone is from and what CID and such it got.

And even if a phone is sim unlocked, it doesn’t mean that it’s NOT branded to a network. And, there is not “International” phones: there is region variants of the phone, with different CID’s around the globe. If you get a UK phone with a UK CID (HTC__001) you will get updates about 1-2 weeks into the general roll-out.

Why does it take “so long” in some countries?
This got many reasons, and not all of them simple. Sometimes networks (and so on) want to test the update so it’s “safe” on their networks (and so on). Sometimes it’s other things in play, not all of them under the control of htc. You get the update when it’s done and tested for your region.

And: different parts of the world got a bit different software as well in the phones. It’s simply not the same update that rolls out, it’s of course very similar (on non-branded phones) but there’s always a little different. Like languages and such. HTC don’t “hold back” as I’ve heard it guessed from people.

Relax. You will get your update.
No, HTC doesn’t “diss” you or whatever you might think. It’s an update they provide to you FREE of charge. Be grateful. Sure, mention it doesn’t hurt. But: go to the extent to say “I hate HTC” is a bit far. For an update? HTC have no emotions in this, around updates.  So, why hate a company that will not hate you back? It’s like hating a stone..

No! Apple is NOT faster on updates. What apple does is: they don’t tell you when they start,  LIke with ios7:  they didn’t develop it in 4 months. They just tell you when they’re “sort of done”. HTC tells you before they start, since google release the software: that is when htc START on the little thing.  It’s very Open source since you know every little turn of it.

Next myth: No, samsung is NOT faster with updates (at least how I see it). Or better. A samsung update can sometimes be this way: they start and find a serious bug since it’s forced out: meaning that they just stop it for 5-6 weeks and don’t tell you a thing. And: there’s a BIG chance that you will hardly know that your samsung did get updated since you don’t really get much change. HTC have really a better track record with updates. SURE: htc fails at times too, but not in the same royal way samsung does. Samsung have cancelled updates for phones as well, and will cancel in the future.

Edit: if you’re trying to prove me wrong in this by doing a spreadsheet on it: do it properly and compare ALL relevant software and just not android version as that is just part of it.  Don’t mix in american carrier phones when you mention “regular” phones. SInce than it’s obvious that it’s just to prove me wrong.

But: I so want 4.3 on my 3.5 year old Desire. You buy a phone for what it is, you don’t buy a phone for what it might get or become. It’s like on a computer: if you want to play all the latest games and all the latest things:  Have the latest hardware.

Btw: you check your CID with this tool