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No Gingerbread This Christmas For Optimus

David Gilbert


No Gingerbread This Christmas For Optimus (Updated)

With everyone getting excited about the Gingerbread launch earlier this week on the Nexus S, it was inevitable that attention would turn to when and where the update would be rolled out next.

Well it seems as if LG has ruled itself out of the game already, telling its Facebook fans that neither its Optimus One or Optimus Chic would be receiving the update. Period. In a post on it’s Facebook site LG explained the announcement: “The Optimus line won't be getting the Gingerbread update because they have a 600MHz processor, and the minimum requirements for Gingerbread require 1 GHz processor. In other words: it's not possible to update the processor, unfortunately."

This is an interesting take on the Android update considering Google has at no time specified what processor speed would be needed to run Gingerbread. As if to confirm this, an Android developer, Dan Morrill (@morildl) tweeted: “Random note: there's no hard minimum processor requirements for Gingerbread. Trust me, if there were I'd know. ;)” He then went on to reply to a number of questions regarding Gingerbread’s requirement adding that 2.3 hardware needs were the same as the previous iteration, Froyo “Android has never had hard processor reqmts, tho older devices do fall behind. GB H/W needs are similar to FY.”

So we are trying to figure out why LG would make such a statement (though the Facebook post seems to have now been taken down) and could see some owners return their phones if still within the 30-day limit, as one Facebook fan threatened: “If LG is using this as an excuse not to update a phone that came out literally 3 weeks ago, that is absurd. I'll most likely be returning the Optimus S inside the 30 day window if this is the support that can be expected on a brand new product.” This could be a lot of people considering the Optimus One sold one million units in just 40 days.

It seems that LG could have shot themselves in the foot with this announcement and we will have to wait for official word from the South Korean manufacturer on the subject. In the mean time it seems likely that HTC, producer of the best-selling Android phones, and Samsung who partnered with Google in building the Nexus S, will be the first manufacturers to get Gingerbread.

And so we start all over again with the update cycle. Some phones will never get the upgrade (for whatever reason). Some will wait for months to get it. Some will get it immediately. And others will start wondering if there will be an Android 2.4 update they can look forward to.

Update: Well it seems as if LG has had to back down from its earlier stance of "You'll never get Gingerbread" by issuing the following statement: "LG released information prematurely regarding the minimum processor upgrade requirements for the LG Optimus. Google recently announced the Gingerbread platform and has not yet published the Gingerbread Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) or the public branch open source code. Once the CDD and the source code is public, LG will evaluate the upgradability of the Optimus Series. We apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding. We will alert you as soon as more information on this topic is available."

So I guess that means don't stop buying the Optimus range of phones.


December 9, 2010, 12:14 am

LG showing their usual commitment to customer service then..


December 9, 2010, 12:22 am

And here we have a perfect example of the one BIG problem Android has still got to tackle. It's absolutely ridiculous to me that companies can make handsets using this OS, market them as Android devices, yet refuse to support them properly. Let's be honest here, even if someone buys one of these devices on PAYG they're more than likely looking at owning it for at least a year, probably more like 18 months. During that time it's reasonable to assume at least some are going to invest in the platform with app purchases. If they get left high and dry like this while their friends get new features why on earth are they going to buy another handset with that OS (unless their investmet is simply too high to drop)?

And for all those thinking that this was a featurephone equivalent and users should have bought a 'better' smartphone if they wanted updates (sadly a lot of comments like that on other gadget sites) let me quote from LG's press release:

"LG Optimus One with Google&#8482 offers the latest in Google&#8482 mobile features and connects seamlessly to the world. Its ability to connect effortlessly to Google's Android Market&#8482 delivers an unfiltered and genuine smartphone user experience."

It has been sold as a "genuine smartphone" and now, barely two months after launch (and the best launch LG's ever had as this is their fastest selling device to date), LG have confirmed they aren't going to support it. Pathetic and the best argument I've seen yet for Google stepping up to the plate and making OS updates device-independent if at all possible. Really hope that users around the world make it VERY clear that this isn't good enough, both to LG in this specific instance and to Google for the wider issue.


