That's a MFAQ, the "Most Frequently Asked Question" that we get these days. Gerardo Dada from our team working with OEMs and Mobile operators has attempted to clarify and answer this question in his blog post. Here's a snippet:
- Carriers will provide the Upgrades- after all, they own the customer interaction in the US and every phone must go through a certification process to get on their network. Elsewhere in the world it is easier to buy an unlocked phone at retail, from Expansys or from iMate and pop in your SIM card. In this case the device manufacturers could provide upgrades. If you use a beta or unsupported upgrade you could experience quality issues like the ones Mike is having.
- Not all phones will have upgrades - Creating a ROM image requires a significant investment from the device manufacturer (OEM) and the Carrier (or Mobile Operator as they are called everywhere else). Carrier's certification process, known as Technical Acceptance (TA) takes at least six weeks, and requires an investment that easily gets to a million dollars. There is also an opportunity cost, both on the certification resources that must be prioritized over other phones, and in engineering resources: do we invest in upgrades for existing phones or do we accelerate launch of new phones. It is not easy to justify this investment when there is not a clear indication of how many more phones they could sell with an upgrade. We do what we can to show them the opportunity and get as many phones in the upgrade path.
read the rest of it here.