Motorola backtracks on software updates: Atrix 4G and Photon 4G likely to be denied ICS

Software updates are a dreaded nuisance for any smartphone owner. Today, Motorola has solidified our stance on the issue, as it has retracted numerous of its previous upgrade promises. The new timeline pushes the Android 4.0 update for the DROID XYBOARD 8.2, DROID Bionic and Motorola XOOM Family Edition back until next quarter. Additionally, Atrix 4G, Atrix 2 and Photon 4G owners may be out of luck. Whereas the previous timeline showed the devices would be receiving their Ice Cream Sandwich update in Q3, the new list only entails that “further plans [are] coming soon.” What this means exactly is still unclear.

While this wasn’t completely unexpected, it’s a sad day for early adopters. Constantly manufacturers are revealing new groundbreaking hardware with behind-the-curve software. As an Atrix 4G owner, I’m ashamed that such a travesty couldn’t be avoided. The phone may have launched with Android 2.2 Froyo, but underneath lie the internals of the world’s first superphone. I’ll continue to use the handset, but Motorola needs to realize that it’s this type of thing that will prevent me from being a returning customer. For the full run-down, we’ve included the official upgrade timeline below.


Region / Model*

Upgrade Status


MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi-Only (MZ604) Jellybean Upgrade (Android 4.1.1) rollout began in July 2012.
MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi + 3G/LTE (MZ600/MZ602) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in June 2012.
DROID RAZR (XT912) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in June 2012.
DROID RAZR MAXX (XT912) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in June 2012.
ATRIX 4G (MB860) Gingerbread (Android 2.3) rollout began in July 2011. Further plans coming soon.
DROID XYBOARD 8.2 (MZ609) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout to begin in Q4.
DROID XYBOARD 10.1/Xoom 2 (MZ617) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in August 2012.
ATRIX 2 (MB865) Further plans coming soon.
DROID 4 (XT894) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in August 2012.
MOTOROLA XOOM Family Edition (MZ505) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout to begin in Q4.
DROID BIONIC (XT875) ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout to begin in Q4.
PHOTON 4G (MB855) Further plans coming soon.
ELECTRIFY (MB853) Further plans coming soon.
CLIQ 2 (MB611) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
ADMIRAL (XT603) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
DROID 2 (A955) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
DROID 2 Global (A956) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
DROID 3 (XT862) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
DROID PRO (XT610) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
DROID X2 (MB870) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
MILESTONE 3 (XT883 / XT860 / ME863) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
MILESTONE X2 (MB867) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
MOTOROLA PRO+ (MB632) Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)

Source: Motorola

About the Author: Colton Kaiser

Born in southern California, Colton is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast. His first Android handset was the Motorola Backflip, though his passion for technology began when he received his first Windows 95-powered PC for a Christmas present as a child. Dumbfounded by the capabilities of the machine, he discovered an inherent fascination for software and electronics. Colton wrote for numerous news publications before establishing his own popular technology-oriented website. When he's not writing about or playing with the latest gadgets, he enjoys watching football and destroying friends in his fantasy league, preferably while eating Mexican food. Colton currently attends the University of Redlands, where he plans to major in journalism.

  • Tom Berg

    Motorola, you are a pathetic company.

  • swtrainer

    As an Atrix 4G owner, this is the last straw…and the last Motorola phone I will ever own. If they can’t update their phones, then why buy one?

  • DavidSiqueira

    Bad news -_-
    I left an I left iPhone 3G to buy an Atrix 4G… Hardly my next phone will be an Android

  • Matthew Young

    Oh FFS! I’ve been waiting for MONTHS now for +Motorola Mobility to release ICS for the Atrix 2. They put up an update page that promised it would be released in Q3. I’ve been putting off installing the leaked version because the official OTA was supposed to be just around the corner. Today, for the first time in six freaking weeks, they updated their page…to tell me “Further plans coming soon.” No longer listed as Q3. Not listed as Q4, just some vague promise for further details. WTF? They pushed the update out in India, why is it being stalled in their own country?

    Frankly, I don’t understand why it’s taken them this long. They’re owned by Google, for crying out loud! The rushed the update off to the Verizon’s latest handset, but the Atrix 2, which was the newest AT&T phone when ICS was released STILL doesn’t have it?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My next phone is going to be a Windows phone. iPhone sucks; and while +Android is fantastic, the fragmentation level is ridiculous; and if buying a phone from a company owned by the people whomake Android doesn’t remedy the situation, then to hell with it. I’m officially fed up

  • rich_bown

    Just standard operating procedure for Motorola unfortunately. Got bitten like this twice before with Motorola, was hoping after their acquisition by Google things would improve. Obviously not, no more moto

  • ari_free

    It’s never a good idea to buy a phone that’s exclusive to 1 carrier in 1 country. Motorola needs to be like Samsung.

  • Eduardo

    Motorola is not alone with this problem. It is every android manufacturer. Do you think that Samsung upgrade last year phones and tablets? I have some land in Florida to sell you all.