December 9, 2010, 3:27 am

Every new android release has some performance bust and that should mean that new version requires less CPU power then previous version... So this has nothing to do with CPU or device price. More powerful and more expensive devices suffer similar problems.

I really would like to hear what is the idea about this. These companies are just too big to be unable provide some software upgrades. It cost nothing compared to any other process involved...


December 9, 2010, 4:45 pm

Quite a turn around after being caught out by Google (:-)), to be fair to LG it had been said a lot that "gingerbread" would need a 1GHZ processor minimum so I think this was a genuine mistake. However I also wish that more companies moved towards changing the stock android experience as little as possible so that the OS can be quickly updated, rather than techincal people having to rely on talented coders, and your standard user just getting stuck with the previous generation of Andorid

What happened to the plan of Googles to make updates more "Modular"? I notice that this is also what Nokia have done with Symbian (i.e. there wont be a Symbian ^4, just continuing updates to ^3) which makes a lot of sense, and for Andorid even more since you could have a "module" for the manufacturers tweaks that you could then keep (or remove) but the core part of the software could be quickly updated without waiting for the manufacturers to tweak

Arctic Fox

December 9, 2010, 11:38 pm


In practice (in contrast to Nokia, Apple and WP7) the mob producers and the cellcos have almost the entire whip hand when it comes to Android (own a Wildfire myself, very pleased with the phone and the os, very very pissed with HTC over upgrades). In practice when it comes to the mob producers they want sell you a new phone as rapidly as possible and the cellcos want you to upgrade/sign a new contract as often as possible. In contrast to the other three majors the mob companies and the cellcos have zero interest in taking care of their Android customers beyond a year with the given phone and/or contract. That is the reason that when I go for something high-end next year hell will freeze over before it will be another Android even though I like my current phone and the os (2.1) very much. As I have said on other threads I am not paying 400 - 500 pounds for dubious privilege of have the urine extracted from yours truly by those companies. Next time it will be Nokia with meego or a WP7.


December 10, 2010, 5:13 pm

@Artic Fox I have been thinking along those lines lately as well. I want a stock Google phone like my Nexus one but after seeing the disappointing Nexus S and hope fading everyday for Sony Ericsson to make the Playstation phone using hardware anything even remotely current, I may be in the market for a new OS next year.

Who knows, maybe Google will release a better phone with Honeycomb, but will it be soon enough? Maybe Palm will come too my rescue :p


December 10, 2010, 9:19 pm

@Runadumb How is the Nexus S disappointing? The only thing I see wrong with it is the lack of microSD.

WebOS 2.0 better stay niche as its a security nightmare.

Arctic Fox

December 10, 2010, 10:44 pm


In my dreams I am basically looking at the N9 or one of the upcoming WP7s with a twin core CPU - some time next year. If one of them has a physical keyboard as well I will be in pig heaven! It is a pity, I have a lot of respect for the Android os - I am just not willing to poke up with the overly incestuous relationship between the prods and the cellcos which gets far too much elbow room with Android (for reasons that are not a criticism of the os).




December 10, 2010, 11:30 pm

@LetsGo I find the Nexus S disappointing in a number of ways, the biggest one being no microSD slot, which too me is a dealbreaker straight away. Even ignoring that it is such a small step up from the Nexus one and yet costs £135 more than I paid for my nexus one as to just make it an unappealing "updgrade" device.

Should I really expect more? My phone isn't even a year old yet but I find it surprising that there isn't a single device I would change it for. I expected the Nexus S too at least be something I would pine for but I just look at it and think, "no".


December 12, 2010, 3:37 pm

@LetsGo I find the Nexus S disappointing in a number of ways, the biggest one being no microSD slot, which too me is a dealbreaker straight away. Even ignoring that it is such a small step up from the Nexus one and yet costs £135 more than I paid for my nexus one as to just make it an unappealing "updgrade" device.

Not including a microSD Slot is a V.Bad Agreed.

However given todays technology Basing their phone on Samsungs flagship device is the correct choice.

Samsungs Galxay S line has, The best GPU, Nice super amoled, 4 finger multi touch & the best DLNA.

The Nexus one is a nice device but for gaming it is not up to scratch, the GPU & multi touch implentations are poor.

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