Fairphone is a leading Smartphone development company that strives to design and develop outstanding product while ensuring high end quality. This social enterprise was founded in 2013, and has delivered Smartphone FP1 in 2013 and FP1U in 2014. Both the devices possess the Android 4.2.2 (which is popularly known as Jelly Bean) platform.
Now, the question is that when the Android applications development platform has expanded its capabilities with the versions 4.4 (aka KitKat), why Faiphone is not upgrading to the superior version of Android. However, to foster advanced technology and latest improvements, it is imperative to use the latest platform as the base.
The company has answered their disappointed consumers with a few reasons that are hindering it for this clear upgrade.
Efforts from external parties is needed: They explained that to get an update to the Android KitKat, a support from the external parties is also needed. These are the production partner of Fairphone (Changhong) and the chip-set producer (Mediatek).
Preferences of support provider: There are certain devices that are developed by other manufacturers but exhibiting the same OS as the Fairphone FP1 that are expected to get phone updated to Android 4.4 in a few more months. It thus is anticipated that Android support provider are currently focusing on giant manufacturers. They are thus ignoring the small companies and leaving no other choice for those companies considering the latest platforms and design & developing hardware accordingly.
It is a complicated task: Upgrading an existing mobile OS to the Android 4.4 version is not a child’s play. It involves complete dedication and a lot of efforts. Let’s ponder into the steps involved in the latest Google Android version to a phone’s update.
a.) Google unveils the latest OS to a few platforms, certainly to the devices that are possessing their own flagship.
b.) Since, the chipset has to be customized properly in order to support the OS, the chipset vendors are thus required to build the suitable update. It must be incorporated with the suitable functions to support the latest version.
c.) Chipset vendors after creating the appropriate chipsets, forwards that to their customers (or ODMs). For the Fairphone Smartphone, the chipset vendor is Mediatek and ODM is Changhong.
d.) The ODMs further enhances the chipset to make it support their devices. This phase particularly consumes a lot of time. Since the production partner can’t proceed further until the chipset vendor accomplishes their task.
e.) The update can be delivered to the Fairphone community only upon the successful completion of all the aforementioned phases. This update notification is then delivered to all the devices over-the-air.
This represents that Fairphone is entirely dependent on the suppliers and its partners. Meanwhile, the company is seeking an alternative to update to the version 4.4 as soon as possible. Fortunately, the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and Android 4.1 & 4.2 (Jelly Bean) are the most common Android version is running on a two-third of the total Android devices out there. This is why, users of the devices with aforementioned OS can enjoy the compatible applications for a little more time.