  • beatpan

    go fuck urself Moto~

  • Moto jerkme

    I say boycott them all….let them know it is because of us that they exsist. Not because of them we exsists! I will never ever buy a Moto jackoff again! Again make sure you do your research before buying your next phone.

  • Selahattin Aktok

    Motorola you are not good.You decline your promise of And.4.0.Please give support for Atrix 4g.This is not fair.
    Selahattin Aktok from Turkey.

  • Genadi

    Never ever even look at Moto Phones specification.
    Not interesting to buy device which is immediately outdated!!!
    Such poor (lack of) support!!!
    Want my money back!!!
    Unhappy owner of Atrix 4G

  • Genadi

    I bought my Atrix 4g 5 months after it was released and this was Flagship Phone for mOTOROLA.
    Three Months later (when ICS was announced) mOTOROLA even not committed that there will be update for Atrix 4g – 8 months after the phone was released!!! Three months later mOTOROLA kindly updated that they will release ICS for Atrix 4g in Q3 – ONE YEAR after ICS was officially released. Q3 almost passed and what – “Further information coming soon”?!?!?!?!?!?

    No more mOTOROLA devices.

  • André

    I am a Atrix 4G owner too and after this Motolora’s decision I decided that I will never more buy a phone from this company. It definetly has no respect for its customers.

  • RTWright

    You people are amazing…. I had an Evo4G for two years, they never once upgraded it to ICS, even though it could handle it just fine. The only thing stopping it from being 100% was the Front Facing Camera drivers that HTC sat on and never made updates for. They claimed that anything with 512MB could not run ICS, but mine was running it as a ROM from MIUI and CM9.

    The problem here is, they don’t want to sit down and write drivers for outdated devices. Technically speaking, you should be able to just download the updated OS straight from Google and get the drivers from whichever OEM made your device. But it doesn’t work that way. You have the OEM claiming they have to get it approved by the Carrier. So I contacted my a carrier ( Sprint ) and they said it’s all up to the OEM ( at that time HTC ). Guess what? Neither of these two companies communicate worth a dang with their consumers or each other.

    I’m not shocked to see this from Motorola, just shocked they’d even put up a public posting promising anything. Main problem is, you have every OME rushing out x-amount of new devices each year. The more new devices they put out? The quicker your current devices fall to the wayside. This type of Quantity over Quality tactic is what is affecting the consumers of this industry. Too bad the OEM’s and Carriers don’t care!

    All they need to do, all any OEM needs to do, is update drivers. Just like on a PC, nVidia comes out with new drivers, you download and install them. You don’t go to the next version of Windows till you know all of your hardware is supported. That to me should be the ONLY delay in getting the next version of Android on a device.

    Another issue we face here, they all want to include their own OEM Custom Launcher ( TouchWiz, MotoBlur, Sense, etc.. ). Which is fine, if they wouldn’t make them so dang bloated. Sense is one of the worst, it’s so bloated it takes up so much space, that was why HTC didn’t want to mess with the Evo4G, because it only had 512MB of internal storage and that thing with the updated OS was going take up around close to 300MB. Instead of trimming it down and optimizing it or just giving us like version 2 of Sense as apposed to 3.x? They chose to not give the Evo4G ICS.

    So many stupid reasons these companies give for not doing it, it all falls down to they cannot keep up with all the devices they’ve released and are too lazy to even try. So I can fully understand how you all feel, it’s why I rooted my Evo within the first 6 months of ownership. Now I have a GSIII, I’m not rooting it yet, I’m going to be patient. But I will if no OTA happens soon. They can’t give excuses for this one not being able to run JB. I’m also not one to spend $800 for an international version of the device, only to have carriers not being able have it on their 4G networks ( As if 4G actually existed where I live.. ).

  • bugs

    my iphone 4 got update from os4 to ios 5 then now ios 6. my atrix stuck in gingerbread although as a specs its better than my iphone and better for many other product which running with ics. i give up with motorola.. give up!

  • JR

    MOTO has thrown us all of us under the bus. I am dumping the Photon sooner rather than later. DO not buy MOTO Phones. They forgot how to update them.

  • ndtu

    So sad for Motorola, even though I love their phone. I have to turn my back to them.

  • AK

    I had bookmarked motorola page for months and check the status daily. But now they have changed it to Further plans message. Ridiculous. Shame on you moto/google.

  • Chris

    bye bye motofail ,never again , byebye gogle too wp here i come

  • Viktor

    Motorola – bye bye – you guys are another HP with webOS. Hello Windows Phone!

  • jseger

    Yep as a Photon 4G owner this will be the last motorola I will purchase. Hardware isn’t much without the ability to upgarde. I would have NEVER purchased this phone if I was told up front there would be no upgrade path.

  • Marlon

    This is messed up. Anyways I’m going with Samsung next. Gonna jump on that bandwagon. I love my atrix but its outdated, slow and no upgrades. As soon as I clean up some bills I’m out a here